Art Department

Reasons to Choose this Program

·Prepare for graduate school or further study

·Prepare for life after school

·Prepare for teaching

·Become a more well-rounded person

·Become a better communicator

Study and develop a solid foundation in studio skills and a broad understanding of the history of art.

About the Major

Art Majors emphasize in either studio art or art history. Courses offer a wide range of possibilities in the studio – from traditional media to digital imaging. Courses taught in art history travel from prehistory to contemporary art criticism. After a core of design, drawing, art history and criticism is complete, students choose courses to fit their personal needs and interests.

The Art Department features studio classrooms for ceramics, drawing, 2-D design, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture, along with lecture and seminar rooms for art history. Digital imaging and graphic design classes are taught in a new, fully equipped Mac computer lab. 

About the Minor

A minor in Art consists of students seeking some knowledge and appreciation of the visual arts, and those who want a vocational experience in the creative arts or crafts, can take courses without prerequisites in painting, ceramics, crafts, printmaking and sculpture, as well as art history.

Departmental Honors

Earn an overall grade point average of 3.50

Earn a 3.50 grade point average in all art courses

Complete with distinction a major project consisting of a graduation exhibition or a research paper during the senior year

Outreach & Engaged Learning

Art exhibitions, open to the public, are held in Hardman Gallery and contribute to the local community's arts and culture scene. Each year, the department presents a faculty exhibition, four visiting professional exhibitions, one all-student exhibition and senior project exhibitions for graduating seniors. Students have the opportunity to enroll in gallery internships to gain hands-on experience in the operation and management of gallery exhibitions. Possibilities for internships include Hardman Gallery and any of several local museums.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Seniors will present to the Art faculty and complete a major project, consisting of a graduation exhibition for the studio emphasis or a research paper for the art history emphasis. Other opportunities include independent study in art theory, practice or research for students who present clarity of purpose and unusual ability in art, as well as the Problems in Art Criticism course that investigates the origins, nature and functions of visual arts to develop criteria or aesthetic judgment.

In the Classroom

The Art Department faculty has created a challenging program in art characterized by small class and individual attention to students that emphasizes a solid foundation in studio skills and a broad understanding of the history of art. The faculty's areas of expertise and interests are diverse, allowing a wide range of possibilities in the studio and in the study of art.

Beyond Mercer

Mercer's Art students follow graduate or professional programs in studio art or art history.

  • Archaeology
  • Graphic Design
  • Medical illustration
  • Industrial design
  • Interior design
  • Display
  • Packaging
  • Filmmaker
  • Museum direction
  • Gallery operation
  • Teaching at the secondary and college level


Studio Emphasis

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Art with a Studio Emphasis consists of a minimum of 33 hours and a senior project exhibition focused on the student's creative interest, such as painting, sculpture, etc. Students who complete this major may be interested in graduate study or preparation for a career in education or business.

Art History Emphasis

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Art with an Art History emphasis consists of a minimum of 30 hours and a senior research project investigating an original question in art history. Students who complete this major often plan to pursue graduate study.


Minor in Art

The minor in Art consist of a minimum of 15 hours based on a core of art history and design, or drawing, together with electives of the student's choice.

Minor in Photography

The minor in Photography consists of a minimum of 15 hours, including a three-course sequence of Photography and two electives from Design and Color, Modern Art History and Introduction to Mass Media.

Gallery & Exhibitions The Hardman Hall Gallery is located in the same building as the Art Department offices and classrooms. The gallery schedule includes 4-5 exhibitions a year of regional and national exhibiting artists, student exhibitions, and an annual faculty show. All exhibitions are free and open to the Public.