Art: The UDC Edge

At the University of the District of Columbia, you 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 your learning experience beyond the studio and into the world around us. On campus, the art, photography, and graphic design labs are equipped with state-of-the-art technology. Our instructors are dedicated to providing expert guidance as you discover your own creative methods and avenues of expression.

At UDC, you can explore your creativity, expand your technical skills, examine the wonders of art history, and express your unique artistic vision.

Art: Studio Art, Graphic Design, Photography – Bachelor of Art Degree (BA)

If you 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 your vision, and equips you with the skills relevant to today’s creative marketplace. Regardless of your artistic inclination, we have a concentration to fit your needs, whether you favor the communication art of graphic design, the focus on creative use of the camera, or the many expressive paths of studio art. Classes taught by working art professionals focus on the fundamentals of effective visual communication, creative visual problem-solving, and merging classical techniques with emerging technology.

Your studies in the UDC Art Program will take you from inspiration to innovative technique and expression, culminating in a professional portfolio of work that shows your 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 & 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 Bachelor’s Degree in 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 coming 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.

We take 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

You can choose from the following degree options:

  • Studio Art (BA, 120 credits) – Including advanced studio courses in the areas of painting, sculpture, printmaking, ceramics, and figure drawing
  • Graphic Design (BA, 120 credits) – Including communication design courses that explore logos, posters, digital typography, web design, illustration, and animation
  • Photography (BA, 120 credits) – Including 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

You have frequent opportunities to exhibit your 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.

Anthony Gongora (BFA, MFA), Assistant Professor, is an accomplished visual artist and videographer whose works have been exhibited in Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago, and abroad.

Rukman Niyangoda (BA, MFA), Assitant 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), Associate 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 you get gallery shows, creative freelance contracts, and design jobs after graduation. Student art shows give you a chance to showcase your art and design. Additionally, the senior portfolio course shows you 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 you 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: | T: 202.274.5781