The Art and Art History Department provides experiences in the practice and history of the visual arts, with a vibrant studio program that includes ceramics, film photography, digital imaging, drawing, painting, sculpture, and more. We offer a major in Art with a Studio or Art History focus, and minors in Art and Art History. Our program affords students a broad base in the study of visual art by offering courses in a variety of media, as well as in art history. Students assemble these building blocks to serve their unique goals. The Art History program focuses on teaching students how to analyze and interpret art within historical contexts. Through its points of contact with literature, history, philosophy, religion, economics, music, biology, political science, and physics, for example, art history builds bridges between the visual arts and other disciplines. For those students who are interested in pursuing graduate work or a career in visual art or art history, we are able to provide a high level of individualized attention.
Why study Art at Austin College?
Our alumni apply their educations to a wide array of careers, including museum and gallery work, art education, art therapy, medical illustration, architecture, and even unexpected occupations like prosthetics design and custom guitar fabrication. Students who study art at Austin College do not just become skilled technicians; the skills and abilities learned by studying art and art history – creativity, problem solving, critical thinking, synthesis, and interpreting visual information – are all highly valuable, and serve students in careers both within and outside of the arts.
I majored in Art at Austin College and went on to study Level Design at the Guildhall at SMU. In the game industry, I have worked at companies like Gearbox Software, Atari, THQ, and multiple small independent developers. I currently work as a User Experience expert, focused on solving usability problems on a wide Array… [Read More]
I graduated from Austin College in 2008 with a major in Art and a minor in Biology. Just a few days later, I started graduate school for a Master’s in Biomedical Communications (medical illustration) from UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. My thesis at UTSW involved creating an interactive, online patient education tool for parents… [Read More]
Austin College helped me hone in on where I really wanted to be. I knew I wanted to work in museums, so I designed my own major in Museum Studies (double majoring in English). When I started, the only museum job I really knew about was “Curator.” I quickly learned that to be a curator… [Read More]
Ashley Jones joined Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas last year as an Artist-in-Residence: Art Therapist, working as a member of the Arts in Medicine team to offer art therapy opportunities tailored to patients and the health care system. The goal of her work is to engage patients, at their bedsides or in small group… [Read More]
Kevin Peterson’s award-winning painting titled “Fire,” with almost photographic details, makes you lean in a little to understand what’s going on—lean in and feel the tension of a child, arms wide, on a backdrop of destruction. “My work is about the varied journeys we take through life,” Kevin said. “It’s about growing up and living… [Read More]
I was a Math and Computer Science major at Austin College. I took my first art course simply as an elective and fell in love with it. I ended up with an Art minor and continued my studies in grad school. Austin College is a special place where someone can take an elective that changes the… [Read More]
“So much of contemporary art right now is about exploring intersections and overlaps between other disciplines, and reaching out into different contexts – science, architecture, public policy, ecology, community planning — almost any other field you can think of has a crossover art movement connected to it. You can do anything with a degree in… [Read More]
“Austin College is where I developed a voice as an artist and discovered my passion for photography. The faculty challenged me to think conceptually, broadened my knowledge in the arts, and helped instill confidence in my capabilities. This directly shapes the work I make today. As a working artist, I apply my background in psychology and… [Read More]
“I feel that the very individual connections I had with the Austin College Art & Art History faculty were instrumental to the personal nature of the work I’ve produced over the years. The accessibility to the faculty left no questions unanswered and no skills half-developed. I’m very grateful to them for the trajectory of my career. Even… [Read More]
Why Study Art & Art History?
A note from the Chair, Dr. Jeffrey Fontana, Associate Professor of Art History
Through the making of visual art and its analysis in historical context, the Art and Art History Department develops and illuminates the creative human mind. Works of visual art may be generated deliberately as a means of personal expression, yet may also reflect subconscious desires. Pieces may result from individual motivations to document, comment upon, or even change the natural or social world, and they may also be shaped by external circumstances beyond artists’ control. Art speaks to the time of its creation, but it may also communicate to future generations. Our department assists students to experience and understand with greater self-awareness how humans create from their positions geographically, culturally and historically; how we forge new pathways while finding a place relative to existing traditions.