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Visual Art, B.A.

Art is where history, psychology, religion, politics and culture converge.

A major in visual art prepares you for a career in the contemporary art field through an interdisciplinary approach to learning. Building on the benefits of a diverse liberal arts education, you will gain an in-depth study of aesthetic principles, art history and theory, and hands-on studio experiences in drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture, photography, design, digital practices and printmaking.

Over the course of your undergraduate education, you will achieve artistic goals through four main approaches to visual problem solving: observation, experimentation, evaluation and innovation.

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Take the next step toward completing your Bachelor of Arts in Visual Art degree at Lenoir-Rhyne University.

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Take the next step toward completing your Bachelor of Arts in Visual Art degree at Lenoir-Rhyne University.


As such, you spend your freshman and sophomore years gaining basic skills and techniques in a variety of mediums through direct observation and experimentation while studying art history, art theory and philosophy in order to gain a better contextual and conceptual understanding of their practice.

As a junior and senior, you focus on refining experiments through a process of evaluation and innovation in order to create a cohesive visual art portfolio which reflects on a contemporary issue based on your individualized interests using the medium or media of your choice. 

The program offers one-on-one instruction with excellent faculty who are professionals in their field. Our instructors exhibit their works regionally, nationally and internationally. With your student peers, you will practice the art of critique and in art history classes, you will learn from great masters.

This extensive and rigorous program helps you to define and refine your skills as an innovative professional artist as you begin to realize your artistic vision and are prepared to share and further that vision throughout your career.

What you learn will go beyond the classroom with internships through local and regional businesses and non-profit organizations, plus opportunities to study abroad.

Learning Outside the Classroom

Learning in the visual art program spills over beyond the classroom. By its very nature as a discipline, the study of art requires continual integration of and exchange between the traditional classroom and the community. 

You will have the opportunity to explore galleries and museums in North Carolina to gain a better understanding of contemporary art and art history. 

In addition, you will regularly participate in community based service learning opportunities both on- and off-campus. As a visual art major, you;; also have the opportunity to showcase your work in a variety of different venues during their time at LR.  All Visual Art majors exhibit their portfolio in a senior exhibition and are required to complete an internship in order to gain practical experience in the field.

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Internships & Careers

The visual arts program prepares graduates both for professional careers in the arts and graduate programs in fine arts.

Many careers benefit from the close observational and critical skills essential to the art discipline. Equally valuable is the creativity that the art graduate brings to their professional circumstances, in whatever career path is chosen. More specifically, a visual art major prepares you for professions such as art education, museum and gallery field positions, historical conservation, design careers, studio assistantships and as an exhibiting artist.

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Amari Brown painting Black Lives Matter mural

I don't know if it has hit me yet how much of an impact it will make on other people. I just thought of it as an assignment, but as I worked through it, I realized I have a platform.

Amari Brown '21, on his Black Lives Matter mural at the Hickory Art Museum

Major Requirements

Serving students who seek preparation for a career in visual arts as practicing studio professionals or as a foundation for graduate school, the major in Visual Art provides in-depth study of aesthetic principles and art history, and hands-on studio experiences in drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, and electronic media. The Visual Art major earns a B.A. degree.


Students majoring in Visual Art who are judged qualified by the faculty may, upon invitation, elect to pursue honors work in Art. To graduate ''With Honors in Art,'' students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.2, a minimum major GPA of 3.5, and complete .

News & Events

Alumna Kellie Medley ’11, M.A. ’14 has been appointed the new director of residence life and is charged with coordinating residence life for approximately 800 students on the Hickory campus.

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As part of this year's campus read, The Rev. Michael Eric Dyson, Ph.D. visited campus to discuss his book, “Long Time Coming: Reckoning with Race in America,” with the campus and community.

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