Painting | Art & Design | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Liberal Arts



Paula McAteer BFA ThesisThe painting program is built on a strong foundation of training emphasizing tradition, yet also encourages individual experimentation within a variety of contemporary approaches. The curriculum establishes the relationship between painting’s rich and varied history, current dialogues in the field and the student’s personal thinking and art making. Faculty possess a diverse set of expertise in traditional and contemporary studio practices which offer students a wide range of aesthetic resources.

The painting curriculum is designed to foster creative problem solving through the study of theory and studio practice. Students explore work from direct observation as well as experimental processes within their media concentrations and are encouraged to construct a body of work of personal significance. Faculty emphasize individual attention in an atmosphere of creative freedom. Incorporating both traditional techniques and digital media, specific knowledge and skills are explored which allow students the opportunity to realize their goals as practicing professional artists.

BFA paintingLearn more about our undergraduate program with this downloadable brochure (PDF).



Graduate Gallery:

2D (Drawing, Painting, Printmaking)

The work pictured here is only a small sampling of the outstanding work of our graduate students in Drawing, Painting and Printmaking.

2D Graduate Annual Review


Master of Fine Arts in Art with Emphasis in Painting

Chintia KiranaThe Master of Fine Arts in Art with an emphasis in Painting offers students a comprehensive education that helps prepare them for careers as professional artists. The program has two major goals: 1) for students to learn the skills, creativity, critical awareness, and autonomy necessary for being a professional artist, while simultaneously, 2) gaining the skills and experience necessary to teach art at the college level. Students must be able to demonstrate a high level of ability in their area of emphasis, present a professional-level body of original artwork which reflects their ability to investigate concepts, issues and processes relevant to their studio practice, and be able to discuss this work critically.  Students supplement their studio practice through graduate assistantships when possible, using them to complement and enhance their skills, understanding, and ability to communicate art issues.  The outcome is that students are able to pursue a professional art career by exhibiting their work in appropriate venues, as well as pursuing grants and artist residencies and garnering critical acclaim for their work in the press.  They are prepared to teach art at the college level in term or tenure-track positions as well as find other professional opportunities in a variety of cultural venues.

Kerra TaylorGenerally speaking, the Painting, Drawing, and Printmaking areas of emphasis work together as a whole at the graduate level, and are colloquially known as the “2D area.” The MFA Degrees with emphasis in Drawing, in Painting, and in Printmaking are integrated and inclusive, situating the student's experience within a studio dynamic that broadly investigates the combined and collaborative potential of these studio areas.  Students are simultaneously encouraged to explore the relationship of their subject area to other disciplines and media possibilities within the resources of the School.  Through a process of practical and intellectual engagements, students are encouraged to devise individualized strategies to develop and inform their own work in relation to the broader spectrum of contemporary professional practice.  The faculty consequently places considerable emphasis on the opportunity for students to encounter a range of ideas, attitudes, and approaches that are necessary to this development, all of which are further enhanced by a program of visiting artists and relevant critical and historical contextualization.

Todd LarsoneA minimum of 60 semester credit hours is required for the Master of Fine Arts degree with a major in art.

Primary Studio emphasis:
26 credit hours
Art History or related subjects:
12 credit hours
Studio Electives (may be within concentration): 9 credit hours
Thesis or terminal project work:
6 credit hours
Other Electives: The remaining 7 credit hours may be elected from any area within the School of Art & Design or from the University at large.

Bachelor of Fine Arts,
Painting Concentration

The undergraduate major in Painting can be accomplished by fulfilling the requirements for the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree.

Total Degree Requirements: 120 credits
University Core Curriculum: 32 credits
(3 covered by AD 100A or B, 6 by AD 207A, B, or C Introduction to Art History),
Art and Design Requirements: 88 credits