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photo of students painting

Studio Art

Bachelor of Fine Arts

Built on a rich heritage in 20th-century art and design

Overview

Because all people have been created in the image of God the Creator, creativity and art are a part of being human. At BJU you’ll learn how art communicates, whether it’s telling a story, provoking emotion or thoughts, or simply existing as something beautiful for people to enjoy or use.

At BJU you’ll learn how to use your creativity to reflect God’s as you produce art. You’ll use a wide variety of tools, from charcoal to oil to potter’s wheels, and you’ll learn how working as an artist is both fulfilling and God-glorifying when you have a right view of God and His creation.

A Rich Heritage

The foundational courses and overall philosophy of BJU’s studio art program were developed by Emery Bopp, one of the early professors in the Division of Art and Design. After earning a certificate from Pratt Institute, Bopp enrolled in the graphic design program at Yale University, where he became a member of the university’s first graduating graphic design class.

At Yale he studied 2D design and color theory with Josef Albers, typography and printing with Alvin Eisenman, attended lectures on design by Alvin Lustig, and took a painting course from Willem de Kooning. The progressive teachings of these 20th century leaders in art and design that Bopp brought to BJU still resonate in the program today.

student drawing

Program

A curriculum designed for your development as an artist. Beginning in foundational courses on art and art theory, you'll explore aesthetic theories, learn the principles and elements of composition, study 2D design and color theory, and survey a wide range of available artistic media. As you continue through the program, you’ll develop concepts that are unique to your artistic vision as you realize your personal artistic voice. You’ll find that you gravitate toward certain media and concepts, and you’ll use these preferences to build a body of work that will be the starting point for your professional practice as an artist.

Authentic studio experience. Each course has two parts: classroom instruction and studio work. Whether you’re taking Drawing & Structural Representation or Printmaking or Advanced Painting, you’ll create work in every course. And regardless of which medium you find your best expression in, you’ll use the concepts you’ve learned in the classroom to sharpen your skills and techniques in the studio. At the end of the program you’ll exhibit your work and learn how to put on future exhibitions as you grow as an artist.

The start of a journey. The making of art is a life-long pursuit. Your choice to study studio art reflects your love of creating, your appreciation of aesthetics, and your recognition of the unique power that the visual has in communicating eloquently and influencing culture.

At BJU you’ll learn artistic expression from a biblical worldview and explore your own talents and interests in art as you understand yourself better. You’ll learn how to apply Scripture and your biblical worldview to all of life, even to situations where you’ll evaluate and interact with the contemporary visual arts culture.

By the end of your program of study, you’ll be equipped to take on a wide variety of artistic pursuits and to continue learning throughout your lifetime, glorifying the Creator with the talents and growth He has blessed you with.

BJU Core

As an artist, you’ll need skills to connect with people from a variety of backgrounds and to communicate effectively with them. That’s one of the reasons you’ll take the BJU Core—another is to give you a broad base of knowledge to draw from for your inspiration. Courses like history, math and philosophy will provide you with a rich stream of ideas and equip you to be a better thinker and problem solver. You’ll take courses in English and communication that will help you build rapport with patrons and fellow artists.

In addition, your Bible courses will connect your relationship with God to all of life—such as being a good artist and having good ethics and integrity for God’s glory. You’ll learn how what you believe affects everything you do, including creating art, and how you can use your creativity to reflect the One who made you.

Electives

The studio art program has 22 credits of art electives, so you have some flexibility with your program. You can focus on a couple of areas or experiment with various kinds of art and take a variety of courses, from watercolor to illustration to printmaking. Your academic advisor will work with you to help you choose the courses that are best for you.

Pottery

Success

Your Future

Jobs

The studio art program at BJU opens the door to many career possibilities including:

  • Illustrator
  • Painter
  • Photographer
  • Sculptor
  • Studio artist
  • Designer
  • Creative director

Graduate Schools

Our studio art graduates have been accepted into graduate schools such as:

  • Clemson University
  • Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
  • Savannah College of Art and Design
  • Academy of Art University in San Francisco
  • East Tennessee State University
  • Edinboro University

Graduate Experience

Our graduates have worked in a variety of positions, including:

  • Studio artist
  • Screen printer
  • Ceramic artist
  • Gallerist
  • Store merchandising
  • Art instructor
  • Stage artist
  • Illustrator

Exhibition hall

Career Support

BJU offers students a variety of ways to network with employers and organizations. A multitude of job opportunities are posted each year on Career Central, our online job board. In addition, more than 60 businesses and 150 Christian schools/mission boards/Christian organizations come on campus to recruit students through on-campus interviews and job/ministry fairs.

Career Services also helps students by holding seminars on resume preparation and interview techniques.

View Gainful Employment data for this program.

Learning Experience

A student screen printing

Exhibits

Your degree in studio art culminates in creating a cohesive body of work and exhibiting it in a group art exhibition during your senior year—it’s a great opportunity to display and sell your work. There are many art exhibits each school year, so you can enjoy work from your peers, faculty and guest artists.

Facilities

The Sargent Art Building provides you with great workspaces and two exhibition corridors for art exhibits. Studios for drawing, sculpting, fiber arts, ceramics, and more—complete with essential tools, such as artist easels and raku kilns—are available for class and after hours for you to use.

In addition, you’ll have access to the computer lab, which comes equipped with more than a dozen iMacs that provide access to the Adobe suite. What’s more, the exhibition corridors are regularly updated with artwork of current students, graduates and faculty so you can learn from, enjoy and be inspired by other artists’ work.

Art & Design Trips

Each year juniors and seniors in the art program have the opportunity to travel to New York City; Washington, D.C.; or Chicago on an educational tour. The destination depends on the year: trips to New York City are every other year, and trips to Washington, D.C.; and Chicago alternate the in-between years.

On these trips you’ll visit famous museums and exhibits, including the Museum of Biblical Art; the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum; The Guggenheim; The Museum of Modern Art; The Met; the Smithsonian; the Hirshhorn Museum; the Art Institute of Chicago; other special exhibits; and the studios of individual designers and artists in these centers of design.

Faculty

Photo of Kevin Isgett
Kevin Isgett

Division of Art and Design

View Faculty

BJU’s studio art faculty are all working artists who create and exhibit work on their own. They recognize the value of personal instruction, so they keep class sizes smaller and make an effort to get to know you individually so they can tailor your art education to your unique style and favorite subjects.

Courses & Objectives

Sample Course Outline

First Year +

Second Year +

Third Year +

Fourth Year +

  • Directed Studies II
  • Bible Elective (300/400-level) (2 credits)
  • Art Elective (1 credits)
  • Art Elective (2 credits)
  • Art Elective (2 credits)

Program Objectives

Each student will:

  • Create original and successful works of art in a variety of media and techniques.
  • Analyze and synthesize the major achievements of the greater art community from the past to the present.
  • Evaluate quality and effectiveness in their own work and the work of others.
  • Organize and execute an exhibition of their own work and the work of others.
  • Employ the language of visual art to communicate on a professional level.

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