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The Lenoir-Rhyne University major in Visual Art prepares students for a career in the contemporary art field through an interdisciplinary approach to learning. Building on the benefits of a diverse liberal arts education, students 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 their undergraduate education, students achieve their artistic goals through four main approaches to visual problem solving; observation, experimentation, evaluation, and innovation.  As such, students spend their 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.

Junior and senior Visual Art majors 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 their individualized interests using the medium or media of their choice. 

The Visual Art 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 their student peers, students will practice the art of critique and in art history classes, they will learn from great masters. This extensive and rigorous program helps students to define and refine their skills as innovative professional artists who have begun to realize their artistic vision and are prepared to share and further that vision throughout their career.


ART 202 (Fundamentals), ART 211 (Drawing I), ART 221 (Painting I), ART 311 (Draw II)

ART 311 (Draw II), 100 – 200 Level Elective, 100 – 200 Level Elective, 100 – 200 Level Elective, 341 (Art History I), ART 342 (Art History II)

300 – 400 Level Elective, 300 – 400 Level Elective, ART 441 (Art History III), PHI 217 (Philosophy of Art)

ART 452 (Visual Art Internship), ART 4XX (Advanced Studio Practices), ART 400 (Senior Thesis)


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.  Visual Art students have the opportunity to explore galleries and museums in North Carolina to gain a better understanding of contemporary art and art history. In addition, students regularly participate in community based service learning opportunities both on and off campus.  Visual Art majors also have the opportunity to showcase their 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.


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 students for professions such as art education, museum and gallery field positions, historical conservation, design careers, studio assistantships, and as an exhibiting artist.


The Visual Art Program offers a BA degree with a major in Visual Art or minor in Visual Art or Photography. A program requirements sheet will be available in fall 2020.

Program Contact

Claire Pope

Assistant Professor, Art, Coordinator, Art Program
Hickory Campus