Art: Major & Minor

Art studies different visual media like painting, drawing, sculpture, and photography. It builds visual vocabulary, understanding of visual relationships present in the art, and personal artistic style.

About the Art Major

In our visually oriented society, an understanding of visual communication—historical and contemporary—is vital to understanding the world and who people are throughout time in areas such as printmaking, oil painting, watercolor, and photography. Works of art provide a key to understanding culture, thought, and human experience, and opportunities for career success for graduates with an art degree are continuously growing.

The art program at Southern Virginia University develops students’ proficiency in their chosen medium. Students in the program engage in challenging artistic experiences in small classroom settings that provide one-on-one mentoring from professors and cultivate literate, articulate artists with both breadth and depth of artistic experience. The culmination of the undergraduate experience is a group exhibition in which each student presents a focused body of work in a particular medium, with opportunities to present work in local shows and galleries.

Learning Outcomes

  • Proficiency in chosen artistic medium
  • Ability to visually communicate ideas in chosen artistic medium
  • Familiarity with ethical standards and socially responsible behaviors
  • Knowledge of contemporary art and art history

Getting Started in the Art Major

  1. Enroll

    Begin by taking Drawing I (ART 120) in your first year

  2. Contact Your Advisor

    Get in touch with Professor Jacob Ricks to discuss your interests and goals

  3. Declare

    Turn in a completed Declare Major form to the Registrar’s Office


  • Architect
  • Artist
  • Illustrator
  • Photographer
  • Museum Curator
  • Fashion Designer
  • Interior Designer
  • Brand Strategist
  • Art Therapist

Alumni Success

Ryan Dubinsky (’22)

Artwork Featured in London Exhibit

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Sam Armstrong

Gustavo Ramos (’17)

Portraiture Artist, work featured in European Museum of Modern Art, the Rijksmuseum, and Sotheby’s.

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Faculty Contacts:

“Art is literally everywhere you look, and contrary to the starving artist idea, there are so many jobs for artists in the world. At Southern Virginia we help you develop your artistic style and learn to market your skills and work so you can thrive as an artist.”

– Professor Brandon Gonzales