Drawing with your toes, with your eyes closed, with your nondominant hand — as an Art major at St. Edward’s University, you’ll get used to shifting your perspective and pushing to the edge of your comfort zone.
You’ll develop a core knowledge of design, drawing and art history and try your hand — or brush — at mediums including drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture.
As you advance through the program, you’ll discover your own style and learn to critique your own work. You’ll create interactive installations, ask questions of professional artists who visit campus and go on old-school field trips to museums around the state. The Fine Arts Gallery on campus will become your lab, where you’ll learn exhibition design and installation and (proudly!) show your own work.
And in Austin — a creative city with a vibrant art scene — you’ll apply what you’re learning. Intern at established galleries, The Contemporary art museum, and the city’s Cultural Arts department, including the airport public art program. And in your spare time, take advantage of the Blanton Museum, dozens of established galleries, the interdisciplinary Fusebox Festival, and the two jam-packed weekends of the East Austin Studio Tour, plus more street murals than you can Instagram in a year.
What do our graduates do?
Art majors go on to a variety of careers and graduate schools from St. Edward’s. Here’s a sample.
- Exhibitor at Austin’s Wally Workman Gallery
- Project lead at MoonArk, the first museum for the moon, in Paris
- Associate professor in the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Penn.
- MFA student at Columbia University
- Recipient of the University Graduate Scholarship at the University of Saskatchewan for MFA studies
How to Draw Your Future
An innovative art class teaches students about making marks on paper and their mark in the world.
Major Requirements: The Bachelor of Arts with a major in Art requires 58 hours of core coursework. The Art program offers students a strong foundation year which encourages skill development, experimentation and independent thought. In the sophomore year students focus on media exploration and skill development through courses in painting, drawing, printmaking and sculpture. Art history courses support both contextual and conceptual development that is essential for emerging artists. Upper level courses include Figuration (the study of the human figure), Professional Practices, and Art and Inquiry (an arts-based research course). Students conclude their studies through the culminating experience course sequence, Senior Studio I and II, which require the development of an independent creative project, a senior exhibition in the Fine Arts Gallery, and a thesis paper.
Electives: Art majors typically take between 6 and 12 hours of elective courses. Example elective courses include Sequential Art, Screenprinting, Installation Art, and Video.
General Education Requirements: The Art degree requires an average of 38-44 hours of general education courses that students complete over four years in addition to their major courses and electives.
View and download the full degree plan for the Art major (PDF).
A few examples of the Art major courses students take:
- Issues in Contemporary Art – Focuses on recent art, artists and art world (from museums to the market). Materials will be framed in the context of the era, including introductions to formalist, feminist, psychological, and deconstructivist criticism.
- Painting: Methods – Focuses on fundamental painting techniques from direct observation. Emphasis is placed on the plastic medium of paint as it relates to pictorial representation, color, form, texture, and space.
- Clay: Handbuilding – Introduces handbuilding techniques involved in the ceramics process. Through demonstrations and discussions, students will learn fundamental handbuilding methods, surface treatments, and the use of tools and equipment. Students complete projects employing coil, pinch, slab, and additive/subtractive modeling techniques.
Meet the Faculty
Our distinguished faculty members are scholar-practitioners with years of experience and creative passions of their own. They stay active in their fields and bring their expertise to the classroom.
Beyond providing young people with technical know-how, I hope to open their minds to new ideas and successful approaches to problem solving, brainstorming techniques and experimenting without reservation.
— Hollis Hammonds, Chair of Visual Studies & Associate Professor of Art
I teach my students by providing context to the world of art — from the availability of materials to market strategies, from the voice of the individual to the goals of society. I encourage young people to study with these much larger issues in mind. However, I also believe that the study of art must come back to the object itself.
— Mary K. Brantl, PhD, Associate Professor of Art History
I encourage them to seek opportunities that challenge them artistically, both in and outside of the classroom. This reinforcement of their talent makes a precious connection between theory and practice.
— Alexandra Robinson, Associate Professor of Art, Director of Fine Arts Gallery
My goal is that each student leaves my class with increased understanding of how to express their ideas clearly in three-dimensional forms, using technical skills, cogent thought processes, and an awareness of context.
— Tammie Rubin, Assistant Professor of Art, Sculpture and Ceramics
Along with personal attention and mentorship from their professors, our students have access to offices and programs outside of the classroom that support their success. We encourage students to take advantage of these resources that help them thrive and excel: Learn more about these services.
Outside the Classroom
Students majoring in Art can explore career paths and practical application of their studies through internships and interactions with the greater art community.
On Campus Projects
Students may also participate in art projects on campus. For example, six students in an installation art class with professor Alexandra Robinson created an interactive art installation for high-school students visiting campus.
St. Edward's University brings in artists to further enhance students' experience by exposing them to high-quality art and individuals who are active in the field.
Past visiting artists include:
- Turkish American artist Tulu Bayar
- David Mack, artist and writer for Marvel Comics®
- New York sculptor and photographer, Robert Hite
- Artist-activists Robert Shetterly and Lily Yeh
Access to Austin's Art Scene
- Annual field trips to major museums and art events around the state
- The Fine Arts Exhibition program and the Visiting Artist program expose students to a variety of art and artists from the region and beyond
- Opportunities for student exhibitions
Our internship program acquaints junior and senior-level students with the practical experience of engaging with artists who work in studios and art professionals, gallerists and curators in the workplace. Our students have recently interned with galleries and organizations such as:
- Women And Their Work
- Mexic-Arte Museum
- The Contemporary Austin professional
- Austin Bergstrom International Airport exhibits
- Cultural Arts Division
- Big Medium
Our required, semester-long Capstone course examines a topic of your choosing, and culminates with your senior exhibition. This completes a two-semester research/experiential course sequence, which is notable for a smaller liberal arts school. The combination of research and practical learning gives students an opportunity to hone their abilities and develop skills valued by employers and graduate schools.
What’s a Capstone? Find out.
About the Minor
Students who wish to earn an Art minor must take the following coursework, totaling 24 hours, with at least 9 hours of upper-division coursework. This includes four required courses:
- Foundations of Art and Design
- Drawing I
- Clay: Handbuilding
- Art History I or Art History II
Students select three elective courses in Art History I, Art History II, Drawing II or Watercolor I, Sculpture: Materials, od Clay: Wheel Throwing.
Are you a current student? Contact your advisor for next steps on declaring your major or minor.