Visual Studies Emphasis - B.F.A.
The Visual Studies area emphasizes real-world skills to equip you for future employment and work as a practicing artist. You will acquire skills including digital imaging, curating, exhibition and project organization/management and video and sound production. The curriculum is structured to allow Visual Studies majors to gain concentrated experience in other areas of the department. Visual Studies alumni exhibit their work, curate exhibits in galleries, museums and other public venues and are active participants in the community.
Students interested in a Visual Studies 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, Visual Studies Emphasis
The B.F.A. in Studio Art is designed for students interested in a professional career in art. Aside from Visual Studies, 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 Visual Studies courses.
This emphasis area incorporates interdisciplinary approaches and stresses the role of digital media and context as primary considerations for the production and analysis of visual works. Using an integrated approach, the program equips majors with an essential array of technical, conceptual, political, and social capacities needed for effective cultural work. The emphasis also encourages interaction with the local community and facilitates students working collectively and interpretively with the civic environment.
Studio Art (Visual Studies) - B.F.A. Advising Guide 2022-23Transitional Advising Guide to New and Previous Studio Art BFA DegreeVisual Studies - Learning Plan (New)Visual Studies - Degree Checklist (Previous)Visual Studies - Detailed 4-year plan (Previous)Visual Studies - Learning Plan (Previous)Visual Studies - Course Plan (Previous)Visual Studies - Alternate Studio Elective Form (Previous)
“"I chose to attend Grand Valley originally because it wasn't only an art school. I thought I wanted to do art, but I also wanted to be able to take lots of different classes in completely different disciplines."”
—DULCEE BOEHM, BFA, VISUAL STUDIES, 2012
The visual studies program incorporates work inside and outside the traditional classroom setting. The primary lab studio includes work spaces as well as critique areas for discussion and production. There are also ample technological resources for students work in video, sound, curatorial, and digital image-based media. Community-based workspaces and installations facilitate students working collectively and interpretively with their civic environment.
Graduates of the Studio Art – Visual Studies 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.
Visual Studies Emphasis Graduates Work As...
- Freelance artist/ entrepreneur
- Time-based artist
- Performance Artist
- Gallery owner/assistant/ director/ curator
- Exhibition planner/ coordinator
- Community-based artist
- Prop designer/ fabricator
- Studio Technician
- Web developer
Where GVSU Alumni Have Worked / Been Accepted to Graduate Degrees...
- Oxbow School of Art
- The Scott Group
- Pillar Technology
- Xibitz Architectural Design and Fabrication
- Division Avenue Arts Collective
- Dwelling Place
- University of Iowa
Visual Studies emphasis students are encouraged to pursue professional connections from the start of the program, engaging in exhibition work, art fellowships, 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!
For questions about the Visual Studies area, please contact:
Visual Studies Coordinator
1117 Calder Arts Center