Sculpture Emphasis - B.F.A.

Degree Information

Format: Face-to-face

Credits: ~126

The Sculpture emphasis embraces a contemporary approach to the field offering you exposure to a broad range of media and directions. Our Sculpture facilities provide a wood shop, metal shop, foundry, laser cutter and 3D printing encouraging you to develop a strong skill set necessary for professional careers in the field. Sculpture graduates can be found in the fine arts, architecture and industrial design.

Degree Options

Students interested in a Sculpture 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 in Studio Art, Sculpture Emphasis

The B.F.A. in Studio Art is designed for students interested in a professional career in art. Aside from Sculpture, 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 Sculpture courses. 


The curriculum fosters intellectual inquiry, creative activity, and practical skills in making as well as thinking about art. In addition to woodworking, metal fabricating, and foundry techniques, the curriculum also incorporates three-dimensional computer modeling technologies. Activities in and out of the studio help students develop individual approaches to the medium. In addition, they are encouraged to incorporate other studio processes such as metalsmithing, ceramics, or printmaking into their sculpture practice.

Studio Art (Sculpture) - B.F.A. Advising Guide 2022-23Transitional Advising Guide to New and Previous Studio Art BFA DegreeSculpture - Degree Checklist (Previous)Sculpture - Detailed 4-year Plan (Previous)Sculpture - 4-year Plan (Previous)


A hands-on studio course that is equally accessible and challenging for both art and non-art majors. Introduction to basic sculpture techniques includes mold making, metal working, wood working, and sewing. Creative project topics include lost wax bronze casting, found object assemblage, soft sculpture, and fibers. Fulfills Foundations - Arts. 

Credits: 3

This primarily computer-based studio course is accessible and challenging for both art and non-art majors. Introduction to basic digital fabrication techniques will be taught, including 3D digital modeling and rendering, laser cutting, 3D scanning and printing. Creative project topics cover prototypes, inventions, hybrids, digital artifice, and public art proposals. Fulfills Foundations - Arts. 

Credits: 3

This hands-on and computer-based studio course combines traditional approaches to sculpture fabrication (welding, woodworking, sewing, and found object assemblage) with digital fabrication tools, including 3D modeling, 3D scanning, CNC machining, and laser cutting. Open to all students. Previous experience with 3D modeling and/or three-dimensional studio coursework is desirable. 

Credits: 3

This hands-on and computer-based studio course utilizes digital modeling and prototyping techniques alongside foundry processes. 3D modeling, scanning, printing, and machining are used for problem-solving and generating forms to be cast in wax, bronze, and/or glass. Open to all students. Previous experience with 3D modeling and/or three-dimensional studio coursework desirable.

Credits: 3

This primarily hands-on studio course emphasizes material knowledge in relation to functionality, form, and design fundamentals utilized in product development. Material explorations may include metalworking, woodworking, mold making, plastics, fibers, found objects and/or digital processes. Individual and collaborative projects will be informed by student research, experimentation, problem solving, and discussion. Part of the Information, Innovation, and Technology Issue.

Prerequisite: Junior standing.

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: Art major and senior standing.

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


Drew Pettinga
Visiting Professor

Norwood Viviano
Associate Professor
Sculpture Area Coordinator

Students' Works

“"I left college with skills I had always wanted to learn but also with a way of thinking, evaluating, and doing that is unique to many of my peers. I thank my Visual and Media Arts Community and my instructors for that."”



In the sculpture program, students benefit from well-equipped studios that allow them to create woodworking, metal fabricating, and foundry projects. The three-dimensional computer modeling lab allows them to explore new materials and technologies as they progress through the program. Majors earning a BFA in this program have individual studio spaces in a common area shared with jewelry and metalsmithing students.

Sculpture Prototyping
Sculpture Workshop

Alumni Outcomes

Graduates of the Studio Art – Sculpture 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.

Sculpture Emphasis Graduates Work As...

  • Freelance artist/ entrepreneur
  • Sculptor
  • Digital 3D modeler
  • Gallery owner/assistant/ director/ curator
  • Exhibition planner/ coordinator
  • Community-based artist
  • Prop designer/ fabricator
  • Sculpture Studio Technician
  • Educator
  • etc...

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

  • Site-Lab
  • Hermann Miller
  • Pace Gallery
  • University of Wisconsin, Green Bay
  • Cranbrook Academy of Art
  • Tyler School of Art
  • Penn State University
  • University of Michigan

Professional Networking

Sculpture 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

Schedule A VMA Tour


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 Sculpture area, please contact:

Norwood Viviano
Sculpture Coordinator
1822 Calder Arts Center
(616) 331-3383
[email protected]

Page last modified March 9, 2023