The Painting program is rooted in observation and technique, while stimulating abstract, conceptual or material-driven ideas about painting and contemporary art practices. The foundational painting classes are based in observation, while also giving students experience with oil and acrylic paints. Technical proficiency serves as a gateway to more abstract, conceptual or material-driven ideas about painting.

View Student Artwork

For students who want to major in painting, the program curriculum supports a variety of specific approaches to painting — including collage, figural, landscape and abstraction — while simultaneously promoting an interdisciplinary or hybrid approach and emphasizing engagement with contemporary practices. Advanced painting students work in consultation with faculty advisors to pursue individual directions and interests.

The Bachelor of Arts program in Studio Art offers students a more generalized course of study and the opportunity to pursue a minor. The Bachelor of Fine Arts program in Studio Art with a concentration in Painting is a pre-professional degree intended to prepare students for graduate study. Undergraduate admission does not require a portfolio submission, but all undergraduate Studio Art majors must complete Common Review in their last semester of their second year to continue in their concentration.

BFA painting studio 2018

Image: BFA painting studio at the Center for the Visual Arts.

Gianna Commito and Shawn Powell are the two full-time painting faculty members.

Degree information and requirements:



The School of Art offers the Master of Arts degree in Studio Art and the Master of Fine Arts degree in Painting.  Working in close consultation with a major advisor, graduate students pursue a sequence of course work that encourages the development of an independent, critical approach to artistry in the discipline.  Studio space on campus is available on a limited basis for full-time resident students.