Student painting

Art and Art History

About Our Program

Art isn’t created in a vacuum. Our professors teach students both the breadth and depth of the cultural, historical, political, and even environmental influences on art, as well as the diversity of art techniques so that you can understand and create art in a way that is responsible, ethical, self-reflective, and globally aware.

From intercultural exploration to social advocacy and beyond, our art & art history major and minor provides you with the tools you need to navigate, interpret, and create the visual images shaping our world. You’ll hone skills in areas of communication, critical thinking, and self-reflection to forge an academic and professional path as creative and dynamic as you are.

Program Offerings

  • Major
  • Minor

Department

Learning Experiences to Prepare for Your Career

Global. Dynamic. Hands-on. Your education will extend beyond the classroom to include catalysts for exploration that build your skills, inspire your creative and professional passions, and transform your world.

Richard F. Brush Art Gallery

With a permanent collection of 7,000+ art and art artifacts and regularly rotating exhibits, conservation projects, and campus displays, the Brush Art Gallery, located right on campus, empowers you to explore art, curate displays, and showcase your own pieces like never before.

Newell Center for Arts Technology

A hub for innovative interdisciplinary efforts, the Newell Center for Arts Technology will expose you to the possibilities that exist when art meets digital technology.

Senior Year Experience (SYE)

As a capstone to your education, you will have opportunities to examine the role of symbols and ideology in architectural design, explore the meaning of ritual and religion in ancient art, or even plan, design, install, and document your own exhibit. What you do is up to you.

The Arts Collaborative

Through the Arts Collaborative, you can submit your own proposal for events and activities that will integrate art beyond the classroom and into the fabric of our campus, shaping the academic and cultural life of every student’s experience.

Community Living

Through residential living opportunities via St. Lawrence’s theme cottages, you can live, learn, and build a community with like-minded creatives in the Arts Annex or the Artists’ Guild.

Internships 

Explore career possibilities through internships with industry leading organizations in the regional community and across the country, including: 

  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Christie’s 
  • The Museum of Modern Art
  • National Museum of Wildlife Art
  • U.S. Congress
  • Lake George Land Conservancy
  • National Trust for Historic Preservation (Chesterwood historic site)
  • October Gallery

Volunteering

You can also gain experience while making a difference through service work on campus and in our local community:

  • SLU Reading Buddies
  • SLU Public Interest Corps (PIC)
  • Alpha Phi Omega (APO) service fraternity

Field Experiences

Enjoy regional and international field trips where you'll learn from artists and study museum curation. 

Study Abroad

Choose from more than 30 semester-long programs offered in more than 20 international locations, including popular programs like Italy, Denmark, and London.

Liberal Arts in New York City

Study, intern, and explore everything the Big Apple has to offer through St. Lawrence’s New York City semester and its non-profit and arts management concentration.

Creativity in the North Country

Embark on an immersive semester in the Adirondacks where you can discover a newfound appreciation of the natural world and human relationships with it. Key topics include examining creative expressions of nature through literature and artistic representations, and learning woodworking from a local master craftsman.

Senior Year Experiences

Recent Senior Year Experiences have included short-term global experiences in India analyzing sustainable architecture and design, and examining the discourse of cultural difference and postmodern thought through regional museums to aid the development of student-curated exhibits.

Clubs & Organizations 

Among the 150+ clubs and organizations at St. Lawrence, you’ll find many that involve creative pursuits and the social contexts that give art meaning, including: 

  • Artists’ Guild
  • Environmental Action Club
  • Outing Club
  • Performing Arts Annex Club
  • Photography Club 
  • The Gridiron (Yearbook)
  • Woodcarving Club
  • Artists Rights Society

Regional Opportunities

  • Fredrick Remington Art Museum
  • Traditional Arts in Upstate New York (TAUNY), Canton
  • North Country Children’s Museum, Potsdam
  • St Lawrence Council of the Arts, Potsdam
  • North Country Arts Council, Watertown
  • The Wild Center, Tupper Lake

Why St. Lawrence for Art & Art History

96%

of art & art history majors are working or in graduate school one year after graduation.

Graduates have pursued advanced degrees at prestigious institutions across the country and around the world, including:

  • Parsons School of Design
  • The University of Chicago
  • George Washington University
  • Babson College

Painted ceiling in chapel

One of several popular study abroad locations for our art & art history majors is Italy.

Students in front of the Arts Annex

Art and art history students have plenty of opportunities to build community on campus, including through theme cottages like the Arts Annex and the Artists’ Guild.

100

pieces of student artwork displayed annually in the Richard F. Brush Gallery alone. Student artwork is also displayed in buildings throughout campus.

7,000+

art and art artifacts available for student research, analysis, curation, and exhibition through St. Lawrence University’s permanent collection.

More Program Information

Program Requirements & Courses

With three tracks focusing on studio art, art history, and a combination of the two, the art and art history program is designed to introduce you to the wealth of cultural and historical context that art is created in, while preparing you with the technical and creative ideation skills you need to hone your own artistic voice. Find out more about the courses and requirements for these programs.

Complimentary and Related Programs

Many of our students use art as a lens to examine other topics of interest, and vice versa. If you are interested in studying art and art history, consider pairing it with another major.

Laurentians working on print making

A Classroom Like No Other

From state-of-the-art facilities to our inspiring North Country setting, hands-on classroom studios to global opportunities, your classroom will be what you make it.

Student art

Find Your Creative Inspiration

The best way to create and interpret art is to be immersed in the cultural, social, and political dynamics that give art meaning. Our classes and your projects will challenge you to grow, embolden you to be self-reflective, and provide you with creative inspiration. (Artwork by Jackie Reiss '21).

Check out recent student artwork

Get More Information

We’re excited to learn more about you, tell you more about our interdisciplinary academic programs, show you around our beautiful campus, and help you navigate your college search.

Apply to St. Lawrence

We’re looking for curious students who are eager to make a difference. We take a holistic approach to reviewing applications and consider all aspects of your application and what we learn about you.