All Visual Arts students are assigned a faculty advisor upon declaration of the Visual Arts major. Faculty advisors work with students to ascertain career goals and to assess preparation and deficiencies. Our Program Advisor meets with students to make a plan of study. Students are urged to consult their advisor before registering each semester, particularly before registering for the last semester of classes. These meetings outline requirements for graduation and ensure the student has planned his/her schedule to take all necessary courses in order to graduate on time.
Visual Arts faculty consists of experienced educators and artists dedicated to sharing their knowledge and expertise with students in a collaborative environment. Faculty includes artists working in ceramics, sculpture, painting, drawing, photography, graphic design and digital media. Please feel free to contact a faculty member directly about your visual arts interests. Biographical information is available for each faculty member through the Faculty and Staff link.
Visual Arts courses, gallery shows, and Art Students League activities appeal to students from a variety of majors and skill levels.
Small class sizes allow students to benefit from individualized attention from their professors.
Check out our information about scholarship opportunities, the Art Students League, and the Access Gallery, our student-run gallery space.
The Visual Arts program is located in the Visual and Performing Arts Building and provides several Student Resources. This facility offers numerous classrooms equipped with whiteboard technology; a ceramics lab; a printmaking lab; studios for drawing and painting; a sculpture lab complete with tools; a Macintosh computer lab with digital media programs; a printing lab; and two photography studios. Additionally, the Visual Arts program maintains a photography classroom and darkroom within the Human Resources Building.
Customized Learning Experience
In Visual Arts courses, faculty and students work together in a professional and creative learning environment. The Bachelor of Arts curriculum allows students to tailor a course of study suited to their professional and personal ambitions. Students have the option to focus their studies in one media area or sample a broad range of art and design perspectives. Visual Arts offers a variety of courses in the areas of painting, drawing, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, graphic design, digital media, photography, and art history. Students can also minor in Visual Arts, Art History, and Art Therapy.
Visual Arts Gallery
The department extends learning beyond the classroom and studios by sponsoring exhibitions in the UIS Visual Arts Gallery located on the second floor of the Health and Sciences Building. Students attend openings and workshops and gain experience in viewing works by a variety of local, national and international professional artists. Graduating students will present their senior exhibitions in the gallery.
Art and Artifacts Collection
The University of Illinois Springfield Art and Artifacts Collection is composed of works of art and historical and cultural artifacts of quality and inherent value that exemplify the University’s commitment to excellence in teaching, research, scholarship, creative accomplishment and public service. The collection exists to encourage an environment of life-long learning, enriching the cultural lives of members of the campus, Springfield and surrounding communities.
Visual Arts Program Fund
Associate Professor Shane Harris teaches Ceramics and Sculpture courses ranging from introductory ceramics, Advanced ceramics, Ceramic Technology, Flatpack Design, Sculpture, and 3-D design here at UIS. He is a Professional Artist, working with small-scale ceramic sculptures, which explore concepts of connection, intimacy, body language and relationships. His work has been acquired for multiple private collections, published and shown nationally in both solo and group exhibitions. A few are highlighted below:
- “Biomorphic” was held at the American Museum Of Ceramic Art, Pomona, CA in 2016.
- “5 x 5 x 5” was held at Red Lodge Clay Center Gallery, Red Lodge, MT in 2016.
- “Vignettes” was held at the Perkinson Art Gallery, Millikin University, Decatur, IL in 2016.
- “Eye Candy” was held at the MCC Ray Frederick Gallery, Marshalltown, IA in 2016.
- “The Best of 500 Ceramics Celebrating a Decade in Clay” Lark Books, in 2012.
To read more, visit Shane Harris’ Faculty Page.
Assistant Professor Brytton Bjorngaard teaches Digital Media & Photography courses ranging from introductory design technology, Print Design, Web Design, Typography, Animation, to Film & Digital Photography here at UIS. She is a freelance graphic designer, working with a variety of clients, and an exhibiting artist, in which her work investigates the myriad of ways we miscommunicate.
- “Otto Cricket Hits” was held at the LLCC James S. Murray Gallery, Springfield, Illinois from August 22 to September 15, 2016
- “Let the Words Fall Out” was held at the UIS Visual Arts Gallery, Springfield, Illinois from August 24 to September 17, 2015.
To read more, visit Brytton Bjorngaard’s Faculty Page.
