The Bachelors of Fine Art degree is offered within the major of Studio Art in the Department of Visual Arts at Messiah College.
The BFA for the studio art major is designed for the student wishing to maximize their studio immersion, particularly for those considering the eventual pursuit of a graduate degree (MFA). While it retains much of the liberal arts breadth of the BA, its focus is upon studio practice and theory.
Professional and career opportunities for students completing a BFA degree, majoring in studio art, include: Studio artist, designer, photographer, illustrator, sculptor, digital media designer, and many other vocations that require a comprehensive knowledge of specialized methods and materials within a creative context.
Professional and career opportunities for students completing a BA degree, majoring in studio art, include working as an artist, designer, photographer, illustrator, digital media designer, or other jobs and vocations that require visualization, creative problem solving, visual communication, and the production of visual materials, artifacts, or media.
The BFA in studio art consists of a minimum of 66 art-specific credits in the major.
The BFA in studio art provides students with both breadth, depth, and focus as future artists and designers. Students begin the curriculum with a five course foundational sequence consisting of the following courses:
- Visual Literacy
- Introduction to Art History
- Foundations of Drawing
- Color and Design
- Form Space and Media
These foundational courses are typically completed by the sophomore year of study. Students also begin a four-course art history sequence, which includes a survey of the history of Western art and modern art history. The studies in art history are normally completed by the junior year. Philosophy 101 and Aesthetics (the study of the nature and appreciation of beauty) are also required.
Students officially declare a concentration area of study in the studio art major by the end of their sophomore year. There are three concentration areas as follows:
Students take 24 credits in their chosen concentration area, which includes an advanced capstone course taken in the fall of their senior year. Students also take an Art Seminar course where they explore the relationship of Christian faith to contemporary art in the student’s individual area of study. In the spring of their senior year, studio art majors prepare an in-depth exhibit of work in their concentration area, while building a professional portfolio with accompanying documents.
BFA students also take 15 credits from each of the two areas of study outside their selected concentration (i.e. "cross concentration" areas) in order to build a rich and diverse knowledge of various methods and materials. For example, if a studio art major were concentrating in Two-Dimensional Studies, students would take 6 credits in Three-Dimensional Studies and 9 credits in Graphic Design and Digital art.