Painting Emphasis - B.F.A.

Degree Information

Format: Face-to-face

Credits: ~126

The Painting emphasis encourages and supports a broad range of stylistic and conceptual exploration nurturing your unique artistic voice. Painting students have pursued graduate work in painting, art history and art therapy as well as found employment in careers such as curatorial fields, gallery work, design and education. Students may pursue a B.A. or B.S. in Art Education or a B.F.A. in Studio Art in this emphasis.

Degree Options

Students interested in a Painting education may pursue a B.F.A. in Studio Art with this emphasis, or pursue a B.A./B.S. degree in Art Education with this emphasis as well.

BFA Studio Art, Painting Emphasis

The B.F.A. in Studio Art is designed for students interested in a professional career in art. Aside from Painting, seven other Emphasis Areas are available to choose from in the B.F.A. degree.

BA/BS in Art Education and K-12 certification

Students may also pursue a BA or BS Degree in Art Education in which they can choose to take Painting courses. 


In addition to learning the techniques of painting, the program encourages undergraduates to examine the broader social and cultural contexts in which they create their work. At the introductory level, students establish a professional groundwork in media, materials, and processes necessary for their development as painters. As they continue in upper level courses, each is supported in cultivating a personal approach to the medium. This process includes intensive coursework, independent studio projects, critiques, and museum visits that offer students rich opportunities for reflective and engaged learning.

Studio Art (Painting) - B.F.A. Advising Guide 2022-23Transitional Advising Guide to New and Previous Studio Art BFA DegreePainting - Degree Checklist (Previous)Painting - 4-year plan (Previous)


Fundamentals of painting in opaque media with a variety of subjects and styles. Offered fall and winter semesters.

Prerequisites & Notes
Prerequisites: ART 152, ART 157.

Credits: 3

Intermediate projects using a variety of styles, subjects, and techniques. Offered fall and winter semesters.

Prerequisites & Notes
Prerequisites: ART 260.

Credits: 3

Intermediate projects using a variety of styles, subjects, and techniques. Offered fall and winter semesters.

Prerequisites & Notes
Prerequisites: ART 361.

Credits: 3

For studio artists and designers about to enter graduate school or professional design studios. Includes a required three-day field trip to Chicago, information concerning resume preparation, exhibitions, interviewing, portfolios, design agencies, galleries, museums, and analysis of the professional literature through written assignments. Students will learn how the professional art world works. Offered fall semester.

Prerequisites & Notes
Prerequisites: Art major and senior standing.

Credits: 3

A continuation of ART 361 with advanced and more individual problems. Offered fall and winter semesters. Prerequisites: ART 362.

Credits: 3

A continuation of ART 362 with advanced and more individual problems. 463 may be repeated for credit. Offered fall and winter semesters. Prerequisites: ART 462.

Credits: 3

This course is the final work toward the B.F.A. Senior Exhibition and must be taken in the semester in which students hang their degree shows. Students will work closely with their major professor in their emphasis area, and may have an additional course assigned from their Junior Review. Students must seek the advice of their major professor for the selection of works for their exhibition. They may also seek advice of any other faculty members with whom they have worked or from whom they would like additional feedback. Offered fall and winter semesters.

Credits: 6


Jill Eggers
Associate Professor
Painting Area Coordinator

Students' Work

“"I really apply the skills to my everyday life in and out of the studio, which makes my life more fulfilling and rich, and helps save money which allows for more time to make art."”



The painting facilities at GVSU include three large purpose-built classrooms. Each studio has ample natural light and offers specialized lighting for figure painting. Students have access to the woodshop to fashion supports for their work. The program also has a dedicated common room for group critiques. Students pursuing a BFA in this program have individual studios.


Alumni Outcomes

Graduates of the Studio Art – Painting 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.

Painting Emphasis Graduates Work As...

  • Freelance artist/ entrepreneur
  • Painter (portrait artist)/ mural artist
  • Gallery owner/assistant/ director/ curator
  • Exhibition planner/ coordinator
  • Community-based artist
  • etc...

Where GVSU Alumni Have Worked / Been Accepted to Graduate Degrees...

  • School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Southern Illinois University 
  • West Side School for the Desperate, Chicago, IL
  • Oxbow School of Art

Professional Networking

Painting emphasis students are encouraged to pursue professional connections from the start in the program, engaging in exhibition work, on-campus employment, among other options.

GVSU Career Center

The Career Center offers a wide variety of events to help you successfully land after graduating from GVSU! 

Career Center Website


Interested in visiting VMA? Schedule your student lead tour today! 

Tours are available during open VMA Office hours:
Monday -Friday 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
(Closed on Public Holidays)
VMA Main Office: (616) 331-3486
[email protected]

Request Information/Visit

For questions about the Ceramics area, please contact:

Jill Eggers
Painting Coordinator
704 Calder Arts Center
(616) 331-3361
[email protected]


Page last modified March 9, 2023