With 24-hour access to studio space, small classes with robust supplies, rewarding internship and hands-on learning opportunities, and our unique connection to the Wells Book Arts Center and other campus resources, the Visual Arts program offers valuable and enriching opportunities for anyone with a passion for creating art. Our liberal arts curriculum, culminating in a Bachelor of Arts degree, provides a broad base of ideas you can draw from, positioning you for success in diverse career paths. As a visual arts major at Wells, you’ll also enjoy the connected, collaborative learning environment of a small college while having access to a vast network of resources and opportunities in the surrounding New York art community and beyond. Visual arts majors can focus studies in Art History, Studio Art, and Book Arts.
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.
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.
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.
Our Visual Arts program emphasizes flexibility and self-discovery, supported by a level of individual attention and one-on-one mentorship you won’t find at many universities. We’re a small college with small classes, but you won’t have to wait for studio time or equipment. Wells is also centrally located to the major art capitals of the eastern United States, with a strong regional culture of art production in surrounding Aurora, New York.
As a visual arts major, you’ll have a variety of opportunities to interact with working artists and develop your craft through internships and many forms of experiential learning. You’ll also get to design your own senior thesis experience, better preparing you for your experiences beyond undergraduate study.
Learn how to curate an exhibit for the public and hold an opening reception as a student assistant with the String Room Gallery. Design a complete series of artworks and plan your own gallery opening as your senior thesis. And interact closely with working artists through internship programs and our partnerships with galleries, museums, and archives in the local New York region and beyond. As a visual arts major at Wells, you’ll have abundant opportunities for hands-on learning to prepare you for real-world endeavors.
These are just a few of the internships in the field of visual arts held by Wells students in recent years:
Paint from a rooftop in Florence as you study Renaissance art at its roots. Or pursue your artistic vision in places like England or Germany. Visual Arts majors can pursue programs around the world. Learn more about study abroad programs at Wells.
Visual arts majors can enhance their work in the studio and classroom by participating in student life—especially cultural activities. Here are a few opportunities that might catch your interest:
In addition to the Art History, Book Arts, and Studio Arts minors (and concentrations of the Visual Arts bachelor’s degree program) you might also be interested to explore the following minors available at Wells:
A bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts from Wells College will prepare you for a variety of careers and professional opportunities. Graduates of our program work in museums, art galleries, and art studios, as well as fields such as art therapy. Others have gone on to prestigious graduate school programs to pursue further study in the arts. A visual arts major can also lead to jobs with historical societies, marketing and advertising agencies, department stores, libraries, and a variety of other settings.
Nancy Demerdash-Fatemi, Visiting Assistant Professor of Art History, participated in the workshop "Border Regimes: Confrontations, Configurations, and Transpositions" in Switzerland, sponsored by the Walter Benjamin Kolleg of the Universität Bern, where she presented her recent scholarship on contemporary art practices that address global migration and refugee crises.
Richard Kegler, Director of the Book Arts Center, was included in the exhibitions "New Impressions" at the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum and "Dada Lives! 100 Artists Celebrating 100 Years of Dada" in Cincinnati, OH. He presented a printing workshop at the 6th International Conference on Typography and Visual Communication in Greece using the "P22 Blox" modular printing block system developed at Wells.
Assistant Professor of Art Katie Waugh contributed to a grant proposal that resulted in $7,500 in grant funding to digitize the Emily Howland Papers, a special collection of the Wells Archives, and incorporate them into New York Heritage and the Digital Public Library of America.
Take the first step toward earning your bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts at Wells College. Apply now.
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