The Department of Art offers a dynamic and interactive program in a challenging and supportive environment. The nine full-time faculty and 15 part-time faculty are all highly trained and educated professionals, working artists, art historians and art educators who are national and international leaders in their fields. The department has both a very active Guest Lecture Program and a Lord Hall Gallery Program that continually brings in a wide range of work and ideas to the department. Our classes provide a richly creative and informative environment, with lots of personal attention.
Studio Art B.A. and B.F.A.
The University of Maine Department of Art Studio Program offers the B.A. and B.F.A. degrees in the lively context of a liberal arts education. The program has a great teacher-to-student ratio, providing students individual attention. The studio faculty are all active professionals, strongly committed to effective teaching. Fully engaged in their own creative research, the faculty also have an outstanding record of exhibiting their work in prestigious local, national and international venues.
The emphasis of the Studio Art Program is creative work in the areas of:
Elective studio work is available in photography, graphic design and ceramics. The art program covers a broad range of approaches – from traditional fine arts techniques to the use of new and emerging technologies. The first year entails a very thorough and varied foundations program. This enables students with different levels of preparation in art to develop the necessary skills to be successful in the program and beyond. The study of art history is seen as necessary to intelligent studio development, as is the orienting of the student to the attitudes, philosophies and language of the contemporary art world. Both the B.A. and B.F.A. degrees require art history courses. Emphasis is placed on students developing and applying creative and innovative problem-solving strategies and demonstrating refined aesthetic knowledge and expressive skills. In areas such as digital and graphic arts where links to the applied arts industries are prevalent, students develop the skills to work with conventions essential to these fields.
A unique distinction of the University of Maine Studio Art Program is the opportunity to work in Maine with its rich history of great artists, and with the incredible diversity and vitality of its contemporary art scene.
The University of Maine Studio Program is internationally recognized as a leader in sustainable and green initiatives and research. In 1995, the Printmaking Studio was one of the very first shops internationally to go green with safer, nontoxic printmaking materials and processes (acrylic resist intaglio, photo-polymer intaglio, polyester plate lithography, digital and photo-mechanical print processes); the Painting Studios are solvent-free; 3D Design works with reusing and repurposing materials, and adaptive design; Sculpture offers environmental topics courses, such as Sustainable Sculpture; 2D Design has coordinated projects with the Climate Change Institute to raise awareness of global warming through interactive campus design, to mention just a few examples.
Students pursuing the B.A. degree need only apply to UMaine; there are no additional admissions requirements.
The B.F.A. in Studio Art is a professional degree with a choice of six concentration areas: Drawing, Digital, Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture, and Cross-Disciplinary. Each concentration area consists of 18 credits of area-specific advanced studio work, with the Cross-Disciplinary concentration allowing a more individualized pathway for students to develop and combine skills across a range of courses. Each B.F.A. student will work closely with their academic advisor to choose and direct their concentration area courses.
Students must apply to the B.F.A. degree program through a portfolio review process. During the admissions process they may request that the department consider their Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) Scholarship portfolio as a B.F.A. application. Alternatively, they may enroll in the B.A. program and then apply to the B.F.A. program during yearly calls for portfolio reviews and interviews.
Studio Art Minor
The minor in Studio Art is designed for non-majors who are interested in developing a basic understanding of art theory, processes, and media. A total of 21 credits is required. Transfer credit is subject to approval by the Department of Art studio faculty.
Studio Art Student Learning Outcomes
Through the completion of the BA or BFA in Studio Art, students will develop:
- Understanding of professional standards and accomplishments in the visual arts
- Breadth and depth of knowledge (use of a wide range of tools, technologies, and structures inherent to the discipline/subject)
- Understanding of content, tools, and structures
- Independent and critical thinking
- Ability to articulate and express ideas with appropriate language
- Understanding that knowledge is collectively built
- Ability to effectively state and solve creative problems
- Ability to set, organize, and realize goals
- Resourcefulness and tenacity in working through problems
- Innovative thinking in all phases of problem solving
- Confidence in ability to meet creative challenges of the field
- Awareness of the responsibilities of the artist to the larger community
Field experiences are often integrated into individual courses, with visits to a variety of studios, museums, and galleries. Recent trips have included NYC, Mass MoCA, Boston’s Institute for Contemporary Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, the DeCordova Museum and sculpture park, the Portland Museum of Art, The Farnsworth Museum, and The Maine Center for Contemporary Art. Local resources include the University of Maine Museum of Art, the Hudson Museum in the recently renovated Collins Center for Art, and the Page Farm and Home Museum.
Student Groups and Awards
The Department of Art offers a number of scholarships to qualified first-time undergraduate students who study art at the University of Maine. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit and evidence of accomplishment in the study of Studio Art, Art Education, or Art History. For scholarship information, applications forms, and interview dates, contact the Department of Art. Applications must be received in the Department of Art by mid-January.The UMaine Art and Design Collective, a membership organization run by interested majors, has an annual agenda that reflects interests of its members. In the past, student art organizations have planned exhibitions (on and off campus), educational programs (visiting artist workshops), and a variety of events including trips to various Maine museums and galleries, occasionally striking out for NYC, Boston, Quebec and Montreal.
Career and Graduate Opportunities
Diverse career opportunities exist for Department of Art graduates. The degrees offered prepare students for a wide range of vocational choices inside as well as outside the field of art. They also provide a solid foundation for those choosing to go on for graduate study. Many graduates of the Department of Art have developed careers in different aspects of Studio Art, Art Education and Art History, including graphic design, fashion design, museum administration, arts administration, and multi-media.