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painting program

Painting

Bachelor of Fine Arts

Degree Type

Emphasis

Department

Art & Design Department

From curating famous art exhibitions to illustrating children’s books, becoming a professional painter requires a mastery of technique and a passion for creative expression.

Program Overview

Painting student

Learn how to express your ideas and emotions through painting.

In the Painting emphasis, you’ll learn about the dynamic relationship between painting and drawing and how to combine the materials and techniques of each. The comprehensive curriculum begins with introductory courses in painting, airbrush and watercolor and works up to advanced classes to provide you the opportunity to progress accordingly.

Because the program is dedicated to your professional growth as a painter, you’ll have numerous opportunities to interact with visiting professional artists and attend field trips to Denver, Taos and Santa Fe. Not only will you emerge with a knowledge base and skill set that will help you realize all of your artistic goals, your capacity to problem solve and critically analyze and interpret the world around you will inform your path as an artist and as a professional.

A strong foundation

The Painting emphasis is grounded in tradition, providing rigorous and professional courses that investigate the relationship between painting and drawing, combining the materials and techniques of each.

Program Requirements

At Western, course rotations are crafted to encompass a variety of subject fields for a comprehensive education and versatile degree. For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.

Program Requirements

A minimum of 66 credits is required including the 39-credit BFA Foundation Courses, six credits of Art electives:

Course List
Code Title Credits
BFA Foundation Courses
ART 000Exhibition and Convocation Attendance (six semesters with “S” grade required)0
ART 119Foundation Drawing I3
ART 171Foundation Design: Two-Dimensional3
ART 172Foundation Design: Three-Dimensional3
ART 173Foundation Design: Digital Art and Design3
ART 219Foundation Drawing II3
ART 222Art History I3
ART 223Art History II (GT-AH1)3
ART 319Intermediate Drawing3
Art History (300 level)3
ART 400Artist's Portfolio/Senior Exhibition3
ART 419Advanced Drawing3
ART 491Seminar in Art3
Art History (400 level)3
Total Credits39

And 21 credits from the following, which must include 15 credits from one painting medium (painting or watercolor):

Course List
Code Title Credits
ART 246Introduction to Photography3
ART 257Introduction to Printmaking3
ART 280Introduction to Painting3
ART 286Introduction to Watercolor3
ART 380Intermediate Painting3
ART 386Intermediate Watercolor3
ART 480Advanced Painting I3
ART 481Advanced Painting II3
ART 482Advanced Painting III3
ART 486Advanced Watercolor I3
ART 487Advanced Watercolor II3
ART 488Advanced Watercolor III3
Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
ART 000 Exhibition and Convocation Attendance 0
ART 171 Foundation Design: Two-Dimensional 3
ART 119 Foundation Drawing I 3
HWTR 100 First Year Seminar 1
ENG 102 Writing and Rhetoric I (GT-CO1) 3
MATH 105 Mathematics for the Liberal Arts (GT-MA1) 3
Gen Ed General Education 3
 Credits16
Spring
ART 000 Exhibition and Convocation Attendance 0
ART 172 Foundation Design: Three-Dimensional 3
ART 173 Foundation Design: Digital Art and Design 3
ENG 103 Writing and Rhetoric II (GT-CO2) 3
OR
Gen Ed
General Education
Gen Ed General Education 6
 Credits15
Year Two
Fall
ART 000 Exhibition and Convocation Attendance 0
ART 280 Introduction to Painting 3
ART 286 Introduction to Watercolor 3
ART 222 Art History I 3
ART Intro ART Elective 3
ART 219 Foundation Drawing II 3
OR
Gen Ed
General Education
 Credits15
Spring
ART 000 Exhibition and Convocation Attendance 0
ART 380
or ART 386
Intermediate Painting
or Intermediate Watercolor
3
ART 223 Art History II (GT-AH1) 3
ART Intermediate ART Elective 3
ART 219 Foundation Drawing II 3
OR
Gen Ed
General Education
Gen Ed General Education 3
 Credits15
Year Three
Fall
ART 000 Exhibition and Convocation Attendance 0
ART 480
or ART 486
Advanced Painting I
or Advanced Watercolor I
3
ART Intro ART Elective 3
Gen Ed General Education 6
ART Intro/Advanced ART Elective 3
 Credits15
Spring
ART 000 Exhibition and Convocation Attendance 0
ART 481
or ART 486
Advanced Painting II
or Advanced Watercolor I
3
ART 319 Intermediate Drawing 3
ART 300-400 level Art History course 3
ART Intermediate/Advanced ART Elective 3
Gen Ed General Education 3
 Credits15
Year Four
Fall
ART 000 Exhibition and Convocation Attendance 0
ART 400 Artist's Portfolio/Senior Exhibition 3
ART 482
or ART 487
Advanced Painting III
or Advanced Watercolor II
3
ART 491 Seminar in Art 3
ART Intro/Advanced ART Elective 6
 Credits15
Spring
ART 000 Exhibition and Convocation Attendance 0
ART 300-400 level Art History course 3
ART 419 Advanced Drawing 3
ART 488 Advanced Watercolor III 3
ART Intermediate/Advanced ART Elective 6
 Credits15
 Total Credits121

Courses listed in the Fall are only offered in Fall. Courses listed in the Spring are only offered in the Spring. With the exception of ART 286 Introduction to Watercolor, and ART 271 Typography and their Intermediate counterparts, Intro classes are exclusively offered in the Fall and Intermediate courses are offered exclusively in the Spring. Advanced offerings are available for all disciplines every semester.

