Visual Arts Department Degree Programs and Courses

Visual Art Degree Programs

Download information regarding checklists for graduation requirements as well as the Catalogue.

The visual arts program at Belhaven University seeks to help you develop the creative vision, aesthetic insight, technical skill, intellectual rigor, spiritual discernment, and work ethic necessary for the practice of visual art from a Christian worldview.

Degree Programs

The visual arts department offers a Bachelor of Arts, a Bachelor of Fine Arts, and a minor in art.

Visual arts majors enter as BA candidates and are admitted to BFA standing upon successful completion of first-year foundation courses (or other coursework as determined by the faculty) and portfolio review.

Bachelor of Arts (BA): 51 hours to include
15 hours of foundation courses
12 hours of art history and aesthetics
3 hours of senior seminar
BA students will participate in a senior exhibition or complete an equivalent senior project as approved by the faculty.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA): 78 hours to include
15 hours of foundation courses (ART 120-121, 125, and 130-131)
12 hours of art history (ART 360-361 and 460-461)
6 hours of aesthetics and art theory (PHI 275 and ART 362 or 462)
3 hours of senior seminar (ART 401)
BFA students may designate an emphasis in Drawing, Painting, Photography or Sculpture.
BFA students will present a senior exhibition (solo or group).

Minor in Art: 21 hours

For Visual Arts Department policies and procedures, see the Visual Arts Department Studio Manual.


Visual Art Classes

Download catalogue (Courses from other departments may be necessary to fulfill a particular major/minor.)

