May 18, 2024  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]


Cynthia Clabough, Chair
32C Lanigan Hall
Directory of Professors  

The study of art encompasses both the active creation of visual objects, as well as the investigation of their historical and social context. Students in the Art Department select from a number of programs: fine arts, illustration, graphic design, or art history. They also select from two degree types, a Bachelor of Arts (BA) level or a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) level. Students can also elect to minor in art history, graphic design, museum studies, illustration, photography, and studio art. All programs require a series of foundation or core courses.

Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree in Studio Art, Art History, Graphic Design or Illustration

Many students in the BA program are interested in multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary study and choose to major or minor in a second subject such as arts management, psychology, cognitive science, broadcasting, public relations, communications, advertising and marketing, technology education and information science, to name a few. For students with a variety of interests and skills, the BA offers a better opportunity for study outside of the major. Students earning second degrees or minors increase their range of opportunities for life after graduation, whether that is professional in a career, or graduate study.

Offerings in art history are particularly extensive for a college the size of Oswego. Students take a two-semester survey of art and may select upper division courses in Twentieth-Century, Chinese, Japanese, Islamic, Native American, or Museum Studies. Students in museum studies and art history look for careers in institutions and archives.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Degree in Studio Art or Graphic Design

With respect to the BFA Studio Art program, students can select from two tracks, one in Fine Arts and one in Illustration. Students in the Fine Arts track must complete a concentration in a specific area. Choices include Ceramics, Drawing, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture, Art Education and Interdisciplinary. Students taking the Art Education track typically go on for the Master of Art Teaching (M.A.T.) in Art. Students in the Illustration track select from courses in traditional media, digital media, and 3-D modeling as well as elective study in a variety courses that relate to their interest.

BFA studies also include specific attention to the latest developments in art theory, criticism and art history. Students are introduced to a variety of media through intensive, hands-on classroom experience in well-equipped studio facilities. Through discussions and critiques, students advance from foundation studies to specialize in a medium of their choice. Students use the numerous work-study, assistantship and study abroad programs to gain valuable practical experience. Graduates of the program have been accepted into well-known MFA programs. Students often go on to become K-12 teachers, college professors, gallery workers, illustrators, animators, motion graphic artist, and self-employed artists to name a few.

Students in the BFA Graphic Design program concentrate on the study and practice of contemporary graphic design theory, techniques and application. The Graphic Design program prepares graduates for positions in the visual communications industry. Students use state-of-the-art computer workstations and peripheral devices in a hands-on studio environment to create a wide range of graphic design projects. The program includes study of print, web, interaction design, and multimedia design as well as photography and illustration. Electives ensure ample opportunity for study in a wide range of media as well as focus in a specific discipline. Many students are able to participate in a work-study program during their senior year, where they learn within an actual industry environment. Graduates of the program have found employment in a number of graphic communication fields in large and small companies, and institutions throughout the country.

The BFA degree programs are competitive and interested students must submit a portfolio to be accepted. Prospective students should direct questions to the Art Department office. Successful applicants need to demonstrate that they possess an aptitude for hard work as evidenced by a well crafted portfolio, exemplary academic performance (preferably 3.0 GPA or higher), and writing skills as demonstrated by writing samples and transcripts. Students seeking admission to a BFA degree are accepted separately through an application process directed by the department. Students can pick up a BFA application at the Art Department Offices in Tyler or Lanigan Hall on campus, or online at Prospective students should direct questions to the Art Department office.


The Art Department is located in Tyler Hall and Lanigan Hall. Inside Tyler Hall are the studios for foundation design, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, painting, printmaking, and photography. The building houses three digital imaging labs, woodshop, and two art galleries where a variety of exhibitions are held throughout the academic year, as well as collections of slides, digital images and instructional movies. The spacious Graphic Arts facility situated in Lanigan Hall, on the first floor, includes two lecture/critique rooms and two large digital media labs, a room for preparing portfolios and framing, a student lounge, two special project studios, and a conference area.

The Art Department cosponsors the following programs.







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