Art Department Curriculum

Department Chair: Andrea Shaker

Faculty: Carol Brash, Richard Bresnahan, James Hendershot, Samuel Johnson, David Paul Lange OSB, Rachel Melis, Scott Murphy, Simon-Hoa Phan OSB, Elaine Rutherford, Andrea Shaker

The art department educates both art majors and non-majors in the theory, practice and history of art. This education involves the understanding of historical development of art in contemporary and past cultures, understanding the critical process used to assess art forms, understanding the meaning and evolution of art theories, understanding the basic concepts related to the structure of forms and understanding the technical aspects of art. This education is intended to prepare students for careers or further education in art. For the non-major, this education provides a preliminary understanding of art forms, the creative process and a beginning ability to employ critical analysis.

The department's studios, located on both campuses, provide facilities for drawing, design, painting, ceramics, printmaking, sculpture, computer art and photography. The Benedicta Arts Center Galleries and Saint John's Art Galleries schedule diverse exhibitions of artwork throughout the year. Special areas are available for exhibition of student work. Visiting artists, speakers, artists-in-residence, field trips and workshops supplement the students' experience of the art world.

Student learning and progress is assessed by means of critiques and portfolio reviews. Each course within the department has a strong component that addresses the critique process. Students learn how to interact with one another and the instructor to determine their strengths, weaknesses and how they might achieve better results in their work. At the conclusion of each semester’s work, a final critique is held with the instructor and student to assess the student’s progress.

Portfolio reviews are made to determine the student’s readiness to enter the major and/or to assess the student’s growth within her/his course of studies.


The art department offers a concentration in studio art, and minors in art history, book arts and art education.

Art Studio Major
Art K-12 Education Requirements
Book Arts Minor
Art History Minor
Art Studio Minor

List of course descriptions