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Art & Design

The Mission of the Art Department is to provide education in Art History, Studio Art, and Visual Communication Design while preparing students for further education and careers in art and related fields. Respecting the growth and creativity of the individual art student, we expose each student to a problem-solving, skills-based curriculum that encourages the passion and spirit of aesthetic activity, emphasizes leadership roles, and promotes service to society.

Artists Have Options

The Art Department offers three fields of study: Studio Art, Visual Communication Design, and Art History. Each field provides students with technical and procedural skills and historical and theoretical knowledge of the visual arts. All three fields stress empathic resolution and sensitivity to materials and acknowledge the human spirit in matters of art. The department aims to produce graduates who are creative, have excellent problem-solving skills, are comfortable with 21st-century technology, think constructively, experience beyond the tangible, and seek to produce artwork that reflects their values.

Artists are Employable

Ursuline artists are not only thinkers, but leaders. We nurture student’s creative talents while sharpening their communications skills, problem solving skills and analytical skills.

Artists create new images and ideas by connecting with the world around them. Most of what we see or do employs the efforts of an artist. Not just paintings, but teapots, airplanes, advertisements, camping equipment, laser light shows, product packaging, movie sets, animation, furniture, city parks, and even the car you drive were all designed or implemented by someone who had formal training in the visual arts. 

Two Tracks – One Great Program

Ursuline College offers students two separate degree options, the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and the Bachelor of Arts (BA). Before discussing the differences between the BFA and the BA options, it is important to note the similarities. There is not a difference in the quality of coursework and training that students receive in the BFA and BA programs. Both options are focused on producing quality, talented arts professionals. 

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Studio Art degree is considered to be the most prestigious bachelor's degree that you can receive in the arts field and is intended for those who wish to pursue a professional career in the arts. This option is for students who wish to gain as much experience and skill in their specific discipline as possible. BFA students typically take 4 credit hour classes. BFA students culminate their senior year with a formal exhibition in the Florence O’Donnell Wasmer Gallery. Ursuline is one of just a few liberal arts colleges in Ohio to offer the BFA, and the exploration of broad intellectual topics as a part of the Ursuline Studies Program give students insight to create meaningful art. The BFA offers six professional concentrations: 

  • Ceramics
  • Drawing
  • Metals
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
  • Visual Communication Design

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree is less extensive, but still contains essential art courses. This option is for students with a strong interest in Studio Art, Art History or Visual Communication Design (VCD) and possibly a desire to minor or double-major in another subject area. This enables you to tailor your academic career to fit your interests. BA students typically take 3 credit hour classes. The department also offers minors in the same three areas.

The Ursuline Advantage & Commitment to Social Justice

Both the BFA and the BA rest firmly on the foundation of the Ursuline Studies Program and reflect the Mission of Ursuline College. It is this academic program that provides the intellectual strength needed for the education of an artist, and it is what makes Ursuline's program unique.

At Ursuline, the growth of the whole person is emphasized as students prepare for futures that include leadership and service to society. The importance of a spiritual life that recognizes beauty and is integrated within the whole person is stressed throughout the program. Our vision has been to provide students with the skills and wisdom they will need to continue art-making as a life activity.

Aesthetic information is presented within a global context and students are sensitized to current social issues. Students are encouraged to participate in peace and justice activities, to provide service to the local community, as well as to add their voices to national and global debates over political and social justice. Here, art is more than a formal exercise - it is an opportunity to empower those whose voices have been marginalized, and a powerful force for advocacy.  Two Ursuline-specific classes that help our students gain understanding are our Advocacy & Art and Professional Practices classes.

AR 360 
Professional Practice (4)
This technology-supported course examines various legal and ethical aspects important to the professional artist. It bridges the world of student artist with that of the professional artist by teaching students how to enter shows, record their work, make contracts, present themselves to a gallery, prepare job interviews or graduate school. The course helps students become aware that they are constructive-knowing artists with a clear idea of how to use their voice to speak their values through their artwork. 

AR 460 
Advocacy and Art (3)
This course is to further student's understanding as to how artists have, and can 'make a difference' through their art. Studies will touch upon the history of advocacy in various art disciplines, and can expect to engage in discussion, and assessment, regarding the methodologies applied in advocacy. Students will present final projects that reflect consideration of contemporary social issues either through documentation of an advocacy and / or research of possible advocacy situations.