ART 000 Exhibition and Convocation Attendance and ART 319 Intermediate Drawing are offered in both the Fall and the Spring.

Careers


Top Skills

  • Critique
  • Design
  • Effective Communication
  • Observational Skills
  • Painting
  • Problem Solving



Career Pathways

  • Art History
  • Craft Artist
  • Fine Arts
  • Muralist
  • Painter
  • Portrait Artst

Take the first steps toward your academic and personal growth.

Fostering your intellectual development is the primary focus of every academic program at Western. Our professors and Office of Career Services will help you identify your strengths, hone your skills, define your goals, and prepare for a fulfilling and enriched life after graduation. Wondering how you can apply your program of choice to your intellectual and personal journey? Check out our “What Can I Do With This Major?” tool to explore the diverse opportunities and pathways within any degree program.

Scholarships

Western’s Scholarship Application portal allows you to search for, apply to and manage your scholarship opportunities. This platform houses over 300+ departmental and privately funded scholarship opportunities available to both new and returning students. Through the scholarship portal, students may identify scholarship opportunities based on academic program, campus involvement, academic standing, specific keywords and more. Students may click below to begin learning about what scholarship opportunities are available to them.

Please check individual scholarship opportunity start dates and deadlines as there are exceptions.

Find your scholarships!

Western’s Scholarship Application portal allows you to search for, apply to and manage your scholarship opportunities. This platform houses over 300+ departmental and privately funded scholarship opportunities available to both new and returning students. Through the scholarship portal, students may identify scholarship opportunities based on academic program, campus involvement, academic standing, specific keywords and more. Students may click below to begin learning about what scholarship opportunities are available to them.

Please check individual scholarship opportunity start dates and deadlines as there are exceptions.

Find your scholarships!

Alumni Association Future Alumni Scholarship

The Alumni Association Scholarship is a one-time scholarship of $1,000 and is applicable for the student’s junior or senior year at Western.

Any child or grandchild of an alumni is eligible to receive the Future Alumni Scholarship.

  • This is a one-time non-renewable scholarship of $1,000.
  • Only one Future Alumni Scholarship will be awarded per academic year.
  • GPA must be 3.2 or above (college).

Due date has been extended to April 30 for 2024. An Alumni selection committee, appointed by the Alumni Advisory Council, will review applicants and select awardee by June 1.

Apply

Alumni Legacy Scholarship

The Alumni Legacy Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western (incoming freshman or new transfer students are eligible).

Do you have a son or daughter looking at college? Have they considered attending Western? As an alumni, your son, daughter and/or grandchildren are eligible for certain benefits distributed through this scholarship, as follows:

  • This is a one-time scholarship of $1,000.
  • Nominee must be an incoming first-year student or new transfer.
  • The cost of orientation is reduced by half (a $45 value).
  • The admission application fee is waived (a $30 value).
  • GPA must be 2.5 or above (high school or college of transfer).

The applicant must fill out the application form found below. Application forms are accepted year-round. If the applicant meets the GPA guidelines, the scholarship will be awarded.

Apply

Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

The Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western. This scholarship is not available to midyear transfers or students beginning in the spring semester.

Are you an alumni or employee of Western and know a prospective (or incoming) student who would be a great fit at Western? A recommendation from alumni and employees can support any new student and provide them a $500 scholarship their first year. (Western employees may not recommend a spouse or dependent receiving tuition benefits).

  • Any Western alumni/employee may nominate only one student per academic year to receive the $500 scholarship (distributed $250 per semester).
  • The scholarship is good for the first year only and is non-renewable.
  • The recommended student must be a full-time undergraduate student, attending Western for the first time.

The applicant must fill out the application form found here. The nominating alumni/employee must fill out the application form and submit the required documents by June 1. The recommended student must meet university admissions acceptance standards and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.

For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential Promise, visit our scholarships page.

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student’s GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at western.edu/cost to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit our scholarships page.

Get Involved

Painting program

Make your education a life changing experience.

A college education is so much more than just taking classes. Expand your community and network, while gaining hands-on experience in your field.

  • Gallery Exhibits: Students have opportunities to display their work in numerous shows, exhibits, convocations and galas—on campus and in the community.
  • Pathfinder Magazine: An annual publication for student creative work.
  • Student Art League: A branch of the Council for Creative expression, the Student Art League is dedicated to providing visual arts, experiences, professional development, educational opportunities and outreach for Art students.

Showcase your work

Students have opportunities to display their work in numerous shows, exhibits, convocations and galas—on campus and in the community.

News & Research

Western’s Art & Design Department Chair Chosen for Prestigious Fellowship

Western’s Art & Design Department Chair Chosen for Prestigious Fellowship

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Western Earns Accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission

Read More about Western Earns Accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission
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Department Information

Art & Design Department

Department Chairperson

Tina Butterfield, MFA

Professor of Art; Art & Design Department Chair

Administrative Assistant

Autumn Coleman

Administrative Assistant II

Contact Information

970.943.3093

970.943.2329

Campus Location

Western Colorado University
Quigley Hall 202
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231

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