About Studio Art

Our Program and Courses

Studio art is a major and minor at F&M. You’ll study the foundational areas of drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, and more, while discovering how artists channel these media into a range of expressive styles. In addition to building a robust portfolio of studio art, you’ll also learn about art’s vital role in personal and public life, religious and secular practices, political activism and cultural power, and transformations of visual experience over time. 

Wondering what a studio art course is like? Take a look at our course catalog to see the depth and breadth of what’s available to you.

Our Faculty and Staff

Julissa Aguilar

Film & Video Technical Manager

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Caitlyn L Bishop

Adjunct Instructor of Art

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Amy Boone-McCreesh

Adjunct Instructor Art, Art History & Film

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Kevin Brady

Visiting Scholar of Art

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Michael R Clapper

Associate Professor of Art History

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Dirk W Eitzen

Professor of Film and Media

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Carol L Hickey

Senior Adjunct Instructor of Architecture

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James C Hollenbaugh

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John Holmgren

Associate Professor of Art

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Matthew Johnson

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Film

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Megan Keller

Academic Department Coordinator

Theatre & Dance

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Richard K Kent

Professor of Art History

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Kostis Kourelis

Associate Professor of Art History

International Studies

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Magnolia W Laurie

Associate Professor of Art

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Jun-Cheng Liu

Arthur & Katherine Shadek Professor of Art

International Studies

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Gloria E Mast

Adjunct Instructor of Art & Art History & Film

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Jeremy S Moss

Associate Professor of Film, Film & Media Program Director, Department Chair of Art, Art History & Film

International Studies

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Amelia F Rauser

Charles A. Dana Professor of Art History

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Jason Thompson

Winter Visual Art Center Studio Manager/Sculpture Shop Technician

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Rebecca D Zinner

Adjunct Instructor

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Learning Outside the Classroom

At F&M, you’re strongly encouraged to step beyond the walls of the classroom to engage in self-exploration, self-expression, and creativity. We offer a variety of ways to do just that. 

Art Shows and Exhibitions

See what your work looks like gracing a gallery wall. Each spring semester, F&M holds a student art show juried by a local guest artist, featuring works by all F&M students. Student work is also often exhibited in F&M’s Winter Visual Arts Center, the Shadek-Fackenthal Library, and the Phillips Museum of Art. Studio art majors are also required to take a studio seminar in the spring of their senior year, producing works that are displayed in our annual senior art exhibition. 

Research and Independent Study

Every student at F&M has extraordinary opportunities to engage in independent or faculty-led research. Advanced art majors are encouraged to undertake independent study courses, which may result in bodies of work for solo exhibitions or projects for departmental honors. You also have the flexibility to pursue research, whether you want to dive into a particular artist, time period, or cultural movement, or explore how art connects with politics, religion, pop culture, and more.
Explore research at F&M

Off-Campus Study

What inspiration awaits you abroad? How will your art evolve beyond U.S. borders? F&M’s off-campus study program offers many options to broaden your artistic studies. Sophomores who declare a major in art history or studio art also may apply for the Sophomore Summer Foreign Travel Award in Studio or Art History. This award, established by the late Dean of the College, Bradley R. Dewey, offers funding for students to spend a summer studying outside of the U.S.
Explore off-campus study at F&M

Field Trips

The convenient location of F&M’s home city of Lancaster allows for trips to museums and galleries in Philadelphia, New York City, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. Lancaster itself is also a nationally recognized art center, featuring dozens of independent galleries in the heart of downtown. Many F&M students, faculty and staff are involved in this rich artistic landscape, displaying their works in art galleries or creating public art installations or murals.

Our Facilities and Resources

Winter Visual Arts Center

The Susan and Benjamin Winter Visual Arts Center (WVAC) provides an inspiring space for the making and study of visual arts. The WVAC is the home of the art, art history, and film departments, as well as several art studios, a digital lab, an art gallery, a cinema, and more. The building earned The Architect’s Newspaper 2020 Best of Design Award in the institutional / higher education category. 

