The Bachelor of Fine Arts is designed to encourage students to develop a personal focus and direction as well as learn to function professionally as artists.
An extensive range of foundation courses, culminating in ARTS 290W - Studio Concepts and the accompanying Foundations Review provides students with the basic skills they need to be successful in upper-level courses. The required area of concentration allows students to gain a level of expertise in a particular medium and use that expertise to refine their artistic vision. Art elective requirements enable students to gain practical knowledge in a range of media as well as to engage in experiences that support their area of concentration. A Capstone course provides direction for their future professional careers and gives students an immersive experience by requiring them to exhibit and disseminate their work.
This professional degree begins with Foundations classes offering instruction on basic skills in design, drawing and art history. The students develop a repertoire of vocabulary, both visual and verbal, necessary to create, analyze and discuss artwork. As students progress in their chosen area of concentration, they further develop creative problem-solving and critical thinking abilities. A variety of media and approaches are taught to help students achieve the control and understanding necessary to produce quality work. Individual and group critiques are used as teaching aids to help students improve their grasp of concepts and techniques.
There are numerous merit-based scholarships in art, as well as many opportunities to work in the studios and galleries. Students may take summer courses taught at the Jean Noble Parsons Center for the Study of Art and Science which is an interdisciplinary educational center and natural area located in northern Michigan. With three galleries on campus, students engage with a wide range of contemporary artworks and artists who come to speak about their work. Likewise, students have opportunities to exhibit their work. Graduates are prepared to work in design agencies, as independent artists, in art galleries, as photographers, in community art centers and professional studios for pottery, jewelry, printmaking and furniture design. The BFA degree fully prepares students to successfully then earn their terminal MFA degree in studio art.