Art Major - Undergraduate Degree Program | Briar Cliff University

Art Program

Degree Type: Bachelor of Arts
Program(s) Offered: Major, Minor

Art is more than a four-year program of study at Briar Cliff. It’s the beginning of a lifetime of experiences, growth, ideas and expression.

Discover your passion.

Begin your artistic development with the foundations of design, art history and theory. Then, move on to a progressive studio experience, tailored to fit your interest as an artist — painting, sculpture, drawing, ceramics or any other traditional or non-traditional technique or form.

This curriculum has launched our graduates into successful careers as practicing artists, art teachers, graphic designers, architects, art therapists, art historians and professional photographers.

Display your work.

The Clausen Art Gallery on campus is a live, working exhibit, where you’ll have the chance to display your own artwork in a gallery setting. The gallery has featured student and professional artists from across Siouxland — and beyond!

See the world.

Each year, you’ll have the chance to visit larger museums and galleries in the U.S. and abroad. Inspiration can come from anywhere, so take advantage of travel opportunities!

Interested in teaching?

Pick up an art teaching endorsement, and carry your passion for art to the classroom.

Introduce Yourself →   Schedule a Visit →

Art Program Courses

ART 110 - Drawing I

This course focuses on learning to see form through the process of drawing still-life and the human figure. It is open to all students, both to those who have some drawing experience and those without any prior experience. The course assists the student towards improvement of their visual observation skills and provides individualized attention in developing the student's rendering of three dimensional objects in two dimensions. A variety of media is utilized. Read more »

ART 111 - Design

Design is an introductory course in the elements of art and the principles of color and composition. Projects will include 2 and 3-dimensional organization. Studio activity will include a variety of media in the production of assignments. The design projects will progress from basic exercises to complete compositions. This course prepares the foundation for students interested in drawing, painting, sculpture, architecture, applied and graphic design. Read more »

ART 115 - Art History: Prehistory to Gothic

A historical survey of Western Art from Prehistory through Gothic. Includes the Ancient World: Prehistory, Egyptian, Ancient Near East, Aegean, Greek, Etruscan and Roman; and The Middle Ages: Early Christian, Byzantine, Early Medieval, Romanesque and Gothic. Read more »

ART 116 - Art History: Renaissance to Modern

A historical survey of Western Art from Renaissance through Modern. Includes The Renaissance through Rococo: Early and High Renaissance, Mannerism, Late Gothic, Baroque and Rococo; and The Modern World: Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Realism, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism and Twentieth Century. Read more »

ART 117 - Art History: Modern

A historical survey of Modern Art, a time of radical change and innovation. Includes: Early Modernism, Cubism, Expressionism, Futurism, Dadaism, De Stijl, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Minimalism, Post-Painterly Abstraction, Conceptualism, Lyrical Abstraction, Hyper Realism, Neo-Expressionism, Post-Modernism, and Neo-Modernism. Read more »

ART 120 - Drawing II

Drawing II is an advanced course in drawing with emphases on furthering drawing skills and producing creative compositions in various media resulting in finished works. This course relies on critical skill development from Drawing I. Read more »

ART 217 - Reading Seminar

A seminar course with selected readings in contemporary, avant-garde art and theories, emphasizing major artists and critics. This course prepares the student for critical discussion and research in the studio and the independent reading program. As a forum of concepts and ideas, the student is challenged to consider the purpose and meaning of twentieth century art as they begin to deal with their own art forms and develop their personal philosophy of art. Read more »

ART 225 - Media and Techniques

This course introduces the student to the basic media and methods used in producing art works. It is the philosophy of the department that ideas and needs control the use and selection of media. Traditional media and methods will be introduced as a foundation along with modified and specialized media and techniques for a diverse overview. This course should be taken in conjunction with Art 250. Read more »

ART 235 - Encounter with Art I

In this course students will travel to regional galleries and museums. The focus is on direct encounter with the form, medium, technique and installation of original works of art. This experience will enhance the student's artistic direction, appreciation and theory of art. Read more »

ART 250 - Studio I

Studio I is the first studio course designed to pursue, develop and investigate possibilities that are related to the student's core sensibility and aesthetic and conceptual direction. The creative process in Studio I takes the student through numerous and varied studies and culminates in the first finished work. Selection within a variety of mediums such as drawing, painting, sculpture and mixed media, as investigated in Art 225, gives the student the opportunity to experience multiple media while following their artistic interest. Read more »

ART 260 - Studio II

Studio II is a continuation of ART 250 with an emphasis on producing finished works. This process of completing works promotes a creative evolution of ideas and forms. Throughout the course the student may change and modify media as the works develop. Studio production and criticism foster the artistic development of the student. Discussion and research of artists, art works, media, techniques, aesthetics and theory will be included in the studio experience. Read more »

ART 345 - Encounter With Art II

Advanced encounter with works of art in galleries, museums and online, with the purpose of studying art works in relationship to the student's artwork. Read more »

ART 350 - Studio III

Studio III is a continuation of ART 260 with a continuing emphasis on producing finished works. Discussion and research of artists, art works, media, techniques, aesthetics and theory will be included in this studio experience. Read more »

ART 360 - Studio IV

Studio IV continues the emphasis on finished works. At this stage of development, the student accepts more responsibility for the direction of their work, the technical application of media, and the researching of related artists and art forms. Media and methods are open to the student as their work progresses. Discussion and research of artists, art works, media, techniques, aesthetics and theory will be included in the studio experience. Studio discussion and criticism remains a vital part of the process in the production of the art work. Read more »

ART 425 - Senior Seminar

Students will select and collectively explore topics on contemporary issues in art. Discussions will emphasize the complex nature of the business of art. Read more »

ART 450 - Studio V

Studio V is a level of studio production which recognizes the capability of the student to be self-directed, and encourages the student to that end. The student may choose a critique of the work after it is completed or have an interactive dialogue during the development of the work. Discussion and research of artists, art works, media, techniques, aesthetics and theory will be included in the studio experience. This level focuses on advanced work, integration of theory and personal form, and an ability to function independently. Read more »

ART 460 - Studio VI, Thesis

This course is a senior capstone course in which a student produces a defining work and writes a position paper on that work. Student work will be independently produced with formal and conceptual significance and technical control. The student will receive post-production criticism. The student will install a cohesive exhibition of their works, including the Thesis work, and present a paper and images of their work to the department. The student will develop an electronic presentation of the evolution of western art using images from prehistory - modernism, and include a selection of works supporting the student's core sensibility. Read more »

Additional Program Requirements

 Every art major will showcase a special exhibition of their work in the second semester of their senior year. Majors must present to the department a written paper on their thesis work and a digital collection of works from their senior exhibit.

 For additional requirements and curriculum information, download the latest University academic catalog.

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Art & Education