Category Archives: Yx Art

Pricing Your Art Correctly

The art of selling art is difficult enough, but the art of pricing your art correctly is a topic with a myriad of passionate opinions. Should your art be priced low so it sells or should your art be priced high to avoid giving the impression that your art is undervalued?

While there is a plethora of differentiating opinions there is a consensus that there are 10 valid points that need to be considered when pricing your art correctly. Keep in mind that depending on where you are in your career as an artist will influence the price that you will be selling your art for. If you consider yourself to be an artist starting of on your career, then do not expect to ask premium prices for your art you will also need to be realistic about the price of your art.

  1. The first step is off-course to do your research. The internet is a fantastic medium for this. Check out artists who are at a similar place I their Artistic journey and see what prices they are charging. Check out as many similar artists as you can who are preferably working on a similar medium and size and determine an average price. This will be your starting point.
  2. Whilst setting the price of your art, you need to be careful you are not selling your art to cheap. Keep a track of the time you are spending on the Artwork in relation to the size of the Art and then work out the Rate you are getting per hour based on price divided by hours. This will be your hourly rate. If it comes to say $2, then you know that you effectively paying yourself $2 per hour and you may need to increase your Art price or take less time to prepare the Art price. Your task then is to increase your rate per hour.
  3. Once you have your starting point, then identify a formula for increasing the value of your art. This can be a combination of factors such as, number of people buying your art, interest in your art, media exposure, critical acclaim, your growing clientele base, auctions etc.
  4. Unless you’re trying to hide something you should publish your prices. Be open and honest about what you’re asking for your art, and don’t be ashamed if others think that the price is too high.
  5. As your career develops try and regularly increase your prices a little at a time. This will help previous buyers with their investment and will benefit you by providing larger profits as the time taken to produce the Art does not increase.
  6. You should never be tempted to lower your prices once you have set the price.
  7. Be consistent in your pricing. Do not offer a discount to one individual over another. When selling art, it is important to be consistent. Potential buyers may talk to each other and if you’ve offered one a better deal than the other you could lose the sale.
  8. Try to avoid pricing your art by your talents or the time taken to create the art. You should focus on selling your art, by the size.
  9. There may come a time when you feel that you need to discount your prices. This should be in extreme circumstances only and not an easy option for you to make.
  10. When selling art, it’s often easy to let the agents and dealers take control. Avoid this at all costs. It is your art and your business so stay involved.

These are 10 principles that artist’s who are selling art need to consider carefully and applying in their everyday business practice. Being creative and creating art is only 50% of a successful artistic business

The Art of Hanging Art

Follow these insider tips to learn the perfect way to display your contemporary art.

PLACEMENT
Whether you are hanging a priceless heirloom or a Contemporary Limited Edition Art Print; hanging several pieces of art or just one painting, proper placement is critical. The most important considerations for placement of art are the scale of the room and the art itself.

Always follow the general rule of big art in big spaces, small art in small spaces. And always hang art with the centre of the picture at eye level which is 155-170cm from the floor.

LARGE ART
Large modern art look good when placed over pieces of furniture or a fireplace. But make sure that the art is NOT longer than the furniture. It should be about 2/3 to 3/4 of the length of the object over which it hangs.

Never leave more than 20cm of wall space between the base of your paintings and the object over which it hangs. Otherwise the eye will focus on the wall rather than your art.

SMALL ART 
Try to group small pieces of art where possible. Using similar or matching frames and mounts will bring unity to the set but is not necessary if the theme or colours of the paintings already provide unity.

GROUPING ART 
One of the most interesting ways of displaying contemporary art is in groupings, which can be used in large or small spaces. There are several professional ways of grouping your contemporary art collection as described below.

Salon Display
Select a group of paintings with a common theme such as colour, subject matter or even frame type. Pieces need to be of different sizes and can be centred or lined up above each other and next to each other. Spacing between pieces should be kept consistent to avoid the layout appearing random.

