The Department of Art consists of four integrated academic areas: studio art, graphic design, art education, and art history. Introductory courses in design, drawing, and art history prepare students for entry into their chosen area of study within the art and art education programs. All art courses are designed to help students develop technical and conceptual skills, establish a foundation for critical thinking, and fulfill their creative potential. In order to enhance their understanding of the visual arts, all art students complete a sequence of art history courses. An internship program offers junior and senior art students the opportunity to work in professional settings at design studios, museums, and galleries. Ultimately, the goal of the art program is to prepare each student to become a contributing member of the art profession, the community, and society as a whole.
Both the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science degrees in art and in art education are offered in the Department of Art. Students pursuing an art degree choose an emphasis in art history, graphic design, illustration, interactive media design, photography, or studio (ceramics, jewelry, painting, printmaking, sculpture, or woodworking). Students seeking an art education degree select either the (K-12) all-grade or (secondary) high school track. Program requirements for the art education major, whether K-12 or secondary, are consistent with the teacher education licensing requirements in the State of Indiana. Minors include studio art, graphic design, and art history. Art education minors are available for students receiving an education degree in a non-art discipline.
The art and art education programs serve to help students define their own artistic goals and inform them of career fields or graduate study. Upon completion of their studies at USI, many art majors have been accepted into graduate programs at prestigious institutions throughout the country. The art faculty takes pride in the accomplishments of its graduates who have achieved success as graphic designers, artists, elementary to university-level teachers, museum and gallery personnel, and art historians.
The Kenneth P. McCutchan Art Center/Palmina F. and Stephen S. Pace Galleries contributes to the educational experience at USI by providing a professional exhibition space for the creative work of art majors, faculty members, and alumni, as well as special exhibits such as the University's art collection, visiting artists, traveling exhibits, and juried invitational shows. The art program also is affiliated with the New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art, which provides continuous art exhibitions during the academic year.