About the Program

The goal of the art program is to provide an excellent educational experience that develops technical skills, critical and aesthetic judgment, and a sound knowledge of the visual arts appropriate to students seeking a general appreciation of the arts as well as to aspiring fine arts professionals. The faculty engage students in the discipline of visual art as a major component in the liberal arts tradition including studio practice and art history. Students complete a common group of foundation and art history courses and then choose an emphasis area to develop a solid yet individualized program.

Student Work

Jacob Smith
Assistant Professor of Art
Program Coordinator of Art

B.A., Roanoke College

M.F.A., The George Washington University

Aerin Toler
Adjunct Instructor of Art

Find Out More

Contact the Program Coordinator of Art:


The objective of this course is to provide students with the skills necessary to create paintings by using knowledge of pictorial composition and knowledge of materials, tools and techniques used in acrylic and/or oil painting media. Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to select and prepare a suitable support for painting in oil or acrylic, be able to demonstrate knowledge and skill in the use of materials and tools employed in acrylic and oil painting, be able to select and apply direct or indirect painting methods suitable for their painting, be able to identify a variety of painting styles and typical subjects and be able to incorporate them into their work, be able to identify and incorporate the elements and principles of design, monocular devices that affect composition into their work, and be able to identify the emotional or subjective content and incorporate it into their work.


The objective of this course is to provide students with the skills necessary to create drawings which demonstrate increased skills in observation, subjective expression, understanding of pictorial composition, and relevant historical influences upon drawing as a means of visual communication. Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to employ the elements of line, value, and texture to objectively describe what they see, be able to demonstrate some of the expressive or subjective uses of line, value and texture, be able to better define spatial depth through the uses of design principles, spatial illusion and monocular devices, be able to structure the environment of the drawing as a design statement, be able to create variation of thematic content, be able to expand their awareness of general stylistic influences on drawing, and be able to evaluate historical work of the past, the student’s own efforts, and the work of their peers.

Graphic Design

The Graphic Design program provides students with the knowledge, skills, and a portfolio needed for employment as a designer. This field involves the use of specialized software combined with creativity, design, and problem solving skills to create visual communication.


This course is intended to introduce students to the basic techniques of both digital and analog photography as a fine art medium, and the computer as a darkroom. Additional chemical darkroom experience is also gained. Includes digital and analog imaging techniques of scanning, color correction, retouching, composition, content and more. Hardware, image input and output processes, and software are also discussed.


As part of our Bachelor of Fine Arts Program, the Sculpture/Ceramic courses offer you experience in multidimensional art making, including the creation of functional forms, sculptural objects and installations, as well as projects involving site specificity, community engagement and public art.

2D Design

This is a visual design theory course that introduces the core concepts of visual design — visual elements, principles of design and creative process. Composition issues and strategies valid in all areas of visual design are explored through examples, exercises, critiques and creative projects. All art and design students are required to complete this course. Also, this course serves designers in a variety of other areas. Student majors include fine arts, graphic design, interior design, art therapy, web- and interactive design, theater design, advertising and marketing.

Art curriculum may include:

  • Advanced Drawing
  • Intermediate Ceramics
  • Intermediate Photography
  • Intermediate Sculpture
  • Intermediate Painting

For full listing of current classes, view the college catalog here.

  • Art Club: Organization focused on art trips to museums and galleries and community service.
    • Open to all Ferrum students regardless of major, the Ferrum College Art Club has been serving the college and the community for years. Our dedicated students participate in a variety of events and activities. Community service balanced with artistic understanding is a core of the club.
      • Empty bowls

      • Senior Show

  • Kappa Pi: International Honorary Art Fraternity for majors who have shown a commitment to art and their studies.
  • Panther Productions: Useful for artists interested in theatre productions and set design.
  • The Iron Blade: Opportunities for photographers & designers in the printed and online versions of the campus newspaper.
  • The Chrysalis (Art & Literary Magazine): Our annual publication for student art and literature. This is a student designed magazine with many opportunities to submit your artwork or design layouts toward a professional publication.
  • Philosophy Journal: Opportunities for photographers and designers.

What could I be with this major?

  • Art Administrator
  • Art Teacher
  • Curator
  • Painter
  • Photographer
  • Muralist
  • Sculptor
  • Art Director
  • Graphic Artist
  • Print Designer
  • Web Designer
  • Display Artist
  • Museum Director
  • Illustrator
  • Potter
  • Art Therapist
  • Art Consultant

What are recent graduates in this major doing?

Teaching: Professor John O’Conner, Radford University
Brandi Catron-Shirlen, Megan Scott, Courtney Shifflett

Gallery Owner: Sandy Forbes, Rhonda Gilbert

Graphic Designer: Andrea Vita, Marty LaFollette, Travis Dean

Museum Project Manager: Sandy Southard