Horizontal Display
Group a collection of differently framed art works directly next to each other with the frames almost touching. This allows a display of several art works in a small space. It works best with an odd number of pieces and the largest piece in the middle and getting smaller as it goes out.

Vertical Display
Group a collection of uniquely framed art works directly on top of each other with the frames almost touching. The uniqueness of the frames and their various shapes and sizes are both emphasized along a vertical axis.

Mosaic Display
This type of arrangement is perfect for an architectural niche and uses pieces of art of various sizes. Start by lining up the outside pieces for a consistent square or rectangular outer edge and then fill in the remaining space. The spacing becomes irregular as you get toward the middle but it works because the edges form a regular shape.

Symmetrical Display
Display a collection of pieces of the same size in the same frames and with the same distance between them. This can either be a single row of art works or rows can be added to create a grid. This is particularly effective when the theme of all the pieces is the same.

Asymmetrical Display
Group a combination of three pieces of art to achieve a balanced asymmetrical display with the two smaller pieces stacked and centred alongside the larger piece.

Digital Art Explained

The popularity of digital art is increasing every year as the technology required is increasingly becoming readily available to everyone. Once the domain of graphic designers or artists such as Andy Warhol is now becoming a common way to create artwork. No other medium would let you erase 100 times, without harming your canvas in the slightest.

This article will explain the different styles of digital art and will discuss each category in a little detail to help clear up some of the confusion. Anyone new to digital art will no doubt have encountered terms such as ‘vector’, ‘Pixel’ or ‘mixed media’ art but may well have not been able to access a clear explanation. As is always the way with art, there is always some interpretation and the way I have chosen to categorise the art styles might not suit everyone.

Digital art can be divided into 5 main styles, Mixed Media, Vector, Fractal, Digital Painting and Pixel:

Mixed media or integrated art
Since the arrival of Photoshop in the 90s, mixed media or integrated art has been rolled out to the masses. Mixed media is exactly what its name suggests; it is the merging of many art styles such as painting, photography, drawing and digital. Using programs such as Photoshop artists are able to combine these art forms with often amazing results. One popular style of mixed media is ‘Pop art’, led by the Andy Warhol portrait styles that consist of using a computer program to add bright colours to the image and often align multiple panels together to form blocks of 4 or 9 images in different colours. Mixed Media is often seen in digital abstract art.

Vector art
One of the most popular digital art techniques, a better term for it might be “vector-based art,” meaning art created using a vector-based program such as Illustrator or Freehand or Corel Draw. The artist uses vector drawing software and creates the image totally in a virtual environment. The style makes use of shapes which are outlined and can be filled with various colors and patterns; this usually produces a harder edged or graphic look. The signature flat colours and clean lines are easy to spot and quick to grab attention making them popular with advertisers looking to get the attention of the public.

Fractal art
Fractal art has been around for a while but is seeing resurgence of late. Examples of fractals can be found in the natural world however in terms of digital art it is art created entirely using mathematical formulae; they are infinite in their ability to be viewed in ever increasing detail. The closer you look the more detail there is, as you zoom into the image. Fractal art is usually created using fractal generating software, the program has three main phases: setting parameters of appropriate fractal software, executing the possibly lengthy calculation and evaluating the product.

Digital Painting
Digital painting is an art form in which traditional painting techniques such as watercolor, oils, impasto, etc are applied using digital software. Digital painting is different to many other forms of digital art in that it is created without using a template or computer generated model. The artist uses painting techniques to create the digital painting directly onto the computer. The digital art software program uses traditional techniques such as brush strokes and colour blending to mimic the physical media. Styles available are increasingly diversified but include pastels, watercolour, oils, charcoals and acrylic to name just a few.

Pixel art
In amongst all these ground breaking digital art forms Pixel art a resurgence of old school pixel techniques is proudly celebrating the humble beginnings of computer art. It is a retro digital art style that is making a comeback. When seen, most people immediately remember their old commodore 64 or Atari graphics, indeed these old computers and video games all use pixel technology. Pixel art is drawn pixel by pixel in minute detail usually using a very limited colour palette and primitive computer graphics tools. One of the more popular programs is Microsoft Paint, this program hasn’t been updated for years however it is a perfectly suitable tool for creating pixel art.

