a rather sinister Colleen at work

Department of Fine Arts

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Ceramics Studio The Visual Arts Program focuses on developing the artistic abilities of students within the liberal arts tradition. Students majoring in Visual Arts select an area of specialization within the studio arts from painting, ceramics, photography or graphic design  and spend several semesters learning the concepts and techniques of their chosen area of concentration.

The purpose of the art major is to give students a solid foundation in the studio arts and to develop visual awareness. The actual production of works in the studios, followed by critiques of their works, enhances the students' understanding. They are prepared for graduate school or for independent work in the arts through their coursework in the studio areas, supplemented by art history and related fields of study. Graduates of this program have gone on to graduate studies and jobs in art related careers.

Minors are available both in Visual Arts and in Art History.


The Visual Arts Program provides a broad exposure to art as part of an overall B. A. curriculum. This is accomplished through experiences in both foundation courses and upper level studio specialties, as well as through classroom presentations in the history of art. Students learn both technical and creative thinking skills through studio practice, classroom discussions, and frequent critiques. Goals of the program are to provide a sense of personal expression and enrichment, and to provide the tools with which majors can pursue post-graduate programs and/or careers in the Visual Arts field. The art faculty regularly engage in scholarly pursuits and in professional exhibitions of their work.


Francis Marion University is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. National accreditation by NASAD gives Francis Marion University students majoring in visual arts and art education easier access to graduate and professional programs in parts of the country outside the region already aware of our program's reputation for excellence.

Timed exposure of night glaze firing,
        125 cubic foot high fire gas kiln Two-Dimensional DesignTHE CURRICULUM

A well-rounded education that prepares students to succeed in the modern world is at the heart of the traditional liberal arts education. Therefore, students in this program are required to successfully complete 62 hours of General Education Requirements. In addition to this foundation, the art major must successfully complete 12 hours of art history, 9 hours of basic studio courses, and 15 hours in drawing, design and technology courses. After selecting an area of specialization, the student will complete an additional 12 hours of more advanced work in the studios, 18 hours of work in a minor area, and conclude with a 1 hour senior seminar and the presentation of a senior exhibition as part of the requirements for graduation.

Note:  Many students are under the mistaken impression that it's a good idea to "get all the General Education courses out of the way" first, then concentrate on their major during their last 2 years. DO NOT DO THIS. You may not be able to graduate on time unless you begin taking (and passing) art courses right away.  Many of our courses are sequenced to build on one another and some may not be offered every semester. You should take an average of 2 art courses every semester in order to graduate in 4 years.


Mr. Steven F. Gately

Coordinator of Visual Arts Program
Associate Professor of Visual Arts - Painting/Drawing
M.F.A., Florida State University
(843) 661-1534

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