Studio art students in particular will enjoy: 

  • The Gipson Grand Forum
  • Jonathan E. Babkow ’88 & Maia Rubin Film & Media Studies Digital Lab
  • Ann Boyd Barshinger W’43, H’17 Painting Studio
  • Thomas A. and Georgina T. Russo Family Foundation Gallery

The Phillips Museum of Art

Located in F&M’s Steinman College Center, the Phillips Museum of Art fosters an understanding and appreciation of the arts, including contemporary, historical and multicultural materials. The museum often partners with academic departments — including studio art — to offer opportunities for faculty and staff to extend the walls of their classrooms and engage students in tours, object-based learning workshops, and research opportunities that draw from the museum’s permanent collection, changing exhibitions, and visiting artists. 

Explore the Phillips Museum of Art

Success Beyond F&M

Art studio courses at F&M emphasize crossing disciplinary boundaries, establishing a sound foundation for a range of professional paths. 

Graduate School

Studio art majors at F&M often continue their studies at excellent graduate programs in studio art, visual arts, design, animation, art history, and architecture. They’ve enrolled at the finest institutions for postgraduate art programs, including:

  • Boston College
  • Columbia University
  • College of William & Mary
  • New York University
  • Pratt Institute
  • Savannah College of Art and Design
  • School of Visual Arts
  • School of Art Institute of Chicago

Career Paths

Studio art graduates are prepared for a wide array of careers. They hold positions such as: 

  • Appraiser
  • Architect
  • Art Director
  • Art Teacher
  • Conservator
  • Graphic Designer
  • Fashion Designer 
  • Fine Arts Assistant Appraiser
  • Museum Curator
  • Museum Director
  • Museum Educator
  • Preservation Professional
  • Video Game Designer
  • Web Designer

Student Spotlight

“The resources at the Winter Center were invaluable…It enriched my creative vocabulary and granted me freedom for creative expression.”

Olha Shapovalenko '24, a double major in studio art and mathematics, said the Winter Visual Arts Center was one of the most enjoyable aspects of her time at F&M. "The resources at the Winter Center were invaluable," she said. "I got to explore everything from painting and drawing to screen printing, etching, woodworking, soldering, and even made my own canvases, all while getting priceless feedback from my professors. It enriched my creative vocabulary and granted me freedom for creative expression."

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Winter Visual Arts Center Crosses Boundaries

The Susan and Benjamin Winter Visual Arts Center (WVAC) provides a magnificent environment for the making and study of visual arts. The WVAC is the home of the art, art history, and film departments, as well as several art studios, a digital lab, an art gallery, a cinema, and more. "As a collective, these spaces and the creativity they spark touch every aspect of F&M's mission and reinforce our commitment to providing a world-class liberal arts education," said F&M President Barbara Altmann.

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Related Fields of Study

Art History

What does art of the past tell us about the transformation of visual and material experience over time? By studying art history at F&M, you’ll actively engage with this living dimension of the past through its artifacts, images, architecture, and relevant texts.

Arts for Social Change (Certificate)

This certificate will help you deepen your understanding of the arts as mediums for impacting culture, community, politics, education, and more. Arts for Social Change spans F&M’s dynamic arts disciplines, uniting the ethos of community-building with artistic practice that foregrounds innovation and action.


One field of study engages in all sorts of questions about people, institutions, and social structures: sociology. How does power operate in society? How do politics shape our lives? How and why have family relationships changed over time? As a student of sociology, you will explore these interactions to better understand how they shape the world and cultures that we live in.

F&M Studio Art in the Spotlight

May 3, 2024

Senior Spotlight: Olha Shapovalenko

A double major in mathematics and studio art, international senior Olha Shapovalenko made the most of her F&M experience. From designing theater costumes to discovering new artistic mediums, the College “enriched my creative vocabulary,” she said.

February 13, 2024

Meet the Students of F&M’s First Neurodivergent Art Exhibit

Meet the student artists behind “Spectra: Exploring Neurodiverse Art in Franklin & Marshall College.” The exhibition celebrates the artwork of students on campus who identify as neurodivergent.

September 6, 2023

Phillips Museum Showcases Fall Exhibitions

Unveiled this week, the newest slate of exhibitions at the Phillips Museum of Art explores nature, place and memory.