Art & Art History

Students interested in the Art and Art History program may choose to pursue a BA in Art or a minor degree in Art (studio art) or Art History. Students majoring in Art Education also work closely with the Art and Art History faculty.

The Art curriculum is structured to provide maximum freedom and flexibility within an atmosphere that encourages experimentation, independent thought and dialogue among students and faculty. Students majoring in Art receive a strong foundation in design, drawing and art history and have the opportunity to experiment in a variety of mediums. Course offerings in studio art range from drawing and painting to printmaking and clay, with a series of special topic courses including Art in Public Spaces, Environmental Art, Drawing from Nature, and Sequential Art. Art majors receive class instruction in portfolio development and direct experience in exhibition design and installation. After completing 18 hours of studio art courses, all Art majors are required to complete a portfolio review. In addition, Art majors are required to exhibit publicly in their senior year as part of their graduation requirements.

Art History courses offer a history of visual culture fundamental to various other disciplines and the methodological skills necessary to critically engage “the object” — whether the object is an installation in The Contemporary Austin, a Shang ritual bronze vessel or a Dada photomontage. Included in the study of art history, moreover, are such issues as museology, the market, censorship and historiography — all inherent (but often unrecognized) in our engagement with the artwork. The Art History minor provides students the opportunity to pursue work in this field and acquire related skills.

Student opportunities include annual field trips to major museums and art events around the state, exposure to a variety of art and artists from the region and beyond through the Fine Arts Exhibition program and the Visiting Artist program, as well as internship opportunities in the Austin area. Our internship program acquaints junior and senior-level students with the practical experience of working with artists in their studios and with art professionals, gallerists, and curators in the work place.