Skip to main contentSkip to main navigationSkip to footer content

B.A. Studio Art

B.A. Art and Design - Studio ART

Well-prepared artists, designers and educators are crucial contributors to our increasingly complex visual world. Contemporary society is in critical need of the aesthetics, perception and creative thinking that these professions can contribute.

This major is designed for students interested in developing skills in visual communication and for those interested in improving their creative self-expression. Some of our students are here because they are creators. They want to improve their craft by working with master artists in a variety of media. Others are here to become inventive professionals in the ever-growing range of creative industries. Both types of students thrive at the Visual Arts Center at Saint Xavier University and beyond.

Graduates of our Art Studio Track now work in a variety of fields, such as photographers, animators, teachers, art directors, illustrators and filmmakers, museum and gallery curators, certified art therapists and as independent studio artists with professional gallery representation.

Why Earn your Studio Art Degree?

By dedicating several years to studying both art-making techniques and the deep history of human creativity, students will develop a rich understanding of how to learn, how to practice and how to generate new things. These skills and this knowledge will be invaluable for the student's growth in a wide variety of fields that call for creative thinking.

Art Exhibitions at SXU

Throughout their academic and creative journey, students are able to display their artwork in exhibitions on the Saint Xavier campus.

Learn more


A pair of paintings on display at an exhibition



About the Program

By working with masters in the fields of photography, sculpture, printingmaking, book arts, video, painting and drawing students will learn not only how to make art but why it is important to culture, humanity and well-being. Studio Art Track students will have many options in selecting their courses and will be encouraged to pursue both a wide breadth of knowledge and to choose a specific area for deeper discovery and study. We want student to explore and mix these media to form a unique creative voice.

Not only is Saint Xavier University positioned uniquely on a small campus in a big city, but the Art and Design Department has the benefit of a fantastic complex of studios called the Visual Arts Center in which students have access to tools, space and collaborators Studios custom built for drawing, painting, ceramics, woodworking, printmaking, video and audio production, digital imaging, laser cutting, and photography are open through the week and weekends.

In almost all cases we provide both traditional tools (saws, printing presses, darkroom, easels and pottery wheels) and the most contemporary (laser cutter, digital printers, digital cameras and a 3D printer that extrudes clay).

Because of our location students can use the City of Chicago as both an extended campus for research as well as subject matter for their art. Art and Design students are shuttled all over our city for art shows, museum tours and photo/video shoots. They then return to campus to edit and exhibit their work.

The Visual Arts Center at Saint Xavier University is a multi-studio complex with all of the tools and labs needed to explore creative image and object production. From early in the morning to late at night you can find students working in the many studios, collaborating with faculty, and hanging their work up for public display. Every wall in the building has work from past or current students and a student/alumni gallery sits right inside the front door to inspire and recharge the imagination.

Exterior shot of the Visual Art Center

Students take advantage of their proximity to Chicago's many museums and galleries by taking guided tours, conducting research trips and participating in exhibitions.

Student work is displayed all over campus and our local community. After first exploring and studying art exhibitions they begin participating themselves. Students learn how to engage their audience by watching professional artists present their work in The SXU Gallery on the main campus, and at our many visiting artist lectures and exhibitions every year. Shuttles take them to the Chicago Art Expo, The Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Contemporary Art where guided tours make sense of complicated art trends. As they reach their final semesters, they actively engage in the creation of exhibitions of their work in various venues including our student gallery, our campus professional gallery and in our local community art center.

Students work in our galleries, the Visual Arts Center and many other places on campus where their creative thinking and sensitivity to design are employed. These venues range from installation of artworks to preparing studios for classes or printing and framing work for exhibition. Students pursue internships all over Chicago at galleries and arts organizations, and we regularly have our students working at our local Beverly Art Center.

Studio Art Track Student Learning Outcomes are as follows:

  • Students should be conversant with fundamental elements and principles of 2 and 3-Dimensional Design, including color, space and media theory mixed with broad outlines of art history.
  • Students should be able to demonstrate basic skills in a variety of art making techniques (such as drawing, painting, photography, computer graphics, printmaking, sculpture, web and/or video) and advanced skills in at least one art medium.
  • Students should be able to synthesize art historical references, media proficiency and design principles in order to propose, execute and defend a body of new artworks.
  • Students should demonstrate the ability to analyze, critically assess and write about art from different times and places around the world.
  • Students should also be able to assemble a representative portfolio of their own fine art and/or graphic design.

Why study Studio Art at Saint Xavier University?

Our instructors receive awards in their field while passionately sharing their knowledge and skills with their community and their students. Our students develop creative partnerships and working groups in their first semester that help them prosper throughout their academic career. The Visual Arts Center becomes a hub of their learning, experimentation and their development. Students studying art at Saint Xavier have access to these important scholars, collaborators, studios and tools from their first day on campus and use them to form their unique creative voice.

Studio Art
Students interested in an art minor are able to chose from a variety of art courses to gain a vast understanding of their chosen area of study.

Game Design and Motion Graphics

Graphic Design
Unlike a studio art minor, which is any 6 art courses, a graphic design minor will have to take 6 specific art courses. This minor will have potential employment benefits to have, so we want to make sure that even minors get the proper training.

Academic Plan

View a suggested four-year academic plan to complete your degree!


Plan a Visit

Plan a visit to Saint Xavier University today!

Visit SXU

Request Information

Want to know more about graduate programs at Saint Xavier University? Please fill out the form below!


Contact the Office of Admission

Meet the Faculty