Develop sophistication in media handling while integrating knowledge, creativity and Christian faith into the studio.
The primary focus of the art major at Houghton is to engage in creative problem solving. In addition to providing training in craft, a degree in art fosters independent thinking and creative problem solving as well as analytical, communication and interpersonal skills—all of which are transferable to virtually any career. The art major complements the Christian liberal arts experience to prepare students for teaching, professional art production and graduate studies.
Studio majors acquire comprehensive experience in traditional and contemporary use of materials and technique supported by fully equipped studio facilities. Areas of study include both 2D and 3D media, including drawing, painting, photography, ceramics, sculpture, furniture design, printmaking, graphic design and mixed media.
Why Major in?
- Experience visiting artists, on-campus gallery exhibits and off-campus trips that give you access to cultural resources in cities throughout the northeast.
- Travel around the world every other year to see the very best works of art up close and in person.
- Build a comprehensive and coherent body of work in preparation for your capstone senior art exhibition.
- Enjoy individual studio space available to upperclassmen in the spacious, light-filled Stevens Art Studios.
- Learn from faculty members who all hold the terminal degree (MFA) in studio art and are actively involved in production and exhibition.
- Gain exposure to all available art concentrations before deciding on your specific area of study.
- Graphic Design
- Applied Design
- Book arts
Experiential Learning Opportunities
- Art and Business in New York City (Mayterm)
- European Art Tours (Mayterm)
- Houghton in Tanzania
- London Honors
- East Meets West Honors
- Gallery assistant (Ortlip Art Gallery)
Art students are encouraged to make every effort to view the very best works of art, and the art department maintains an active travel program to support those activities. Travel to the cultural capitals of Europe every other year during Mayterm for your art history credit, or take the annual weekend trip to a major collection in the northeast or mid-Atlantic area. In alternate years, the department offers courses in African Art History, photography and selected studio courses during the summer at the Iringa campus in Tanzania.
Senior Capstone Exhibition
Each student is encouraged, in the senior year, to exhibit a body of work in a special show at the college. This gives real-world experience in presentation, promotion, logistics and documentation. The student finishes with a comprehensive and coherent body of work that, while not being fully mature, does show signs of technical proficiency and conceptual complexity.
The spacious, light-filled Stevens Art Studios feature cathedral ceilings in all the studios as well as huge expanses of glass, which provide natural light. The building includes fully equipped ceramics and sculpture areas with separate rooms for glazing, clay mixing and woodworking. The ceramics area features capabilities for firing with electric, gas, salt-fired and raku techniques. Traditional photography facilities are available along with a printmaking studio with lithograph and intaglio presses and papermaking materials. Students working in the drawing and painting studios benefit from the open space and natural light. There are also individual student workspaces available to upperclassmen. The art building includes a custom-designed student critique space and lounge with mid-century modern furniture, fireplace, lighted critique wall and study/meeting table as well as the Stevens Seminar room and Thomas Buechner Memorial Art Library.
Percent of Art majors employed or in graduate school within nine months of graduation
Maximum art scholarship award for Art majors
All hold the MFA degree and are active artists
Houghton taught me to see the world through a fully integrated Christian perspective. I learned to see everything in life—work, family, culture, art, history, politics, the environment—as intertwined elements that must be filtered through a lens of compassion and grace.
Erin Bennett Banks '00
children’s book illustrator and creative director at the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, SC ; MFA in Illustration from Savannah College of Art and Design
Merit scholarships in art are awarded based on portfolios submitted by incoming studentsLearn More
Careers and outcomes of Houghton art majorsLearn More
Mayterm in Europe
View art and architecture in Rome, Florence, London, Paris, Madrid, Munich, Berlin and moreLearn More
Current Houghton student Emily Friesen reflects on how majoring in art at Houghton College has changed how she looks at the world.
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