120-121 Drawing I-II (3-3).
ART 120: Introduction to drawing from observation, emphasizing accurate transcription of subject matter with regard to linear placement and value. (Fall only)
ART 121: Prereq: ART 120 or permission. Continued development of skills introduced in ART 120. (Spring only)
125 Perspectives on Creativity and Art (3).
Introduces visual arts students to broader questions of the artistic calling within a Christian worldview, the nature of the artistic process, the fundamentals of design and the visual elements, and the critique process. (Fall only)
130-131 Design I-II (3-3).
ART 130: Foundational introduction to theories and terminology of design and their practical application. Unit projects focus on the elements of design and principles of organization in two dimensions and in black and white. (Spring only)
ART 131 Prereq: ART 130 or permission. Expands on the foundational approach of ART 130 with a directed emphasis on color theory and three-dimensional design. (Fall only)
215 Art Appreciation (3).
Introduction to artistic media, design concepts, and techniques as well as a historical overview of major artists, works, periods, and movements. Intended to enhance students' understanding and enjoyment of art in everyday experience and provide the tools for critical analysis of historical and contemporary works of art in their cultural and philosophical contexts. Non-major credit only. (Spring only)
220-221 Studio Drawing I-II (3-3). Prereq: ART 120-121.
An advanced drawing course building on skills learned in ART 120-121. Includes study of the skeletal and muscle systems of the human form, with practice drawing from the live model. (Fall and spring)
230-231 Printmaking I-II (3-3)
An introduction to black and white relief and intaglio processes. The course is primarily intended to familiarize students with the tools and methods of relief and intaglio printing, with the goal of producing a successful edition.
240-241 Photography I-II (3-3). (Formerly ART 140-141.)
ART 240: Introduction to camera use as well as developing, enlarging, and printing black and white photographs. Emphasis is placed on the role of design and concept in fine art photography.
ART 241: Prereq: ART 240. Students begin to define their individual conceptual and technical style through the development of a black and white portfolio. (Fall and spring)
250-251 Studio Painting I-II (3-3). Prereq: ART 120-121.
Introduction to the materials and processes of painting, with particular focus on the observation of light and color. (Fall and spring)
280-281 Sculpture I-II (3-3). Prereq: ART 120-121, 130-131.
Introduction to mechanical and technical issues associated with the primary materials and methods of working in the third dimension. Students also develop a conceptual and historical perspective on both additive and subtractive sculptural processes. (280, fall only; 281, spring only)
301-302 Independent Study and Research (3-3). Prereq: Junior standing.
An opportunity for students to pursue special artistic projects and research under faculty supervision. Subject to approval by faculty and chair.
320-321 Studio Drawing III-IV (3-3). Prereq: ART 220-221.
Continuation of ART 220-221. Drawing skills are developed and refined through continued work from the live model. Emphasis is also placed on the development of conceptual and interpretive skills. (Fall and spring)
340-341 Photography III-IV (3-3). Prereq: ART 240-241.
350-351 Studio Painting III-IV (3-3). Prereq: ART 250-251.
Continued study of painting from life, with emphasis on observation of color and light. Increased attention is also given to personal interpretation and expression. (Fall and spring)
360 World Art (3).
A survey of the art of selected peoples and cultures from Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Endeavors to identify universals of visual expression while also bringing Christian discernment to a reading of distinctive styles and methods as they embody worldviews. (Honors) (Fall, even years)
361 Western Art I (3).
A study of the history of western art from the Ancient Near East through the Gothic period. Introduces students to the touchstones of the western artistic tradition, viewed in the context of Christian critical analysis. (Honors) (Spring, odd years)
362 Topics in Art Theory (3)
A study of selected texts related to the theory of visual art and its function in human culture. Emphases may include theology and philosophy as well as art criticism and pedagogy in both Western and non-Western cultures. Texts will be examined within their historical context and from the perspective of a Christian worldview. (Honors) (Spring only)
365 History of Photography (3).
A historical investigation of photography as an expressive art form. This study traces technological advances in the photographic medium as well as the visual influences of 19th and 20th-century movements in art; critical readings in the aesthetics of photography contrast this new modern visual language with traditional artistic media in an effort to understand its unique character from a Christian perspective. (Honors) (Spring only)
380-381 Sculpture III-IV (3-3) Prereq: ART 280-281.
Further refinement of skills learned during the first two semesters as well as introduction to less traditional forms and methods of sculpture. Emphasis is placed on the integration of technique and design within the context of an emerging individual style and approach. (380, fall only; 381, spring only)
399 Internship (3). Prereq: Junior standing and department chair approval.
Supervised practical experience in an art-related profession. Maximum internship credit is six hours, nine hours for graphic design. Refer to "Student Intern Programs and Practicums" for further requirements.
401 Senior Seminar I (3). Prereq: Senior standing
Seminar course intended to prepare senior visual arts majors to enter the professional world of fine art and related fields. Includes introduction to professional presentation, resume/portfolio preparation, public relations, business practices, and gallery work, culminating in preparations for the senior exhibition. (Fall only)
402 Senior Seminar II (3). Prereq: Senior standing and faculty approval.
An opportunity for seniors to pursue special artistic projects and research in preparation for senior exhibition, under faculty supervision. (Fall and spring)
420-421 Studio Drawing V-VI (3-3). Prereq: ART 320-321.
Continued refinement of conceptual, observational, technical, and interpretive skills in the development of a coherent body of work. (Fall and spring)
433 Portfolio Preparation (3). Prereq: ART 370.
Prepares students to enter the work force. Individual attention is provided to refine portfolios and make them more competitive, along with creating and producing a resume and self-promotion piece.
440-441 Photography V-VI (3-3). Prereq: ART 340-341.
ART 440: Lighting techniques as applied to environmental and studio portrait photography.
ART 441: Emphasis on photography as a collateral medium to language and graphic design in the communication of a marketing message. Explores lighting and product photography in a commercial context. (Fall and spring)
450-451 Studio Painting V-VI (3-3). Prereq: ART 350-351.
Emphasis on experimentation and innovation in painting. (Fall and spring)
460 Western Art II (3).
A survey of developments in European art from the Renaissance through c. 1850. In addition to formal and technical considerations, emphasis is placed on understanding and evaluating intent and meaning in light of the Christian worldview. (Honors) (Fall, odd years)
461 Western Art III (3).
A survey of the last 150 years in the art of Europe and America. Introduction to modernity and postmodernity viewed from a Christian perspective, in an effort to understand the artistic context of our times. (Honors) (Spring, even years)
462 Modern and Contemporary Art Theory (3). Prereq: ART 460 or 461.
A survey of texts and other statements by artists, art critics, and philosophers from c.1860 to the present. Examination from a Christian perspective of major theories informing visual art practices in the modern and postmodern world prepares visual arts majors to enter knowledgeably and redemptively into contemporary artistic discourse. (Honors) (Spring only)
480-481 Sculpture V-VI (3-3) Prereq: ART 380-381.
Focus on refinement of skills, successful use of design principles, and research into contemporary modes of sculptural expression. Emphasis is placed on individual exploration and personal voice as well as the creation of a cohesive body of work.
498-499 Internship (3-3). Prereq: Junior standing and department chair approval.
Supervised practical experience in an art-related profession. Maximum internship credit is six hours, nine hours for graphic design. Refer to "Student Intern Programs and Practicums" for further requirements.