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.

Our Faculty

Art professor Mike Miller teaching

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.

Our Students

silhouetted student drawing in still life class

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.

Our Facilities

a row of easels

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

Shane Harris teaching ceramics

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

artist looking at artwork in 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

untitled artwork

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

Faculty Scholarship

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.

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