Art: The UDC Edge

At the University of the District of Columbia, students are blocks away from some of the most prestigious art collections and resources in the world. The National Gallery of Art, the museums of the Smithsonian Institution, and hundreds of galleries help extend the learning experience beyond the studio and into the world. On campus, the art, photography, and graphic design labs are equipped with state-of-the-art technology. Instructors are dedicated to providing expert guidance as students discover their own creative methods and avenues of expression.

At UDC, students can explore their creativity, expand their technical skills, examine art history, and express a unique artistic vision.

Art: Studio Art, Graphic Design, Photography – Bachelor of Arts  (B.A.)

For students who are interested in the visual arts, UDC can shape that interest into the foundation of a lifelong career. The Bachelor’s Degree in Art provides the foundation for creating art, graphic design, and photography that reflects and supports individual vision. Students are equipped with the skills relevant to today’s creative marketplace. Regardless of artistic inclination, the department has a concentration to fit every student’s needs. Courses are taught by working art professionals who focus on the fundamentals of effective visual communication, creative visual problem-solving, and merging classical techniques with emerging technology.

UDC’s Art Program will develop students from inspiration to innovative technique and expression, culminating in a professional portfolio of work that demonstrates unique creative vision.

Student Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this program, students will be able to

  1. Use the core elements of design to create work that effectively communicates a message.
  2. Solve visual problems using an understanding of visual literacy.
  3. Generate original concepts for visual communications.
  4. Discuss art and design in oral and written communications.
  5. Analyze and critique artwork using professional language and appropriate terminology.
  6. Create work in a variety of media and formats.
  7. Work socially and/or collaboratively with other artists and designers.
  8. Engage in independent creative development.
  9. Manage professional presentation of their portfolio of work.
  10. Use current technology to create art and designs.

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Curriculum and Requirements in the Art Program

The art program offers courses in conceptual thinking, drawing, design, photography, and digital media. Advanced studio and art history courses help students synthesize diverse art techniques and theories.

Transfer students, including those from UDC’s Community College, can submit an application and portfolio to be considered for admission into the four-year program. Students must submit their application through the Registrar’s Office, meet the requirements (including a”C” average or higher), and successfully complete the portfolio review to be admitted.

The faculty takes a pragmatic approach to teaching art. All students develop a professional portfolio and résumé in their senior year, with the opportunity to participate in a senior practicum to gain experience in their creative field.

Program of Study – Studio Art

Program of Study – Graphic Design

Program of Study – Photography

Students can choose from the following degree options:

  • Studio Art (BA, 120 credits) – Includes advanced studio courses in the areas of painting, sculpture, printmaking, ceramics, and figure drawing
  • Graphic Design (BA, 120 credits) – Includes communication design courses that explore logos, posters, digital typography, web design, illustration, and animation
  • Photography (BA, 120 credits) – Includes darkroom and digital photography classes, as well as exposure to photographic lighting, commercial photography, and experimental photography

Student Organizations and Activities in the Art Program

Students have frequent opportunities to exhibit their work in Gallery 42, including the annual spring art show.

The UDC Art Student Union and the UDC Photo Club bring students together to exchange ideas, take field trips, listen to guest lecturers, and network within their creative discipline.

Faculty Spotlight: UDC Art Program

Iwan Bagus (BA, M.Sc, MA), Assistant Professor, is a commercial, editorial and fine art photographer whose work has been published and exhibited nationally and internationally.

Rukman Niyangoda (BA, MFA), Assistant Professor has spent over 15 years in the graphic design industry as an art director/web designer. His works have been published nationally and internationally.

Michael Talley (BFA, MFA candidate), Assistant Professor, is a graphic designer who works with clients locally, nationally and internationally. His designs have been featured in industry excellence publications.

Daniel Venne (BFA, MFA), Professor and Art Program Coordinator, is an interdisciplinary artist and illustrator whose paintings have been exhibited internationally.

Career Pathways and Prospects

The UDC Art Program emphasizes portfolio development that will help students secure gallery shows, creative freelance contracts, and design jobs after graduation. Student art shows give students a chance to showcase their art and design. Additionally, the senior portfolio course teaches students how to craft an effective arts résumé, organize a comprehensive portfolio, and seek professional opportunities in art and design.

The options for the Bachelor’s degree in Art offer a variety of career paths:

  • The option in Studio Art prepares students for various arts careers, including but not limited to: animator, art conservator, art director, art therapist, art teacher, book designer, cartoonist, ceramicist, costume designer, display designer, gallery manager, illustrator, installation artist, landscape and portrait painter, makeup and special effects artist, textile designer, sculptor and theatrical set designer.
  • The option in Photography prepares students for work as a commercial photographer, fine art photographer, photojournalist, photography instructor, and as a photographer working with private and governmental agencies. The option in Graphic Design is the first step to a career as a professional print and web designer for commercial institutions, freelance clients, design studios, and government agencies.
  • The option in Graphic Design is the first step to a career as a professional print and web designer for commercial institutions, freelance clients, design studios, and government agencies.

Contact info:

Daniel Venne, Program Director
E: dvenne@udc.edu | T: 202.274.5781