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Find a fulfilling life in the arts.

Not all Art majors in college let students explore and experiment across different forms. But at Whitman College, Art majors gain advanced skills in one concentration while making art in a variety of media. In our vibrant social and academic community, students take on the challenges—technical, conceptual and intellectual—that will help them thrive in the global art world. If you aspire to solve problems creatively, seek coursework that is rigorous and fun, and value an inclusive education that launches a fulfilling career, earn a studio arts degree at a top liberal arts college in Washington’s beautiful interior.

3 Reasons to Study Art at Whitman

Art is Personal

Small class sizes help you connect with peers. One-on-one time with professors draws you into a close community of creators. The senior project allows your original art and scholarship to flourish. And a research trip to New York City invites you to immerse yourself in the art world as an emerging artist.

Enjoy Time and Space to Create

The capstone project gives Whitman seniors two semesters to integrate their knowledge from the Art program and other courses, express themselves skillfully, and practice their craft among other professionals and students.

Launch a Career in the Arts

Whitman Art majors are creative and connected. The Art program at Whitman honors your diverse interests and career goals by accommodating jobs and internships on campus and in Walla Walla, as well as study abroad opportunities at renowned art schools in places like Glasgow, Florence or Copenhagen.

Interested in Art?

We’d love to send you information, including more on academic majors and student life at our beautiful campus in Walla Walla, Washington.

Hannah M., art major

“The Art major has allowed and encouraged me to connect with my peers more than any other programs I’ve really been involved in at Whitman. I feel like I know my graduating class of Art majors in large part because our engagement with one another is clearly a priority for faculty and the department as a whole.”

Our Whitman Student Voices Blog

Courses in Art

See just a few of the fascinating courses you might take.

Placing string together as art project
ART 105

Foundations: Material Translations: Line, Space, Mass and Motion

In this course, you will use two-, three- and four-dimensional tools to express your images and ideas. It’s an exciting journey through core studio art concepts that you will use throughout your artistic career.

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3-D printer in motion
Art 114

Foundations: Maker Spaces and Culture

Through ambitious individual and group projects, this course introduces you to contemporary design tools, like 3-D printing, laser cutting and tangible computing with Arduino microcontrollers.

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Cans of ink
ART 170

Beginning Printmaking

Interested in hands-on experience in the book arts? In this course, you’ll be introduced to a broad range of traditional and digital printmaking skills you can go on to develop in advanced classes. It’s a fun introduction to the history and cultural significance of print media that can begin the foundation for a printmaking career.

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Placing string together as art project
ART 221

Intermediate Independent Study

Pursue what sparks your creative interest. In a course designed by you with one-on-one supervision from Art faculty members, you’ll explore your own studies in the areas of printmaking, ceramics, drawing/painting, new genre art forms, photography, sculpture, or other studio art practices.

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Placing string together as art project
ART 314

Art and the Anthropocene

How does climate change take shape visually? How are landscapes shaped by cultures and beliefs? This advanced studio and practice-based seminar is an interdisciplinary inquiry using scientific understanding and cultural criticism to fuel your artistic production.

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Two people looking at a painting in an art gallery.

Amazing Experiences You Can Pursue

Live and work in spaces that inspire. From the stunning Fouts Center for Visual Arts to Sheehan Gallery, where seniors have their own thesis show, Whitman’s facilities enhance your art and education. Art majors may even reside in the Fine Arts House, where students with shared interests come together to promote the arts on campus.

Pursue the combined Arts-Environmental Studies major. Are you inspired by nature? Do you want to make art with a social and political impact? Our Arts-Environmental Studies major encourages students to bring diverse solutions from many disciplines to global environmental problems.

Take a bite of the Big Apple. The faculty-led senior research trip to New York City is nothing short of a transformative experience—a brief period that will change how you think about art and your own practices as an artist for the rest of your career.

Your Questions Answered

At Whitman, we use the term Studio Arts degree, and studio time is what you’ll get. The Art program emphasizes skill-building exploration in a variety of media. From the darkroom to the digital media lab, you’ll gain fluency with the materials and techniques of visual language, including ceramics, sculpture, drawing, photography, printmaking, painting and more. And this hands-on education will be grounded in an understanding of art history, emerging genres, and critical and creative thinking.

While you pursue your art degree, you can work part-time with campus offices, the quarterly zine or the Harper Joy Theater, to name a few recently held jobs by Art majors. You can complete internships and research assistantships with professors, or volunteer in the community at youth after-school programs. After graduation, you’ll be well-prepared to be a professional artist, serve in arts administration or education, go to graduate school, or set out on the path to a career in law, education, business, medicine or another field that makes good use of your critical and creative skills.

No way—in fact, it may enhance it. Our Art majors love the community and camaraderie they find with other students, staff and faculty in the program. Every year the college partners with the Alumni Office, Sheehan Gallery and Walla Walla Foundry to welcome visiting artists and educators, who present their work and share new ideas with students. Additionally, Art majors are expected to take courses in other disciplines, such as Art History, Visual Culture, Film and Media Studies and Environmental Studies. Double majors and study abroad are encouraged. We want our students to succeed in the program and beyond.

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