"I really got a lot out of mastering analog photography in the program at GVSU. The way the courses were set up to deeply understand composition, highlights, shadows, time, lighting with film before moving onto digital was helpful for me."
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
The Department of Visual and Media Arts has two active searches for tenure-track faculty to start in August 2024. Both positions are part of the cluster hire in Society, Technology, and Environment. We also seek applications for the 2024-25 Stuart and Barbara Padnos Distinguished Artist-in-Residence.
All positions are designed to enhance the experiences of students in the Department of Visual and Media Arts, both majors and non-majors, at Grand Valley State University.
Visit the Padnos Gallery
Visit the Stuart B. and Barbara H. Padnos Student Gallery to experience the works on display this semester. The Padnos Gallery is located on the lower level of Calder Art Center.
New Studio Art BFA Curriculum
Beginning fall 2022, requirements and courses in the Studio Art BFA degree have been updated.
“"I had always been an art kid. The problem solving involved in graphic design is what drew me into that specific emphasis. I love turning an ambiguous landscape into a creative solution."”
—Sarah Brockett, graphic design emphasis alumna, 2014
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.
Find Your Voice
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)
Liberal Arts Education
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.
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
"And never underestimate an art student's skills at thinking about ANY problem creatively!"
"Discover what you're passionate about and pursue it. If you are studying or working in a field that you love, it makes life significantly more enjoyable. Don't choose a degree because of what your parents or friends want you to do."
The Department of Visual and Media Arts belongs to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Through our commitment to liberal education, CLAS strives to be an inclusive and equitable community of inquiry where students, staff and faculty collaborate to pursue and create knowledge, to enact global citizenship, and to engage and support our many communities.