An education in the arts lies between the practices of making, intellectual reflection, and an understanding of the relationship between visual media and society.


At Grand Valley State University, the Department of Visual and Media Arts encourages majors to explore and develop their individual sense of place as human beings in relationship to the world around them. The degree programs integrate the values of a liberal education while preparing graduates for intensive engagement with the production and examination of the visual arts.


Discover Your Potential at VMA



Padnos Gallery View

Experience the Padnos Gallery Exhibitions Virtually

Visit the Stuart B. and Barbara H. Padnos Visual and Media Arts Student Gallery website to experience the works on display this semester

View the Padnos Art Gallery Exhibition

Why study Visual and Media Arts at GVSU?


More than 25,000 students have chosen to study at Grand Valley, making us one of the largest universities in Michigan. We're big enough to have the impact of a major university and small enough to give you the support and resources you need to move forward and succeed. Read below why an arts education at GVSU will prepare you to succeed after graduation.


1. Find Your Voice

1. You will find your voice here

We support you during your exciting and challenging transition from learning in the classroom to learning in personal and professional worlds. Students are introduced to many avenues for their creative practice and develop the required skills to succeed in their field. Watch the video above that illustrates what the Department  has to offer.

(Shot and edited by alum, Nick Beardslee, Film & Video Production, 2017)

2. Liberal Arts Education

General Education Program at GVSU


Grand Valley's liberal education focus prepares students for life in a fast-changing world. It fosters a commitment to economic, social, and environmental sustainability and an inclusive campus that values diversity. Through this forward-thinking education, students are empowered to positively affect the global community now and in the future.

3. Join the #LakerEffect

Graphic Design alumna Kaitlyn Allison shares her story in this Laker Effect Campaign video

Students in the Department of Visual and Media Arts not only will hone their creative and critical thinking skills but also will have the opportunity to engage with the university community in a variety of ways beyond their major. Please see the video of alumna Kaitlyn Allison sharing her story at GVSU.

4. Scholarships

The Dirk Koning Memorial Scholarship is available for Film & Video Production Students

Scholarships help ensure that the best and brightest students can access a Grand Valley education and enrich our campus, regardless of their socioeconomic situation. They are a great resource to help reduce your reliance on student loans. Grand Valley has a wide variety of scholarships available to new and returning students. 

Scholarships for Visual and Media Arts Students



10 Questions for our alumni

Eleanore Lubbers, BFA, Illustration, 2016 Spotlight

Eleanore Lubbers, BFA, Illustration, 2016

"Despite my initial desire to go into medical, all the aptitude tests pointed to art. My counselor seemed hesitant to recommend art, It could just be a hobby. Friends and family also expressed doubt. However, I went the art route and never looked back."

BreeAnn Veenstra, BFA, Studio Art (Illustration), 2009 Spotlight

BreeAnn Veenstra, BFA, Studio Art (Illustration), 2009

"Every piece of art you create is just practice for the next one. Or in other words, it's okay to make mistakes because those mistakes teach you something that makes the next time a little easier (and better)."

Ross Tanner, BFA, Graphic Design, 2015 Spotlight

Ross Tanner, BFA, Graphic Design, 2015

"Be memorable. Show up. Be on the fore front of that future employer's mind. Volunteer... a lot. Start to make yourself recognizable to the local professional community. Don't just talk business, have a human to human conversation."

View More 10 Questions for our alumni

Student works


The Department of Visual and Media Arts belongs to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, a student-centered and diverse learning community that engages in critical inquiry, extending knowledge to enrich and enliven individual and public life.

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Website


Page last modified June 22, 2021