Art Majors and Minors
The Art major’s curriculum provides training in the studio arts, illustration, photography/digital media, visual communication, and art history. It also aims to prepare students for both professional practice and advanced study.
The Art History and Visual Studies track gives exposure to both western and non-western content with a modern and contemporary focus. Students are equipped with research, methodological, and critical skills as a platform for further development or base understanding. This major is designed to make students canny navigators of our media-saturated environment. In addition to probing the historical origins of our present visual climate, students develop strong research and writing skills and investigate the latest trends in critical theory. The Art History program at SPU has a Modern and Contemporary focus, and encourages hands-on engagement with mounting, curating and reviewing gallery shows. The philosophical cornerstone of our curriculum is our belief in a common humanity; we look for wisdom in even the most distant past and cultivate sympathy with the strange and unfamiliar. An optional biennial excursion to Rome, Italy, helps students both absorb and critique the foundations of Western culture.
In the past decade the boundaries between the disciplines of Illustration and Studio Art have blurred greatly. Illustrators exhibit their work in galleries and museums and Studios Artists have their work employed in print for advertising, commentary, storytelling, and identity. Thus the curriculum of Illustration/New Pictures was created to overlap traditional autographic rendering techniques in drawing and painting with new technology-based skills toward works of art that emphasize narrative. The students coming out of this program are headed toward advanced study in Illustration or Studio Art and/or the building of a studio practice with an entrepreneurial approach open to the possibilities of a variety of vocational trajectories.
The Studio Arts major teaches students the effective application of the fundamental elements and principles of the visual arts. The program focuses on the development of tactile skills including drawing, painting, printmaking, metallurgy, and sculpture. The goal of the Studio Arts program is to graduate properly trained, competent artists educated in traditional and contemporary media, grounded by historical and cultural knowledge, and instilled with a desire to explore the spiritual nature of art as an expression of faith.
The Photography/Digital Media major provides students with a broad exposure to the visual arts and teaches students the effective application of the fundamental elements and principles of the visual arts. The program focuses on the development of conceptual, aesthetic and technical skills in the use of lens based media, working with both still and moving images. The goal of the Photography/Digital Media program is to graduate competent lens based artists with a broad media skill base. Students will be prepared for advanced study in Studio Art or Film and have tools for building a entrepreneurial photographic practice open to the possibilities of a variety of vocational trajectories.
The General Art major provides students with a broad exposure to the visual arts and teaches students the effective application of the fundamental elements and principles of the visual arts. The program focuses on the development of a general knowledge of art. The goal of the General Art program is to graduate competent artists educated in traditional and contemporary media with the skill base to expand their artistic practice after graduation.