Art Presentation – It’s All About the Packaging!

How you present your two or three dimensional art speaks volumes about how you feel about your own art product.

Creating your art is just the start in marketing your art. Presenting your art is like adding the icing on the cake. It is taking the next step and presenting your art product with the same care and creativity that you used in creating it.

It should come as no surprise that there are entire industries devoted to understanding how visual appeal affects the buying habits of the public. All businesses utilize these findings in a number of ways, from creating the packaging of their product to the displays that they use. What is surprising is how many artists do not recognize the importance of utilizing the same research to enhance the visual experience of the very art they have worked so hard to create!

There is a very real gap between the real world of art marketing and theory of art marketing. Most artists have been exposed to the theory aspect of art marketing, not the facts, which is unfortunate, because just a few changes in their approach to presenting their art could make a huge difference in their sales!

It is a fact that by properly displaying and presenting your art, you are creating added value to the piece itself. Ask any Master Chef, Gardner or musician. Ask any major retailer. A lot of thought and effort goes into creating the visual atmosphere that makes the art that much more appealing to an already interested audience.

So what IS Proper presentation and display of your art? In two dimensional art, it is the framing that an artist creates or selects to visually enhance the art piece. In three dimensional art, it is the display setting of the art piece.

In two dimensional art, the basic concept for the proper framing of your art product (and that includes photography) is simple. Your framing should enhance the colors and feel of the art image by pulling those same features outwards. If matting is used, it needs to pick up the same colors used within the artwork and those same colors and textures need to continue with the molding used for the frame. Stark white mats, common with photographers, trick the viewers eye and upon looking away, all they see is the bright white of the mat. Use selective color to enhance your photos.

If no matting is used in the piece, then the frame needs to replicate the colors and texture of the art piece.

Glass covered art needs to have non reflective glass so that the art can be seen by the viewer without glare. All the framed pieces need a sturdy way to display the piece on a wall.

For very large pieces of art, where a frame may be impractical, an artist should always use gallery wrapped canvases (NO staples on the side) and continue the art around all four sides.

If you create commissioned art and are presenting it to the client for the first time, always show it in a frame. Have the frame available for purchase, but always show it in its best possible light. Use your “good” easel for the presentation. There is a reason for the popularity of the “unveiling.” It is part of the atmosphere of suspense and showmanship and is designed to add the WOW factor. Use it creatively with your own clients.

Proper presentation is subtle. Your framing should enhance, not overwhelm the art piece.

With three dimensional art, an artist must be creative with the means to properly display the piece to its best advantage. A beautiful pedestal stand that can rotate is best but setting a piece on a stationary stand that can easily be walked around will work. Pottery benefits from the same ideas as sculpture.

The “unveiling” is a good use of suspense here as well. Depending on your art sculpture, lighting the piece to emphasize texture, form or colors is also part of the presentation.

Artfully arranged drapery also offers a wonderful visual effect. Jewelry stores are usually experts in creative displays and the artist who creates and designs jewelry should study the techniques. The brilliance of gold and silver is one reason many stores set their pieces on solid black velvet and turn up the lights in jewelry cases.

Be subtle but creative in your presentation. Nothing you use should overwhelm your art piece. Whether you are at a show, or in your studio or at a client’s home, use presentation to add value to an already valuable piece of art. Have your client give you a few moments alone to set up your mini unveiling. Have a place in your studio where you showcase your best piece to share with the walk in client. Always have frames ready and available or a framer who can accommodate your client when working with two dimensional art.

Too many artists groan about costs but in reality, there are many cost effective and creative ways to beautifully display and present your art. Use canvases or mats that can be ready made. Locate framers who can work discounts for you. Wait for the big catalog sales. Incorporate the costs of frames into what your clients invest in your art, whether they want the frame or not. That helps you build a supply of frames which you have found compliment your style.

