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Department of Art


Graduate students in painting come from all over the U.S. and work in diverse manners from nonobjective to representational.  Students are encouraged to experiment with a wide range of methods and to seek their own, personal directions through invention, discussions, critiques and research. Awareness of contemporary studio practice and mastery of the tools necessary for critical analysis are emphasized, as students cultivate their own unique vision and expressive language.

An annual visiting artist program enriches the graduate learning environment by bringing noted artists, art historians and art critics to campus each semester. 

Visiting Artists in Painting, 2003-2014 include:

Jaune Quick-to-See-Smith, New Mexico (2014)

Kat Griefen, New York (2014)

Peregrine Honig, Kansas City, MO (2012)

Peter Frank, Los Angeles, CA (2012)

Marc Handelman, New York (2011)

Gail Gregg, New York  (2010)

Julie Heffernan, New York (2009)

Roger Shimomura, Kansas and Washington (2009)

Ricky Allman, Missouri (2008)

Paul Flippen, Colorado (2006)

Hildur Bjarnadóttir (Painting and Textiles), Oregon (2006)

Kurt Kauper, New York  (2006)

Melissa Miller, Texas (2004)

Norman Lundin, Washington State (2003)

Mentoring in professional practice and the potential for graduate teaching assistantships further support development. A final, solo thesis exhibition is the culmination of the program, providing the opportunity to present a robust and cohesive body of personal work.

Pug Scott Fischer


The Painting Area’s studio classrooms occupy 5,300 sq. ft. in Willard Hall, and accommodate working in a wide range of media – including oil, mixed media, and water-based paints. Two separate studio classrooms serve introductory and intermediate level students, while two large, adjoining rooms nearby, provide 12, semi-private studio spaces for advanced undergraduate majors.

Additional, private studio space is provided for Painting Graduate Students in Willard Hall.

The Department of Art has fully equipped studio and wood shop facilities.  The newly renovated Willard Hall also includes the beautiful Mark A. Chapman Gallery where most MFA candidates have their solo thesis exhibitions.  In addition, students have access to the university’s library collections and Media Development Center for lab use, equipment checkout, technical training and instructional design support.

 chicken scott fischer


Graduate Faculty

Kevin Bernstein
Associate Professor
Area Coordinator
Office: Willard 119
Nancy Morrow
Associate Professor
Office: Willard 311
Erin Wiersma
Associate Professor
Office: Willard 224