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Department of Art and Design

Padnos Artist

Meet Nayda Collazo-Llorens, currently our Stuart and Barbara Padnos Distinguished Artist in Residence. (Read more)


Graduates of the Art and Design program possess knowledge, experience, and unique skills that are highly desirable and transferable, enabling them to seek employment in career fields both within and outside of the fine arts. Art degrees can lead to future work opportunities in a gallery, non-profit cultural organization, or museum.

You might find your passion in a career as an art teacher, teaching art to elementary school, middle school, or high school students. You might find yourself in the corporate world, designing advertising or websites as an art designer or studio artist. Perhaps you will decide to nurture your creative side, working as a creative artist in any one of several fields, from publishing to education to management to media and advertising. Or you might find yourself attending graduate school to become an art educator, art historian or practicing studio artist. Here is a list of potential careers, in and outside of the fine arts, for those trained in art education, art history, or studio art:

Art Education

Art Education (Art Ed.) graduates are prepared to teach in public and private schools, work in community arts and museum education programs, pursue graduate work and university teaching. Here are some possible career titles for the Art Ed. major:

  • Primary/ elementary teacher
  • Secondary/ middle/ high school art teacher
  • Art curriculum developer
  • Museum art educator
  • Arts and cultural planner
  • Arts administrator
  • Workshop consultant

Art Education

Art History

Art Historians can work in art conservation, art therapy, museums or galleries, archive and library services, arts administration, pursue graduate work and/or university teaching. Here are some possible career opportunities for Art History majors:

  • Art critic/ journalist
  • Art researcher
  • Museum curator
  • Curatorial assistant
  • Arts editor/ writer
  • Gallery manager
  • Museum administrator

Art History

Studio Art

Studio Art majors develop careers as an independent artist or designer, can work in galleries, arts organizations, and museums, pursue graduate work and/or university teaching. Below is a list of possible career opportunities for Studio Art majors:

  • Freelance artist/ entrepreneur
  • Ceramist
  • Jewelry designer
  • Metalsmith/goldsmith
  • Painter (portrait artist)/ mural artist
  • Printmaker/screen printer
  • Sculptor/ digital 3D modeler
  • Graphic Designer
  • Logo & Branding Designer
  • Freelance illustrator
  • Time-based artist
  • Gallery owner/assistant/ director/ curator
  • Exhibition planner/ coordinator
  • Prop designer/ fabricator
  • Window Display Designer
  • Pattern Designer (wallpapers, carpets, etc.)
  • Concept Artist
  • User Interface Designer
  • Web Designer
  • Layout Designer
  • Cartoonist/ graphic novelist
  • Community-based artist

Studio Art

Alumni Career Placement

Our alumni go on to pursue a wide variety of career opportunities. From community focused organizations, to building their own business, to taking positions in art direction, design, manufacturing, and art production. Click here for more information on Art and Design Alumni.

Career Prospect in the Fine Arts

Here are some clippings about a career in Fine Arts:

GVSU Career Services

Career Services at Grand Valley State University provides students with resources to choose their individual career path. They also offer frequent workshops and programs to help majors in all fields to prepare for life after graduation. Visit Career Services