Central students in an art gallery.

The Artist’s Way

Central College opens doors to unlimited careers in the arts.

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.

Art exhibits shown by faculty
Nearly 100% of art majors graduate in four years

The Central Difference

Crafting Careers

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.

Super Selfie

Scottie Yang ’18 loves caped crusaders who make it their mission to save the world.

Production Focus

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 institution 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.

Beyond the Studio

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.

Art on Campus

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:

  • Bharat Ajari, Visual Artist/Photographer, St. Louis, Missouri
  • Ryan Bredlau ’05, Ceramicist and Sculptor, St. Charles, Missouri
  • Molly Wood, Photographer, Des Moines, Iowa
  • Russ Nordman, Media Artist, Omaha, Nebraska

Mills Gallery

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.

Off-Campus Experiences

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.

Beyond Central

Putting the “Hire” in Higher Education

  • Elizabeth Budiselich ’20, Long-Term Substitute Art Teacher, Centerville, Iowa
  • Kayla Foster ’18, Preparator, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Illinois
  • Josie Youel Hulme ’18, K-8 Art Teacher, Dike, Iowa
  • Jenny Rankin Morrett ’18, 9-12 Art Teacher, Prairie City, Iowa
  • Ashton Mayer Johnson ’15, Director of Hospitality, Cedar Ridge Winery & Distillery, Swisher, Iowa
  • Alison Ranniger ’15, Curator, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
  • Amanda Deerr ’14, K-8 Art Teacher, Prairie City, Iowa
  • Samantha Scheckel ’13, Art Therapist, Youth and Family Services, Des Moines, Iowa
  • Daniel Stumme ’13, Senior Software Engineer, Mastery Logistics Systems, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Taylor Schuelke ’12, Video Producer/Editor, National Geographic, Washington, D.C.
  • Lindsey Croghan ’10, User Experiencer III, Master in Industrial Design, John Deere, Moline, Illinois
  • Adam Bartelt ’08, Marketing Director, Orchestrate Hospitality, Des Moines, Iowa
  • Evan Sevits ’08, Tech University Program Specialist, Google, Mountain View, California
  • Brian Franson ’07, Product and Furniture Designer, Kansas City, Missouri
  • Jacob Ziemann ’07, Sculptor, Artist-in-Residence, Anderson Ranch, Colorado

Senior Art Showcase to Feature Art and Art Research

Central College art majors will showcase their end of semester art projects April 17 to May 10.

Graduate Placement

  • Stanford University, Stanford, California
  • The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
  • North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Kendall College of Art and Design, Grand Rapids, Michigan


  • Interior Designer, Oak Design & Construction, Oak Park, Illinois
  • Photographer’s Assistant, Designer Images, Pella, Iowa
  • Graphic Designer, Fusion Fitness, Morison, Illinois
  • Photographer/Production Assistant, Ventana Productions, Washington, D.C.

Other Opportunities

  • Art Club
Central College student

Courses & Faculty

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.

Meet the Faculty

Sample Coursework

First Year

  • 2D Problem Solving
  • 3D Problem Solving
  • Core Courses

Sophomore Year

  • 2 Art History Courses
  • Elective Studio Art Courses
  • Core Courses

Junior Year

  • History of Modern Art
  • Elective Studio Art Courses
  • Core Courses

Senior Year

  • Senior Seminar in Art
  • Art Theory & Criticism
  • Core Courses


Learn More

Want to find out more about Art at Central? Contact us to learn more about this discipline and our other strong academic programs.

Visit campus to observe classes and experience The Central Difference firsthand.


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