The Crisis of Fine Arts Education

In these days of budget cuts and limited resources, it’s often the case that fine arts classes are the first to be cut. This is unfortunate, since a well-rounded education must include the arts. Studying the arts, whether in the academic study of art appreciation, or learning how to actually do art, is crucial to teach young people how to think creatively and independently. Some studies have shown that students that participate in a strong art education program demonstrate higher performance in other academic areas. Expert conjecture this is due to the fact that when people do art, they exercise the right hemisphere of the brain, where higher reasoning functioning occurs.

Art education is an area of learning based upon the visual, tangible arts, such as drawing, painting, sculpture, and design in jewelry, pottery, weaving, and fabrics. These days, it includes photography, video, film, design, and computer art.

The first art schools were mentioned by Plato in 400 B.C. Art was taught in Europe through the Method system for centuries. Artists, like most guilds, took on apprentices who learned their trade. During the Renaissance, more formal training took place in art studios. Design was emphasized more than the fine arts, so schools of design were founded throughout Europe during the 18th century. In modern times, art education takes place across the generations in community-based institutions and organizations like museums, local arts agencies, recreation centers, places of worship, social service agencies, prisons, and schools.

There are thousands of art education curricular models, or ways to teach art appreciation and how to do art. Some experts insist that drawing is the basis of all Western art education, at least since the Renaissance. Once you teach someone how to draw, they say, you can teach them all other forms of art because drawing is an empirical activity that involves seeing, interpreting, and discovering the appropriate marks to reproduce an observed phenomena.

Many state that an important part of a well-rounded education is at least a basic understanding of art history, including the numerous movements in art throughout the ages. A good understanding of art history, however, includes more than memorizing artists, their works, and when they were created. It involves an understanding of the trends in the art world. Even artists should have a good comprehension of the history of art, if they are to find out how they wish to express themselves to the world.

A good artist needs both an in-depth education in the history and appreciation of art and lots of studio time. Most art schools devote thirty percent of their coursework to academic fields of study, like art appreciation and art history. How can you develop your artistic vision if you don’t know what’s gone before?

It has been said, “We stand on the shoulders of giants.” This is especially true in the art world. You need to be able to answer when someone asks who your influences are. What does it mean to be a post-modern painter, for example? Or an abstract impressionist? Only a well-rounded education in the arts will help you answer those questions, and how they apply to you and your work.

Peter Dranitsin is a self taught and self representing abstract artist. He grew up in the family where his mother a professional artist and his father a professional photographer.

The Relevance of Arts to Practical Living

INTRODUCTION
For the avoidance of doubt, the concept of the arts can be viewed from two perspectives. On the one hand, the arts could be understood to mean the subjects one can study at school or university which are not scientific, which do not employ scientific methods. Subjects such as history, languages, religion, literature, and so on, would be appropriate examples. On the other hand, it could be interpreted to encompass a wide range of creative activities bordering on the skillful and imaginative expression of ideas, feelings, actions or events. Music, literature, theatre, and art (in the sense of painting, drawing, sculpture, etc) are what make up the arts in this sense. For the purpose of this discussion, however, our focus is on the second understanding of arts as proffered above.

The arts can then be classified into literary arts (poetry, prose, and drama), performing arts (music, dance, theatre) and visual arts (encapsulating the entire creative activities covered in the field of fine and applied arts: drawing, painting, sculpture, graphics, textile, etc).

WHY THE QUESTION OF RELEVANCE?
In developed economies of the world where the basic necessities of life seem to have been met, the question as to whether the arts are relevant or not to practical living is no longer an issue. Thousands of American citizens would troop down to the auditorium in Bard College to hear Chinua Achebe’s reading of his Things Fall Apart, not minding that they have heard the same reading over and over again, not minding that the book is over fifty years old; the same way the English audience would cluster at The Royal Theatre in London to watch the presentation of Wole Soyinka’s The Trials of Brother Jero or any of the plays of Shakespeare, not minding that Shakespeare wrote centuries ago. In the same vein, even though Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo are long dead and gone, Italians would pay their very last lira to watch an exhibition of their paintings.

