Art and Design Major
Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.)
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
Concentrations: Ceramics; Graphic Design; Painting; Photography
At Barton, you’ll find one of the state’s foremost small-college art programs with a faculty that includes award-winning teachers and internationally recognized artists. Our art and design major will develop your skills in visual literacy, color and composition, design and typography, and digital imaging. At the same time, you’ll be trained in creative problem solving, and you’ll learn to offer effective solutions in the business world. While we emphasize the computer as a design tool and experimentation with electronic media, we also teach traditional hands-on approaches to art. As a result, you’ll develop a thorough historical, analytical, and theoretical understanding of art and design.
Barton’s art professors are working artists who exhibit regionally, nationally, and internationally; serve as professional art judges; and publish and design professionally.
Our photography program is one of only a handful of professional programs in this area of the country. We offer a commercial track if you’re preparing for employment, and a fine art track if you’re preparing for graduate school. In both cases, you’ll gain expertise by studying historical, cultural, and contemporary photographic imagery; by critiquing your own work, as well as that of your classmates; and by exploring technical solutions with individualized instruction.
In addition to learning traditional “wet” photography techniques, digital-imaging classes teach image-acquisition skills, digital manipulation and editing techniques, and aesthetics related to computer-derived artwork.
Our visual design studios stress the development of basic creative-thinking methods, investigation of form, and design analysis techniques as they apply to a variety of real world projects.
The multimedia print courses teach experimental forms of image making that utilize diverse sources, including electronic media, traditional print media, and traditional printmaking methods.
As an art student at Barton, you can also take advantage of experiential-learning opportunities, gallery and museum management internships, and study-abroad research opportunities.
The Case Art Building, a 19,000-square-foot facility, houses the Art Department and the Barton Art Galleries. Connected to the art building is a 600-square-foot exterior ceramic gas-kiln workspace. You’ll have access to the art building at night and on weekends by individualized key-card access.
Each concentration has its own instructional area and equipment:
- The design computer lab offers PCs and Macintosh computers loaded with industry-standard software.
- The photography darkroom has 18 enlargers, a separate lighting studio, and the capacity for teaching traditional black-and-white and color photography.
- The ceramic area has ten electric potters’ wheels, a clay mixer, an electric kiln, and two gas kilns. Adjoining the clay studio are a small woodworking shop and welding area.
Coursework in the major begins with a broad-based preparatory program that combines practical skills with theory in the areas of general drawing, 2-D composition, and 3-D design. These courses develop your conceptual thinking and visualizing, and provide an understanding of the history of art and design.
With this as your foundation, you’ll then tailor courses to your individual interests. Through your coursework, you’ll learn about techniques as well as aspects of professional practice, all of which are further developed through studio-based projects and real-world learning.
Each area of concentration instills specific skills; but they all teach highly valuable and transferable skills, such as problem-solving, using various media for visual communication, breaking down large projects into manageable parts, and leading from a position of strength.
In your junior year, you’ll take a portfolio course to prepare for a required portfolio review in which you’ll show ten pieces of art that demonstrate your fundamental skills in your intended concentration as well as in drawing, 2-D design, 3-D design, and color.
Concentrations: Ceramics, Graphic Design, Painting, Photography
The Painting concentration has a long tradition of encouraging success in developing painters. Classes emphasize skill development and creative problem solving, and stress the two most critical factors for artistic success: motivation and work ethic. Students in the program have been very successful with exhibitions, awards, and admission into graduate programs at various universities.
The Photography concentration instills personal vision and technical proficiency. Using traditional, digital, and nineteenth-century methods, you’ll develop the skills necessary to express your vision and communicate your ideas. As a senior, you’ll build a professional portfolio that demonstrates your aesthetic and technical skills and shows that you’re prepared to work in the photography industry or graduate school.
The Ceramics concentration offers a dynamic studio workshop environment where you can explore clay work as craft and fine art. Through instruction in wheel throwing and hand building, you’ll gain expertise in all-ceramic techniques and learn to approach clay as a vehicle for functional, sculptural, and conceptual expression. When you graduate, you’re prepared to work in studio pottery, teach introductory ceramics classes, and enter a graduate program.
The Graphic Design concentration blends the conceptual with the technical. Through innovative graphic design work for print, web, illustration, and book arts, you’ll master problem-solving and communication skills that lead to creative design solutions. Coursework allows you to investigate traditional media and computer imaging, as well as study the history of design and illustration, and gain exposure to other disciplines and cultures.
Scholarships and Financial Aid
The Bessie Massengill Art Scholarship is awarded annually to a student majoring in art selected by the art department faculty.
The Triangle East Advertising and Marketing Association Scholarship is awarded annually to an upper-class student majoring in graphic design who is a resident of eastern North Carolina and who intends to be employed in a related field in eastern North Carolina.
The Rom and Marie Watson Art Scholarship is awarded to a student seeking a studio art degree. The Department of Art faculty chooses a recipient based on the artistic merit of the student’s work through the process of portfolio reviews with preference given to student participants in the Scholastic Art Awards.
The department also awards the Stuart Walston, Inc. Endowed Scholarship and the Price-Watson Annual Scholarship to qualified students.
Our students have interned at:
- Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Art and Leadership Program
- National Museum of the American Indian
- The Women’s United Soccer Association
- Duke Press
- Herald-Sun, Durham, N.C.
- Carolina Mudcats
- Advanced Rehabilitation Seminars Company
- The Arts Council of Wilson
- Barrett’s Printing House
- Theatre at Barton
- Carolina Cabinet Company
- Creative Graphics
- Hendersonville Printing Company
- Images Photography Inc.
- Jerico Screen Printing
- Jeffcoat Studios
- Mint Museum
- Wilson County Fair
- Reynolda House
- Rockets Softball, Greenville, N.C.
- Signature Dance Company
- Type A Design Concepts
- Ronald L. Sowers Photography
- Wildwood Lamps
- Wilson Times
In addition to work in the creative arts, an art degree may lead to careers in many applied art fields. Our alumni work as:
- Art Directors
- Art Teachers
- Commercial Photographers
- Graphic Artists
- Fine Art Photographers
- Floor Covering Designers
- Furniture Designers
- Gallery Directors
- Industrial Designers
- Photo Retouchers
- Photofinisher Specialists
- Photography Teachers
- Portrait Painters
- Private Art Instructors
- Public Relations Directors
- Signage Designers
- Stage Designers
- Wood Crafters
Our majors also continue their education in graduate programs throughout the Southeast. Recent graduates have been accepted to:
- East Carolina University
- East Carolina University
- Virginia Polytechnic Institute
- Auburn University
- University of Georgia – Lamar Dodd School of Art
- University of Maryland
- University of North Carolina at Greensboro
- North Carolina State University
- Radford University
- University of Kentucky
Clubs and Organizations
The Art Students’ League of Barton College hosts bi-weekly meetings and cookouts, and sponsors student exhibitions.
The Friends of Visual Arts organizes lectures and exhibitions and brings to Barton College visiting artists of regional, national, and international status.
Susan Fecho, Dean
School of Visual, Performing, and Communication Arts
Case Art Building