Whether students want to teach, operate an art studio, work in a museum or become an architect, the art major at Central College opens doors to unlimited opportunities. Central’s rigorous, creative and personalized program gives art majors a strong foundation in art and art history as careers in making art are pursued.
Whatever career path art majors choose, Central’s courses are designed to equip students with the practical knowledge to pursue a career that utilizes extensive skills developed at Central and fuel passion that shapes the way others view truth and beauty. The college’s outstanding faculty members are all practicing artists with varied expertise in glassblowing, papermaking, drawing, ceramics and metalsmithing, as well as the entire spectrum of the visual arts.
Central’s art program is close-knit and supportive because professors truly get to know students when they work one-on-one. Students may collaborate with an advisor to customize their major to fit artistic and career goals. The art major is structured to complement a second major, minor or a concentration of coursework in a different program. Students’ artistic skills and visual understanding will greatly increase career options in fields like education, business and communication.
Classes are small and personalized. Art students create in spacious studios within the Lubbers Center for the Visual Arts, using tools both old and new — from traditional paintbrushes and a printing press to state-of-the-art glassblowing equipment and laser engravers.
And get this: Central is the only four-year college in Iowa with glassblowing as a regular course offering! Students’ creative energies are simultaneously challenged and supported, and lead to the development of strong and diverse portfolios.
Central’s philosophy of art is inclusive and opens minds. Faculty engages students in questions about the contemporary world and practice. Art history coursework enables the ability to understand art critically and teaches about the connective strands of art across cultures and throughout history.
Internationally and nationally known artists and exhibitions visit campus annually through the Allison B. Allen Visiting Artist program. Students can interact with the college’s visiting artists and have opportunities to complete internships related to their interests.
Recent visiting artists include:
The Lubbers Center is home to the Mills Gallery, which serves as a resource for the art department, the campus and the general community. The gallery offers a dynamic schedule of exhibitions featuring art from around the world and hosts visiting artists’ lectures by regionally, nationally and internationally known artists.
Students also have the opportunity to display exhibitions in this space during senior year for the annual Senior Art Exhibit, which includes a reception for students to share their work with the community.
Central students can study off-campus — both internationally or domestically in the United States. These opportunities give students the chance to prepare to be global citizens, equipped to compete in the global job market. Students can check out experiences led by Central faculty or attend select academic programs across the world that provide opportunities for study, service, internships and other types of experiential learning. Options include experiences in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Central America, Ghana, England, the Scottish Highlands and more.
Central art students design mural to prevent birds colliding into the Roe Center.
Central’s art curriculum emphasizes studio work supplemented by courses in art history, criticism and theory — something you won’t find at other schools. Central’s program opens doors to careers in the arts through pathways in art education, art therapy, arts management, architecture and art history. The college’s art curriculum prepares students for teaching certifications, graduate programs, daily business operations of art institutions and so much more.
Whatever path students choose, they learn how to think creatively; gather, analyze and interpret information; view issues from multiple perspectives; successfully express and communicate their work; solve problems; collaborate with others; and imagine new and creative solutions.
Central’s small studio classes enable instructors to give personal attention to each individual and carefully critique works in progress. Minors in studio art and art history are also available to all students.
Learn more about this discipline in the course catalog.