In our own context, economic hardship and the search for basic necessities of life have meant that only a few have had the time to appreciate the arts for what they are worth. In other words, the problem is not whether the arts are relevant or not, for it is not in doubt that the arts are relevant to practical living as much as any profession, or even more so. The real problem lies in the fact that people are too hungry or too busy to see the real worth of the arts. A man who lives on a monthly salary of paltry ten thousand naira, with seven mouths to feed, and so many other family problems to solve may not easily pay five hundred naira just to watch a drama presentation; a Nigerian graduate who has walked the streets of Abuja, Lagos, or Port Harcourt in search of a job for three years without success would know what to do with money rather than spend it on a piece of landscape paintings; likewise, a young man who has had nothing to eat for days, and has no hope of where the next meal is coming from, would not possibly be coordinated enough to read, not to talk of appreciating, works of poetry. If arts cannot satisfy hunger or thirst, can they still be said to be relevant?

THE RELEVANCE OF THE ARTS
The word ‘relevance’ presupposes usefulness and value. So the right questions should be: are the arts useful in any way? And our answer: yes, they are. Do they have value? Our answer again: yes, they do. If the arts have use and value, and those are the things that relevance implies, then we can say that the arts are relevant. That conclusion raises another vital question: in what ways are the arts relevant? The relevance of arts can be found in the following areas.

Entertainment/Relaxation: The various forms of the arts mentioned above provide one form of entertainment, amusement and relaxation or the other. In Biblical times, when the spirit of God deserted King Saul and he was tormented by evil spirits, David was employed to play his harp. The sound of music produced by David’s harp kept Saul’s mind at peace, for whenever David was not around to play his harp, the evil spirits came back. In ancient Mali too, court poets/historians called Griots were known to entertain the audience during national festivals by reciting long narrative poems recounting the heroic achievements of their forebears. At a time in history, court jesters were employed to entertain the king or the queen and their visitors by telling funny stories and jokes (as can be seen in most of Shakespeare’s plays). In traditional African societies, moonlight tales were a veritable source of both entertainment and relaxation for both old and young. Praise singers and dance groups entertained the crowd during communal ceremonies.

In modern times, in the not too distant past, the late Sani Abacha was alleged to have employed the famous comedian, Chief Zebrudaya, to provide entertainment for him and his cohorts through his funny jokes and stories. It was also reported that the former Head of State, Olusegun Obasanjo, is a great patron of stand-up comedy. Besides, at least one out of every three people in the world today find peace of mind in music; one out of every four Nigerians relax at home at the close of work to watch a home video; and one out of every five relax in bed with a literature book. Since the advent of stand-up comedy in Nigeria, even though hardship has continued unabated, a lot of Nigerians have begun to look at the lighter side of things. Mere listening to a single volume of ‘Nite of A Thousand Laughs’ would drive away sorrow in people’s hearts. Since these developments began, I bet that had the medical practitioners started taking stock, they would have discovered that high blood pressure and other stress-related conditions have reduced by more than half over the past decade.

Financial Value: The arts are equally a very lucrative venture for serious-minded artists. All arts practitioners who are worth their salt make a living out of their practice. So many examples of such people could be found around us. The famous Osuofia (Nkem Owoh) is a living example. The majority of the practitioners in the movie industry today were not even originally artists. Their professions could not provide for them, and so they switched over to the arts. Besides, works of art, especially paintings, are considered very highly valuable intellectual property that can be accepted as collateral the same way that gold or diamond or buildings would be accepted.

Review of the Best Art Schools in South Carolina

In the heart of the American Southeast, South Carolina boasts expansive beaches, charming towns and the historic city of Charleston, home to the large Gibbs Museum of Art. Charleston hosts the annual MOJA Festival celebrating African American and Caribbean arts, music and culture, an event representative of the diverse cultural influences that have shaped the arts in South Carolina.

