Visual Art Studies

Academic Plan

Program Coordinator

Welcoming

Sarah Jenkins, '13

Visual Art Studies major
Women’s Studies minor

"I’m in love with the environment here – it’s so welcoming and comfortable. It’s easy to reach out for help because you’re not lost in a sea of students. I feel like I’m home here."

Why Major in Visual Art Studies?

With Penn State Altoona’s Visual Art Studies (VAST) program, you will be equipped with the conceptual, technical, and professional frameworks needed to be a confident and productive artist, as well as the skills necessary for employment in creative fields or admission into graduate study.

As a VAST graduate, you will be able to apply problem solving techniques in art planning and execution; demonstrate competency in many forms of art making including 2D, 3D, and digital media. You will also learn how to critique art works on their technical, conceptual, and aesthetic value. Through personal artwork creation, you will interpret issues in art, society, and culture into effective visual communication. Graduates will also attain the skills necessary to prepare artwork for display utilizing exhibition best practices; as well as, create a professional portfolio suitable for gallery submission, graduate school admissions, or applications for entry level employment in a creative field.

Program Highlights

To nurture problem solving abilities and visual literacy, VAST courses are thematic in nature. The Fundamental Concepts Block of studio course themes includes Form, Space, Color, and Light. Two digital media courses provide a strong background in image manipulation, web work, moving image, and audio. VAST students are encouraged to explore creative work on a more individualized level through the sequential Themes and Issues Block. Rotational elective offerings bring unique courses each year, in areas such as stone carving, computer aided design and 3D printing, experimental painting, and more. The VAST capstone course addresses the professional skills needed beyond graduation such as completing a portfolio, employment or graduate school application, and mounting a solo exhibition.

VAST class enrollments are set to provide you with one-on-one time with faculty and positive interaction with peers. Program faculty and staff are active artists exhibiting their work globally. They bring their experiences to their students through guest lectures, field trips, and activities and events to enrich and inspire young artists.