Visual Arts

The visual arts as a major area of study offers students the opportunity to develop an understanding of artistic creativity through making art in a studio setting;a responsive eye and a sense of visual literacy; an understanding of the relationship between art and society; and an understanding of modern art concepts and contemporary trends as well as the major artistic epochs of the past.

Visual Arts senior thesis display
Book Arts display
String Room Gallery student art exhibit
painting the world
Art exhibit
Art History Concentration

Learn about different cultures and epochs of the past while gaining a deeper understanding of today's world through the study of art history. In addition to the required art history courses in the major, you should take two courses from history and/or religion. If you plan to pursue graduate study you should also gain a reading knowledge of French and German. Art History is available as a concentration within the Visual Arts major or as a minor.

Studio Art Concentration

Produce your own work and receive individualized instruction in painting, drawing, two and three-dimensional design, sculpture, photography, ceramics, and other areas of visual expression in the Studio Art concentration. As a graduating senior, you’ll exhibit your art in the String Room Gallery as the capstone to your academic work. Studio Art is available as a concentration within the Visual Arts major or as a minor.

Book Arts Concentration

Learn first-hand the traditions and history of the book through courses in printing, bookbinding, calligraphy, and other topics. In the Book Arts concentration, you’ll work with skilled instructors on campus and through internships at prestigious institutions, preparing you for graduate programs in book arts and conservation. The senior capstone course culminates in a show of your work and a gala reception. Book Arts is available as a concentration within the Visual Arts major or as a minor. Learn more about the Book Arts Center at Wells

Students will benefit from the experience of study in England, Germany, or Italy and should consult the study abroad programs. The visual arts major recommends that students majoring in visual arts (studio art or art history) go abroad before their senior year. The senior thesis must be accomplished on campus during both fall and spring semesters of the senior year.

The total number of courses required for the major is 15-18 (40-54 semester hours). At least six courses taken for the major must be at the 300-level or above.

Internships and Study Abroad

Delve further into your creative goals or examine practical applications for your artistic knowledge and appreciation through an internship. Wells alumnae/i who are established leaders in their fields often provide internships opportunities for current students. The following is a sample of internships in the visual arts area held by Wells students in recent years:

  • Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City, NY
  • Everson Museum, Syracuse, NY
  • Testfabrics, Inc., West Pittstown. PA
  • Bill Stone Photography, New York City, NY
  • National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
  • National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.

Paint from a rooftop in Florence as you study Renaissance art at its roots. Wells makes it possible. Visual Arts majors can pursue programs around the world. Check out our off-campus study programs

Co-Curricular Activities

Visual Arts majors can enhance their work in the studio and classroom by participating in student life—especially cultural activities.

Check out:

  • Student Art Shows
  • Morgan Colloquium (art history and history lectures and discussions)
  • String Room Gallery Shows
  • The Onyx (student newspaper)
  • The Cardinal (yearbook)
  • The Chronicle (literary magazine)

"I just got a glimpse of the school and I loved it. All you see coming up is the lake, and you just think—oh my goodness—I did not know a place like this existed!"

Abena Poku ’16
Visual Arts: Art History Major, Community Court Chair
practical work images
The Wells College String Room Gallery is excited to announce the opening of “Practical Work,” a group exhibition featuring historical and contemporary examples of artwork made to advocate for feminist...
News: Art

Wells College Press invites submissions to its annual Poetry Chapbook Contest. The deadline for the competition is November 30, 2016...


Since the invention of paper by the Chinese two thousand years ago, papermaking has traversed the globe, with each culture...


During Wells' 2016 Commencement ceremonies, the College granted special awards and honors to exceptional members of the Wells...

Program Faculty
Theodore Lossowski
Professor of Art
Katie Waugh
Assistant Professor of Studio Art
Making Art in Practice

If you have a passion for creating intriguing art and a dream of sharing it with others, you'll love studying Visual Arts at Wells. As a student assistant with the String Room Gallery, you'll learn the practical methods of curating an exhibit for the public, complete with an opening reception. It's the perfect way to interact with working artists, see the way they design their pieces, and learn how they decide "what goes where" in a professional gallery. Then, the senior thesis allows you to experience it yourself, designing a complete series of artworks and planning your own gallery opening.

The Book Arts Center at Wells College is amazing whether you are a Visual Arts major with a specialty in book arts or a student with curiosity and an interest in working with your hands—whether printing, bookbinding, papermaking, or learning calligraphy. The Book Arts Center invites a variety of book artists and visual artists to hold paper making workshops or even to make your own Valentine's Day or holiday cards in the letterpress printing room. A fun fact: all Wells diplomas are personally printed in Wells' own Book Arts Center.


Wells College promises a relevant liberal arts and sciences education. Intellectually challenging. Reinterpreted for today. Classroom teaching combined with hands-on learning. Wells graduates enter the world prepared for successful futures.

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