Just outside of Charleston is Middleton Place, the oldest landscaped gardens in the United States. Columbia, SC’s largest city is home to the Columbia Museum of Art and boasts an expanding art and theater scene in its revitalizing downtown. Other South Carolina landmarks include the Spartanburg Art Museum, and Brookgreen Gardens, in Murrells Inlet South Carolina, a national historical landmark with the world’s most significant collection of figurative sculpture by American artists in an outdoor setting.

SC is home to noted art & design schools such as Winthrop University (est. 1886) accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) and the Council for Interior Design, and the University of South Carolina-College of Visual and Performing Arts (est. 1801), accredited by the National Association for Schools of Art And Design (NASD).

A number of liberal arts colleges and universities in South Carolina offer programs for students interested in pursuing studies in the fine arts, graphic design and related fields. The College of Charleston, for example, was founded in 1770 and is the 13th oldest college in the U.S. The school is located near the Gibbes Museum of Art and offers majors in Arts Management, Art History, Music and Studio Art.

The Visual Arts Program at South Carolina State University offers a Bachelor of Art in Studio Art with concentrations in Ceramics/Sculpture, Digital Media, and Printmaking as well as a Bachelor of Science degree program in Art Education for individuals wishing to teach art.

The largest SC Universities include the University of South Carolina-Columbia with a total enrollment of over 27,000 and Clemson University, located in Clemson South Carolina and enrolling over 17,000 students. Both schools offer degree programs for students interested in a career in fine art or commercial art and design.

Winthrop University, in Rock Hill South Carolina, offers Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in Ceramics, Jewelry/Metals, Painting, Photography (both commercial and fine art), Printmaking, Sculpture and Visual Communication Design (in illustration or graphics). The emphasis is on combining creativity and community and preparing students for the technical, aesthetic and intellectual challenges of understanding the changing global environment, and preparing for careers working creatively in the arts in their communities.

Coastal Carolina University is a small school located in Conway South Carolina, near the lovely oceanfront community of Myrtle Beach and owns it’s own 1,000 acre barrier island on the Atlantic coast. The school offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in both Studio Art and Graphic Design with coursework in ceramics, painting, photography, printmaking, art education and art history. The program allows students to explore many media before choosing a focus and producing a body of original work exhibited in the university’s Rebecca Randall Bryan Art Gallery.

Most liberal arts schools teaching art and design provide a grounding in art history, design theory, media and technique, as well as computer technology. Students develop portfolios with samples of their completed projects to present to potential employers, graduate schools or galleries if they decide to pursue careers as independent artists or artisans.

There is a significant demand for creative people in all industries in SC. Artists and designers can find employment in corporations creating advertisements, brochures, logos and packaging and product designs. They can work in agencies, design firms, film and media companies and publishers, as well as museums, and galleries.

Reviewing Minnesota’s Best Art Colleges

Minnesota is a large and beautiful state with a reputation for personality and creativity. From Garrison Keillor’s mythical Lake Woebegone to the work of Minnesota state natives F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sinclair Lewis, Judy Garland and Charles Schultz, the state has long contributed to the arts in the America. Opportunities for creative work in Minnesota are growing, whether you are interested in becoming an interior designer, museum curator, advertising art director or fine artist.

From its famous 10,000 Lakes to its major urban and business center in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region, Minneapolis provides creative inspiration. Minneapolis boasts the 11-day long Minneapolis Fringe Festival, the largest non-juried performing and visual arts festival in the nation. The state also houses museums, galleries and design firms. Minnesota offers a variety of settings and institutions for individuals committed to pursing studies in arts-related careers.

Minnesota has four art schools accredited by the National Association of Schools for Art and Design (NASAD) including two small specialized design schools: the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, with some 703 enrolled students (est. 1886), and the College of Visual Arts (est. 1948) with an enrollment of 200. Minnesota State University in Mankato and Minnesota State University in Moorhead both offer Departments of Art with programs accredited by NASAD as well as by the Council for Interior Design. Minnesota State and the Minnesota College of Art and Design also offer distance learning options through their online programs.

