A-Z Index

Art: Studio

Program(s) Available: B.F.A.

The art studio major provides students with the skills needed to accomplish the tasks of their professions and to awaken them to that intellectual level of existence which will cause them to lead fuller, more rewarding lives regardless of the professional area they enter.

Studying in these programs offers students the opportunity to learn to communicate ideas effectively, develop analytical skills, synthesize ideas, evaluate the implications of present actions against historical perspectives, and develop discriminating aesthetic judgments.

Why Study Art: Studio at Northwest

The Discipline of Art has among its quality objectives: (a) to provide an environment conducive to learning and creative production, (b) to develop an understanding and sensitivity to the visual arts of the past and present, (c) to prepare students for careers in the visual arts and design including the teaching of art and design, (d) to furnish the students with sufficient mastery of technical skills to allow for future independent development and creative production, and (e) to prepare students for advanced study in the visual arts.

In addition to the academic programs, the Exhibitions Program and Visiting Artists Series assist in broadening the learning experiences of all students. The exhibitions are shown in the Gallery of the Olive DeLuce Fine Arts Building and are drawn from national as well as regional sources. The Visiting Artists Series brings outstanding artists and art historians to the department, where they conduct workshops, give demonstrations, hold discussions, and give slide presentations and lectures that are open to all persons in the University and regional community.

Northwest art facilities include:

  • Complete photo studio and darkroom
  • Wood workshop
  • 3D printer, 3D scanner, and laser engraver
  • Individual work studios
  • Glaze kitchen
  • State-of-the-art ceramics studio, including seven electronic kilns, four gas kilns and one wood kiln that students can use to learn the process of working with fire.
  • Fully stocked dynamic studio
  • Printmaking workshop and print presses
  • Drawing and painting studios

Pick your path


Art majors with an emphasis in ceramics gain hands-on experience by studying clay and making it functional. Faculty focus on hand-building techniques, processes of making glaze with earth materials, the history of ceramics, wheel throwing, kiln theory and assisting students in defining broader approaches.


Art majors with an emphasis in drawing focus on observational skills. Students are trained to find their own voice and visual language and focus on shifts from observational skills to the conceptual aspect of making art. Faculty ensure students have skills in manipulating various drawing media with graphite, charcoal, ink, watercolor and mixed media (dry and wet products); acquiring a sense of proportion, rhythm, balance and weight to learn the methods of analyzing shapes and proportions of perspective drawing; and creating the three-dimensional illusions on a two-dimensional surface.


Art majors with an emphasis in painting learn techniques in acrylic and, oil paint, and mixed media and develop skills in color manipulation and harmonization. Classes are divided between painting in the studio, formal analysis of art work and discussion of painting concepts. Faculty guide students to develop as visual artists and prepare them for a successful.


Photography majors study and apply visual elements of art and develop an artistic direction through photography. Faculty focus on teaching students proper techniques and methods of creating and printing photographs digitally, non-traditionally and through a darkroom. Students spend many hours working in the studio, gaining hands-on experiences and preparing projects for presentation.


Art majors with an emphasis in printmaking gain skills and techniques in many areas of printmaking such as mono-printing, intaglio, relief and digital processes. Faculty ensure students have experience with all printmaking methods and the ability to print editions in each medium.


Art majors with the emphasis in sculpture learn about traditional and non-traditional approaches to the sculptural process. Faculty challenge students to think about space and objects in different ways. Students learn professional vocabulary to methodically discuss their art in terms of principles and elements of design and to write an artist statement.

Students learn technical skills that include welding, basic woodwork, and medal and mold-making. Students use traditional and new processes.

Career Ready
Studio Art with an emphasis in painting

I feel really empowered about the work that I am doing and the stuff that I am accomplishing. — Shelby Theis

Career Opportunites

  • Character artist
  • Art gallery owner
  • Marketing and design associate
  • Production or public artists
  • Teacher
  • Ceramics engineer
  • Ceramics industrial designer
  • Photographer
  • Photo lab technician
  • Studio coordinator
  • Character artist
  • Interior designer 
  • Marketing and design associate
  • Production artist

What Can I Do With a Major in Art: Studio?

A place to work

Students have opportunities to create commission-based work where clients contact the Department of Fine and Performing Arts to request a drawing. The professor selects a student to create and complete the project.

Advanced painting students are guaranteed their own studio space at Northwest. This provides students an opportunity to function like professional artists before graduating.

A place to work

Northwest Art Show

Students gain experience showcasing and selling their art at the Northwest Art Show.

Students are encouraged to submit their best work for presentation at the annual Celebration of Scholars, an interdisciplinary symposium spotlighting exceptional student work throughout campus.

Northwest Art Show

Fire Arts Building

The Fire Arts Building is dedicated to the Ceramics and Sculpture programs that require “fire and fume.” Students can utilize this building to create unique and exquisite works of art. The building is equipped with various sophisticated safety, fire prevention and ventilation systems, so students are also safe.

Fire Arts Building
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