The visual arts are rapidly changing and evolving as a result of the development of new techniques and media and because of the ever-changing trends and scholarship. With a strong knowledge base and experience with contemporary and traditional materials and techniques, graduates of the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Art program are highly prepared for a career in the visual arts.
Students enrolled in the art program at the University of Rio Grande will have the opportunity to work in a wide variety of materials and media, including:
- Drawing and Painting
- Digital and Darkroom Photography
- Graphic Design
- Digital Imaging
Classroom and studio activities are structured around close personal attention in a family atmosphere. Students get to know the faculty well through extensive one-on-one training and mentorship. Numerous social activities within the department lead to strong bonds that last for years to come after graduation.
Students are expected to develop professional practices from their first semester in the program. Each student documents her or his work and engages in professional development activities including exhibitions, design work, commissions, outreach, curating and student teaching.
Additionally, there are many opportunities for school-sponsored student travel. In recent years, the art department has visited dozens of museums in cities such as:
- Pittsburgh, PA
- Huntington, WV
- Columbus, OH
- Cincinnati, OH
Faculty are active professionals in their discipline. Each of the three full-time faculty hold terminal degrees from accredited institutions, and average 23 years of college teaching experience and over 100 exhibitions. Faculty skills cover a wide range of specializations, and share common skills and attitudes. All the faculty are active in assessment of student learning, and continually update course materials to incorporate new technologies, materials, contemporary art trends, and developments in pedagogical research.
With the support of the Office of Academic Affairs, there are numerous opportunities for student research and publication/exhibition. In recent years, students have worked side-by-side on Provost's Academic Excellence initiatives such as:
- A three-panel installation in Rio's board room including six students and three faculty that included painting, drawing, photography, cast paper and glass sculpture.
- An animated film.
- A trip to a printmaking conference where students participated in open portfolio reviews in Missouri.