Minnesota College of Art and Design (MCAD) is located in Minneapolis, in a neighborhood adjacent to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts-the Twin Cities pre-eminent art museum, housed in a neo-classical landmark building designed by McKim, Mead and White in 1915. The College offers a range of degrees. The Bachelor of Fine Arts program allows students to choose from 13 different majors in fine art, design and media. Some the school’s more unusual majors include Furniture Design, Comic Art and a major called Print Paper Book. The BFA program offers a balance of two-thirds studio classes and one-third liberal arts, providing a strong pre-professional focus.

The Minnesota College of Art and Design also offers a Bachelor of Science degree that centers on bridging the gap between business executives and creative staff. This program is recommended for students who are both visual and verbal and who are interested in applying their analytical and entrepreneurial skills to working in arts-related fields. Students participate in internships in art agencies, design firms and web development companies. The school’s Masters of Fine Arts in visual studies follows a mentor-based approach combining studio work with seminars and inter-disciplinary experience.

Minnesota State offers Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees offering studio specializations in ceramics, drawing, fibers, graphic design, painting, photography printmaking and sculpture. Minnesota State offers an alternative for students looking to study art in the context of a large university with a range of educational resources.

Minnesota State Mankato enrolls 14,500 students on its 303 acre campus located 85 miles southwest of Minneapolis. Similarly, the University Of Minnesota Department Of Art in Minneapolis offers a Bachelor of Arts Program encompassing training in studio arts as well as history of art and art criticism. The school’s selective Bachelors in Fine Arts program is available for students applying at the end of their sophomore year and looking to prepare for a specialized art career or graduate study.

Other liberal arts schools in Minnesota offer bachelor’s degrees in art including St. Cloud State in St. Cloud, where students can choose in emphasis in graphic design, 3-d media, or integrated media. Independent Arts institutes, such as the College of Visual Arts, focus on individualized learning an art-making community and boast an integrated curriculum focused on preparing students to become professional artists.

Reviewing the Best Art Colleges in Texas

The expansive state of Texas enrolls 10,000 students in art school and boasts 13 schools accredited by the Council for Interior Design. Among its leading programs are offerings at the University of North Texas-College of Visual Arts and Design, Rice University, and Baylor University.

The University of Texas offers NSAD-accredited programs and has art departments in its nine campuses across the state including Austin, San Antonia and Arlington. Texas also boasts renowned museums including the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Blue Star Contemporary Art Center, McNay Art Museum and the San Antonio Museum of Art and the Austin Museum of Art.

The College of Fine Arts at the University of Texas in Austin recently completed a new Visual Arts Center. Two of its faculty members were named Guggenheim Fellows in 2010. Noted graduate Marcia Gay Harden was the 2010 commencement speaker at University of Texas at Austin-a school that clearly values the arts.

Austin is one of the largest and most diverse art departments in the country. The Studio Art division offers seven areas of study: Ceramics, Metals, Printing and Drawing, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture, and Transmedia, a major with an emphasis on experimental practices including working in such realms as sound, installation, web, interactive and hypertext. The school also offers a selective 3-year MFA in Studio Art program enrolling 30 students.

The College of Visual and Performing Arts School of Art (SoA) at Texas Tech University in Lubbock Texas offers NASAD-accredited degree programs in studio arts, art history, communication design and visual studies. The BFA in Studio Art focuses on the development of students’ personal artistic expression and technical skills as well imparting an understanding and appreciation of both artistic heritage and contemporary art. The school also offers Masters Degrees as well a doctoral program in Fine Arts focusing on Critical Studies and Artistic Practice.

Rice University, one of the nation’s premier research universities, boasts a commitment to undergraduate education and offers a Studio Art major in its Department of Visual and Dramatic Arts. Students are encouraged to explore courses in areas such as philosophy, anthropology and history. Students at Rice have access to the creative resources of the dynamic city of Houston Texas and visit galleries, studios and exhibitions in their junior year in preparation for a senior year that focuses on intensive studio work.

