What Will You Learn? What Skills Will You Acquire?
This training begins with comprehensive Foundations classes in drawing, and two-dimensional and three-dimensional design. During this first year, students document their university artwork and produce a hard-bound book portfolio to submit for formal admittance into the Art program. In their sophomore year, formally-admitted Art students begin to specialize in their emphasis: Painting, Photography (traditional and digital), Printmaking (traditional and digital), Ceramics, Jewelry, Sculpture, Graphic Design, K-12 Art Education Licensure, Art History. Students may also take courses in any area of interest. Western Art students also have access to two computer labs with digital industry-standard facilities.
Western Art students take either the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Fine Arts degree programs. The Bachelor of Arts Degree consists of a Standard Major, or a Comprehensive Major – which allows students to specialize in Studio Art, Graphic Design, K-12 Education licensure, and Art History. The Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree is designed for students wishing to become professionals or pursue graduate studies in Art, and is a Comprehensive Major which specializes students in Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Ceramics, Jewelry, Sculpture, and Graphic Design.
In their senior year, Western Art students exhibit their senior show in the Quigley Gallery – an opportunity to experience preparing a professional exhibition in a gallery setting. Our students are also able to exhibit and sell their own work in the biannual Western Student Art Sale, and in several local and regional art galleries and businesses. Graphic Design students acquire professional experience through internships, professional projects coordinated through different university departments and local businesses, and Magazine Production – which annually produces the Pathfinder Magazine, publishing student creative work, scholarship, and club sports.
Beyond the Classroom
Western students have opportunities to display their work in numerous shows, exhibits, convocations and galas.
Art students also participate in the Art League - the official student art guild at Western - dedicated to creating cultural experiences for Western students and the Gunnison community.
Art and Art History are academic disciplines and Art students are rigorously-trained, multi-disciplinary scholars.
The B.A. and B.F.A. degrees in Art or Art History provide students with a solid foundation, from which they may undertake graduate studies or specialized training, allowing them to pursue a broad spectrum of professional activities in the art world, including: professional artist, graphic designer, web designer, careers in the animation, game design and film industries, industrial designer, fashion designer, photojournalist, professional airbrush painter, forensic and criminal justice artist, art historian, art critic, careers in galleries and museums, careers in education.
Western Art graduates have worked or currently work in many of these fields. In fact, some of our recent graduates are earning more than their professors!