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The College of Idaho's Department of Art fosters creativity and critical thinking through an understanding of the practice and history of the visual arts. Art students at the College develop visual literacy and problem-solving skills, learn to confidently explore the many avenues of technical and creative expression, and develop an appreciation for craftsmanship. Through their experiences in the classroom and studio, our students are encouraged to see how their own creative endeavors relate to the world in which they live.

Why Study Art at The College of Idaho?

Why study art at The College of Idaho? Well, because it’s fun and it’s good for you. But here are other reasons too.

Our innovative curriculum offers Art and Design majors a set of four core courses that open up various possible paths to earning their degree.  After taking the core, students may decide whether they wish to pursue 2-D courses (e.g., drawing, painting, printmaking), 3-D courses (e.g., sculpture, ceramics, 3-D design), digital courses (e.g., digital imaging, graphic design, digital video), or some combination of these. Courses like Illustration and Visual Narrative and Creative Book-Making for Artists and Writers allow students to draw on both their writing and image-making skills.  While our drawing and printmaking courses are interesting paths to explore in themselves, they also provide skills for those interested in illustration, painting, or 3-D arts. In short, rather than following a rigid track, students can, upon completion of their core courses, build upon their interests and aptitudes as they make their way through the degree. Unlike many other schools, our seniors have a full year to prepare for their senior capstone exhibition, which will be shown in the College’s Rosenthal Art Gallery.

One of our core classes, Ways of Seeing, alerts students to the wide range of contemporary art practices—street art, art produced by specific groups who identify by ethnicity, gender orientation, or ideology—which will help prepare them for the required art history courses, including those that cover historical periods, or gender issues in modern and contemporary art, or exciting artists like Rembrandt, Rodin, and Picasso. These are not only important to the art major, but are also valuable to students who are interested in history, the social sciences, and the humanities.

While our art curriculum offers a wide variety of choices, students are supported by the department’s commitment to thoughtful advising. In these respects it is consistent with the College’s PEAK curriculum.

The department also offers minors in Art and Design and in Art History and Visual Culture. The Art and Design minor is structured to make it easy for students to upgrade to a major if they decide to do this within the first two years of their degree. The Art History and Visual Culture minor pairs well with majors or minors in history and the social sciences.

Career Opportunities for Art Students

Our graduates include museum and gallery professionals, teachers, theatre set-designers, and professional artists, including comic-book illustrators and tattooists. Some have pursued graduate study in art and art history and are teaching at the college and university level. As you can see, the range of options for art graduates is quite wide.