Baylor University, in Waco Texas, offers both a BFA and BA in Studio Arts. Baylor students can concentrate in Ceramics, Fabric Design, Painting and other fine arts. BA students are encouraged to take courses across the concentrations, and are required to enroll in a larger percentage of liberal arts coursework than students on a BFA degree track. Baylor also offers a BA in Architecture in cooperation with Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Students at Baylor complete discipline-specific exams, portfolios, exhibitions and research papers, depending on their degree track. Baylor houses the Martin Museum of Art, the Allbritton Art Institute for the study of nineteenth and twentieth century art and the Harding Black Ceramic collection and Archive dedicated to scholarship in the ceramic arts.

There are dozens of other colleges and universities across the state of Texas that offer degree programs in fine art, design and commercial art fields. Individuals interested in these fields can explore the range of options available to them in Texas and seek out a balanced program to help launch their career.

The Accepted Definitions For Art and Its Classification

Art is an area of study that is very broad. Generally, art is defined as a means of self-expression. There is not just one definition widely accepted for Art. Art lends itself to several definitions. Some of these definitions are:

• It is a means of expressing one’s ideas through painting, drawing, sculpting etc.
• It is any activity in which a person gives order and form to organized ideas to bring out a new creation.
• It is a way of life and forms an integral part of life.
• It is the production of items with visual tools such as lines, colour, textures, etc. guided by design principles to satisfy both the aesthetic and functional needs of the individual and the society.
• It refers to the products of human creativity.
•It is a means of self-expression.

Art is broadly divided into two. These are I) Liberal Arts and ii) Creative Arts

i) Liberal Arts refer to the studies intended to provide general knowledge and intellectual skills such as law, literature, government, etc. It is usually referred to as humanities since it is a humanistic discipline that addresses concerns of social living.

ii) Creative Arts refer to the arts that employ creative abilities in the production of artefacts that are useful in carrying out our day to day activities. Unlike the liberal arts, creative arts offer self-occupational or practical skills which are manual in nature to its learners. It is the focus as far as the study of Visual art is concerned.

It should be noted that when the term ‘art’ is mentioned in the realms of visual art education, we are in effect talking about the creative arts. It is divided into two main branches namely a) Visual arts and b) Performing Arts.

Visual Arts

This refers to all creative or artistic products that are perceived with the sense of sight (optical sense-eye), sense of touch (skin) and can arouse emotions. Therefore, any creative product you can see, touch and can arouse in you an emotional feeling can be said to be a visual art form. Let’s take a drawing done on a sheet of paper as an example. Since one can see the drawing with the eye and can touch it while this same drawing also arouses an emotional feeling in the person seeing it, we can say with conviction that drawing is a visual art form.

Visual arts is sometimes referred to as Plastic or solid arts because of their tangible nature. It is divided into two groups. These are Fine arts and Industrial arts.

• Fine Arts are produced to serve as a form of decoration in the interiors and exteriors of homes, offices etc. They are purposely produced to satisfy the aesthetic drive of the viewer. Owing to this, the aesthetic qualities of the works in this area is stressed or given much emphasis in their creation. Though these arts may play other roles, it should be noted that their main function is for decoration. Examples include Painting, Graphic design, Picture making and Sculpture.

• Industrial arts also known as applied arts are those that focus more on the functions or uses of the artistic product, not its aesthetic value. They are created to satisfy the utilitarian needs of the individual while carrying out duties in our everyday life. They are purely usable art forms. Examples include Textiles, Leatherwork, Ceramics, Pottery, and Jewellery.

Performing Arts

These are perceived by the sense of sight and sense of movement (kinesthetic sense). They are performed or played. They are seen in a stream of time. Examples include music, dance and drama. An aspect of performing arts is Verbal arts which are performances communicated with words and body gestures. They include poetry, incantations, recitations etc.