- March 2021: Visual Arts Gallery Presents Faculty Exhibition
- January 2021: Visual Arts Gallery Presents “Duet,” a Mixed-media Exhibit
- April 2020: “Hindsight 20/20” Virtual Exhibition Showcasing Senior Artwork
- February 2020: “Convergence,” an Exhibition by Shane Harris
- January 2020: “To Unmake a Fold,” Exhibition Featuring Chicago-based Artists
- November 2019: Visual Arts Gallery Silent Auction and Benefit Exhibition
- October 2019: “Her Name Escapes Me,” an Exhibition by Hương Ngô
- September 2019: “Value Added,” an Exhibition of Mixed-media Sculptures
- August 2019: “Tectonic Soliloquy,” an Immersive Mixed-media Installation Exhibit
- April 2019: Multiple Exhibits Featuring UIS Students and Alumni Work
- March 2019: “The Magnificently Mundane,” a Curatorial Walkthrough
- February 2019: Bjorngraad Curates Group Exhibition of Graphic Art
- January 2019: “Pleasure Comes in Halves,” a Mixed-media installation by Thaddeus Kellstadt
- November 2018: Annual Silent Auction and Benefit for Visual Arts Gallery
- October 2018: New Exhibit, Speaker Series About Exploration of Race in Art
- September 2018: “Let the fancy,” a Group Exhibit
- August 2018: “digital dusk shadow storage” a new Installation by Artist Amanda Bowles
- May 2018: Allyson Packer Summer Enos Park Artist-in-Residence
- April 2018:“Essence” to Feature Graduating Students Work
- February 2018: “Leaving Loves Company” Exhibit by Angela Ellsworth
- January 2018: UIS Visual Arts Gallery presents “Hold me” by Chicago artist Erin Hayden
- November 2017: UIS Visual Arts Gallery to hold silent auction fundraiser featuring local and regional artists
- October 2017: UIS Visual Arts Gallery presents “of strange shadows” from Texas-based print collaborators Leslie Mutchler and Jason Urban
- September 2017: UIS Visual Arts Gallery presents “Live Through This” by photographer, writer and suicide awareness activist Dese’Rae L. Stage
- August 2017: UIS Visual Arts Gallery launches a new season with the 2017 Faculty Exhibition
- June 2017: UIS Visual Arts Gallery presents “Walking Enos Park: Who is your neighborhood?” by Astrid Kaemmerling
- April 2017: UIS Visual Arts Gallery senior exhibition “Lunchables” presents food for thought
- February 2017: UIS Visual Arts Gallery exhibit “Safe Harbor: Work by Diaz Lewis” spotlights immigration reform.
- January 2017: The UIS Visual Arts Gallery presents “Oblique Frontiers” from artist Tyler Lotz.
- November 2016: UIS Visual Arts Gallery to hold silent auction fundraiser.
- October 2016: The UIS Visual Arts Gallery presents “Mirror|Mirror” by alumni Stanley Bly and Amanda Greive.
- September 2016: UIS Visual Arts Gallery presents “Reserved For Loitering” by artist Paul Shortt.
- August 2016: UIS Visual Arts Gallery presents “Avez Vous un Crayon?” by St. Louis artist Lyndon Barrois Jr.
- May 2016: Ten UIS students to present at U of I Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol.
- January 2016: UIS Visual Arts Gallery presents “TROPICALAMERICAN” by artist Edra Soto.
- November 2015: UIS Visual Arts Gallery Silent Auction features artwork by local and national artists in November.
- October 2015: UIS Visual Arts Gallery presents “Strange Matter.”
- October 2015: Internationally renowned artist and critic Buzz Spector to deliver artist talk at UIS.
- September 2015: Artist Eric J. Garcia to speak at UIS and present exhibition during Hispanic Heritage Month.
- August 2015: UIS Visual Arts Gallery presents “Let the Words Fall Out” by Springfield artist Brytton Bjorngaard.
- April 2015: UIS Visual Arts Department seniors present two distinct art and design exhibitions.
- March 2015: UIS Visual Arts Gallery presents “BIO-fied: Perspectives on Genetic Engineering”.
- February 2015: UIS Visual Arts Gallery to feature Decatur artist.
- January 2015: UIS Visual Arts Gallery presents “Awkward & Urgent Objects” by Chicago artist Kelly Kaczynski.
- December 2014: UIS Visual Arts Gallery Silent Auction features artwork by local and national artists in December.
- October 2014: UIS Visual Arts Gallery presents “Copy Shop”, an exhibition of 3D printed & digitally fabricated objects.
- September 2014: Visual Arts Gallery presents group exhibition featuring over 30 national artists.
- August 2014: Visual Arts Gallery begins Season with “Filler” exhibition by Springfield native Jeff Robinson.
- April 2014: UIS students, including Visual Arts Major Robert Elmers IV, to present their research at the Illinois State Capitol.
- March 2014: Student Arts & Research Symposium gives students a chance to showcase their work.
- February 2014: Visual Arts Gallery presents “Sup?” featuring the work of Brooklyn-based artist Sean Fader.
- January 2014: Visual Arts Gallery presents “Paintings” featuring the work of local artist Kevin Veara.
- November 2013: Visual Arts Gallery hosts annual Silent Auction Benefit featuring original works of art.
- September 2013: Visual Arts Gallery hosts “New Springfield” exhibit inspired by Vachel Lindsay.