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Article by Rachelle Wiggins
“Creative juices run hot through our veins. All of us have an irresistible, divinely-inspired impulse to create.” ~Stephen Altrogge
A world without art would be drab, empty and dark. Painters, sculptors and photographers bring color, imagination and inspiration to our world. They delight our senses, open our minds, evoke emotions and subtly shape and influence our opinions. In this way, they hold great power and responsibility in that they push us to envision political, social and spiritual ideas that may not otherwise be tolerated in society. As a fine arts major, you will develop practical skills in whatever area of artistic specialization you choose. You will also gain a foundation for your future art career that is well-grounded in the historical, cultural and anthropological elements of art education.
In applying for college, many schools with fine arts majors require you to submit some sort of art portfolio. This is to show that you possess specialized technique and skill in at least one art form such as illustrating, printmaking, graphic design or painting. In addition to a passion for art and the basic ability to express yourself visually, there are other traits that are highly desirable for a fine arts major. One is creativity and a sense of individual “voice” in your work. Second is the ability to accept criticism which is one of the primary ways we grow as artists. Another necessary skill is attentiveness to detail which allows you to keenly observe your subjects and surroundings and to fine tune your work with precision. Individuals who are persistent, patient, disciplined and self-motivated do well in a fine arts program where much independent work is required and time-management is important.
As a fine arts major you will explore galleries, museums, cultural festivals, music venues and theaters. You’ll participate in hands-on studio work, may be encouraged to study abroad or participate in an art internship. Educationally, a fine arts program is one of the most flexible programs available, enabling you to pick electives according to your medium preferences, needs and goals. For example, you may choose classes in glass blowing, fibers, metal work, drawing or ceramics just to name a few. You’ll take classes that focus on art from a specific location or time period. Types of classes you’ll take might include:
Employment opportunities with a fine arts degree may be limited or bountiful, depending on what you’re looking for. For example, “college level art teacher” recently scored #1 in a study ranking “Employment Opportunity.” This position generally requires a master’s degree in some sort of art, but also comes with many benefits! There is also a growing need in the area of fine arts management which focuses on the business end of the art world (caring for financial, legal and fundraising details). If you dream of becoming a freelance artist, it will be necessary to develop strong entrepreneurial skills in order to market your work or possibly set up your own business in an increasingly competitive field. You may get creative and find a niche guiding art-related activities in a hospital, prison, community center or school setting. Other fine art careers include:
If you find pleasure in the creative process and desire to impact others by introducing them to new perspectives through meaningful art, then look no further than to a major in fine arts!
By Amber Gragert
The arts have for centuries told the stories of our ancestors and shown us the details that were behind the written words of history. Through ancient paintings and carvings; and folklore songs and dances taught to each new generation - culture and ancestral history has passed through the ages. The beauty of the "illuminations" painted in old holy texts do more than just shine light on the scriptures, but give us insight to the very different version of world the artists lived in. Today painting, dance, and music are vastly different, but the purpose is still the same.
Storytelling, truth telling, and an account of history is given with each new work of art created. Art is not only for aesthetics but also to communicate things like philosophical, political, and spiritual ideas. Other times art is solely created to evoke emotions, to entertain, or even distract onlookers from their world. These are the themes students study while majoring in fine arts. This major prepares students for a wide range of careers in visual or performing arts. Visual arts include painting, photography, and sculpture; whereas performing arts of course include dance, theater, and voice. Each unique in their substance and each require different courses suited exactly for the needs of the specialty chosen.
The basis remains relatively the same for each however and course outlook is as follows: 2-dimensional art, 3-dimensional art, art history, art theory & criticism, digital art, and performing arts. Students then build upon this with more classes in the area they would like to specialize in. At which point the paint really touches the canvas or dance shoes hit the stage. In discovering your true artistic potential through learning, students also gain the ability to spark and create new and individual ideas and the ability to shape them into reality. It is likely you are already a creative thinker, but it is also a skill you will sharpen through your coursework - along with creative problem solving. Being comfortable working with others is important also as there will certainly be times it is necessary to collaborate for a project. Another skill or trait that will be very useful is an entrepreneurial mindset. There will come a time where you must have the ability to make something out of seemingly nothing and be able to market yourself and your own work in order to have it seen and experienced.
There are a few options when it comes to deciding the level of education you want to achieve. An Associates of Fine Arts is available and works well for anyone wanting to become a freelance photographer, private music or art instructor, or even an assistant in theater production. A Bachelors of Fine Arts is a more extensive degree, that builds your portfolio and will qualify you for a career as an art director, art teacher, creative writer, or dance instructor. Then of course, the Masters of Fine Arts will prepare you well for management and directorship opportunities. This will put you in the running for a career as an art appraiser, art curator, arts department administration and management, costume designer, and more.
Whatever your choice in art - majoring in fine arts will only increase your knowledge and ability in it. If God has given you the gift of any artistic ability, you should feed that gift and let it grow into something that gives God glory. Learn all you can, create all you are able, and share it with the world.