The Department of Art at the University of Maine offers dynamic, interdisciplinary programs in a challenging and supportive environment for more than 200 majors, 125 minors and numerous non-majors. These programs include the B.A. in History of Art, Art Education, Studio Art, as well as the B.F.A. in Studio Art. The Department balances a need for a strong foundation in the liberal arts and sciences with intensive study of the visual arts. Whether conducting research, analyzing, critiquing, or producing work, Department of Art students prepare to become informed and creative contributors to the media-rich 21st century. In fall 2006, the Department moved into the newly renovated Lord Hall. This 1904 brick building is the new home for expanded facilities for art education, history of art and a gallery. It also serves as the home for design and digital art studios. The Department often hosts visiting artists and speakers, and is home to the Lord Hall Gallery, a venue for exhibitions by students, faculty, and national and international artists. The Department of Art also works closely with the University of Maine Museum of Art in downtown Bangor. Such collaborations ensure that the Department’s programming is vital and reflective of contemporary concerns in art, art history and criticism, and the teaching of art.
Our degree programs prepare students for graduate study (M.F.A., M.A., and/or Ph.D.) and for a variety of employment opportunities in the creative economy. For instance, a UMaine art degree prepares students for careers locally and globally in education, studio art, filmmaking and design, museums and art galleries, art libraries and archives, public and private arts administration, art conservation, historic preservation and public heritage, communications, and arts criticism. The Department’s rigorous academic training also has prepared several students for admission to law school.
The Department of Art offers a number of scholarships to qualified first-time UMaine undergraduate students. Scholarships are awarded on merit and evidence of accomplishment in studio art, art education or art history. In addition, Department of Art students have ample opportunity to compete for awards, internships and work-study employment. Among the many awards granted annually by the Department are the Vincent Hartgen Award, which grants funds for research travel; the University of Maine Museum of Art Internship, which allows students to intern as part of their coursework or capstone project; and the David Shoemaker Award, which grants research funds. The UMaine Art and Design Collective, run by committed Department majors, has an annual agenda that reflects the interests of its members. In the past, members have planned on- and off-campus exhibitions; educational programs, including visiting artist workshops; trips to various Maine museums and galleries; and, on occasion, more ambitious journeys to Boston, New York City, Quebec and Montreal.
The Department’s faculty members are highly educated working artists, art historians and art educators with national and international reputations in their fields. They publish books, essays and reviews; exhibit their work in leading galleries and museums; serve as editors of prominent academic journals; chair and participate in major conferences and symposia; curate museum and gallery exhibitions; and have received prestigious grants, fellowships and residencies. In addition to their professional accomplishments, faculty members are dedicated teachers and are active in their communities, volunteering their expertise to local cinemas, schools, museums, galleries and environmental sustainability programs throughout the region.