Department Chair: Simon-Hòa Phan OSB

Faculty: Carol Brash, Richard Bresnahan, Nathanael Hauser OSB, James Hendershot, Mary Johnson, Samuel Johnson, David Paul Lange OSB, Rachel Melis, Scott Murphy, Simon-Hoa Phan OSB, Elaine Rutherford, Andrea Shaker

The art department educates both art majors and non-majors in the theory, practice and history of art. This education involves the understanding of historical development of art in contemporary and past cultures, understanding the critical process used to assess art forms, understanding the meaning and evolution of art theories, understanding the basic concepts related to the structure of forms and understanding the technical aspects of art. This education is intended to prepare students for careers or further education in art. For the non-major, this education provides a preliminary understanding of art forms, the creative process and a beginning ability to employ critical analysis.

The department's studios, located on both campuses, provide facilities for drawing, design, painting, ceramics, printmaking, sculpture, book arts, papermaking, computer art, photography, and video. The Benedicta Arts Center Galleries and Saint John's Art Galleries schedule diverse exhibitions of artwork throughout the year. Special areas are available for exhibition of student work. Visiting artists, speakers, artists-in-residence, field trips and workshops supplement the students' experience of the art world.


Student learning and progress is assessed by means of critiques and portfolio reviews. Each course within the department has a strong component that addresses the critique process. Students learn how to interact with one another and the instructor to determine their strengths, weaknesses and how they might achieve better results in their work. At the conclusion of each semester’s work in studio art courses, a final critique is held with the instructor and student to assess the student’s progress.

Portfolio reviews are made to determine the student’s readiness to enter the major and/or to assess the student’s growth within her/his course of studies.

Acceptance to Major Requirements

Course Requirements:  ART 248
Minimum Grade and/or GPA for required courses:  Passing grade in ART 248
Other Requirements:  An art portfolio is submitted to the department at the end of Art 248, which will be reviewed by the art faculty for acceptance into the major. The portfolio consists of college-level artworks, resume, and 4-year academic plan. 


The art department offers a concentration in studio art, and minors in art history, book arts and art education.

Concentration in Studio Art (48 credits)

The studio art major allows students to combine a liberal education with preparation for entry into careers as exhibiting artists, designers, elementary or secondary school teachers, or other art-related fields, such as advertising, marketing, illustration, museum/gallery curation, criticism, writing/reporting, as well as for graduate school in studio art, art history, design, architecture, landscape architecture, or art therapy.

Required Courses:
108, 118, 119, 248, 300, 344, 351, 352; three studios chosen from the 200 and 300 studio courses, with at least four credits at the 300 level, for a total of 12 credits, and 4 credits of non-western art history from the 200 or 300 level.

Special Requirements:
A portfolio review precedes admission to the department. A senior exhibition is required for graduation.

Concentration in Art Education (52-55 credits)

Required Courses:
119, 215, 217, 218 or 262, 219, 248, 344, 351, 355, and 208, 200 and 300 level Art History course.

Special Requirements:
Students concentrating in art education are required to have two areas of emphasis which are met by taking additional approved courses in the areas of drawing, sculpture (including ceramics), painting, graphic arts (including photography, or printmaking) or computer graphics (including computer art and digital video).

Students concentrating in art education may receive special credit towards core, and upper-division requirements. Please contact the department chair.

Art Studio Minor (24 credits)

Required Courses:
118, 119; 12 credits in elective studio, with at least 4 credits at the 300 level; four credits in Art History.

Art History Minor (24 credits)

108; 4 credits in non-Western art history from the 200 level courses (can double count if the student is an Art Major), one four-credit course in art studio (can double count if the student is an Art Major), a minimum of 8 credits in upper-division, 300 level Art History courses (cannot double count it the student is an Art Major) and 4 additional credits that can be lower or upper division Art History credits (cannot double count if the student is an Art Major).

Book Arts Minor (24 credits)

Required Courses:
Art 118, Art 239, Art 397, HIST 374 or ENGL 315B

At least two of the following electives (8 credits): Art 218, Art, 224, Art 227, Art 233D (Artist Books), Art 233F (Handmade Paper), Art 271/371 (ILP, only one allowed, 4 credits), ENGL 213/313, ENG 315.

ILPs and Internships must be approved by the Book Arts Coordinator. (In some cases, an ILP or Internship may also be done through the English Department).

Note: Art Minors: can use ART118 to fulfill requirements in both minors. English Majors/Minors: can double-count one English class to fulfill requirements.

Courses (ART)