DEPARTMENT OF VISUAL STUDIES

Immerse yourself in the study of visual culture

Students in the Bachelor of Arts in Art program at St. Edward's have opportunities to explore the world of art while developing a core foundation of knowledge in design, drawing and art history.

Work with professors whose expertise will help you to grow creatively and become a more fine-tuned professional. You'll work one-on-one with a professor to build a portfolio of work which will showcase your ability to employers and graduate schools. Students have unique opportunities to immerse themselves in visual culture because of the proximity of St. Edward's to Austin's vibrant art scene. Through the programming of the Fine Arts Gallery and unique course offerings, student are exposed to a variety of visiting artists and lecturers, exciting exhibitions on campus and exhibits and events in the local arts community. Over the course of your studies as an Art major, you will …

  • Have the freedom to discover your own style
  • Learn to critique your own work
  • Gain direct experience in exhibition design and installation
  • Experiment with various mediums
  • Develop a portfolio and publicly exhibit your work
  • Apply classroom learning to field internships

This major is part of the Department of Visual Studies.

Degree Requirements

Major Requirements: The Bachelor of Arts with a major in Art requires 57 hours of core coursework. 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. 

Electives: Art majors typically take between 6 and 12 hours of elective courses.

General Education Requirements: The Art degree requires 54 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 I – 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. 

Hollis Hammonds

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 

Mary Brantl

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

Alexandra Robinson

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

Tammie Rubin

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. 

Visiting Artists

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

Internships

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

Capstone Project

Our required, semester-long Capstone course examines a topic of your choosing. 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.

Alumni Outcomes

With a Bachelor of Arts in Art, you’ll have the practical and professional experience needed for many creative fields. Recent graduates have also earned grants for artistic projects and been accepted to studio residency programs.

Art majors work in many different fields, such as:
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Exhibition design
  • Publishing and illustrating
  • Art therapy
  • Film, theater and television
  • Animation
  • Museums and galleries
Examples of roles Art students take include:
  • Children's storybook artist
  • Comic book artist
  • Fashion designer
  • Stage design
  • Gallery or museum curator
  • Teaching art to young learners
  • Video game design

Read about our successful alumni and see what they have to say about life after St. Edward’s.

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.