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Art Professor with group of students looking over large canvas

The Art faculty works to nurture students’ ability to use art to convey their ideas through traditional, digital, and intermedia approaches to examine, interpret, understand and negotiate the natural and soci-cultural world they inhabit. Students learn that art may not only be used to convey notions of beauty, but is well equipped to meet the needs of the times it is addressing. Faculty strive to develop their students’ artistic, conceptual, and creative abilities for their own intellectual growth and for success in an art career.

Students look at art exhibits

The Art Department offers a range of experiences, including the opportunity to view monthly shows in our own Esther Prangley Rice Gallery, where students can meet local, regional, and national artists. The Department has an active visiting artist lecture series, where students get the opportunity to interact with regional and national artists. Art majors may also participate in special student/faculty research projects, including graphic design, painted murals, and restoration of damaged art. Other opportunities include internships in Graphic Design and Studio Art. Field trips to galleries in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and New York City broaden the horizons of students. Opportunities for further travel exist in January Term art tours of Europe and programs for study abroad.

Working Artists

The undergraduate Art program prepares students for a multitude of careers. McDaniel graduates are now working as graphic designers, interior designers, art therapists, educators in elementary and secondary schools, professors in Colleges, Universities and Art Institutes throughout the United States, and work in makers spaces, museums and non-profit art centers, to name a few. Students majoring in art may plan their programs for graduate study in studio art, graphic design, art therapy, or for public school teaching. Many students add art to their course of study for personal enrichment and a desire for creative satisfaction.

Meet our Alumni

Jonathan Nepini '19 majored in Art with a Graphic Design specialization

Class of 2019: Jonathan Nepini

After Jonathan Nepini finishes his master's in graphic design, he plans to open his own design firm or work for a nonprofit related to environmental conservation in the Chesapeake.

Kim Clemens is an Art Therapist

What is Art Therapy? Kim Clemens ’10 McDaniel Alumni Spotlight

As a Studio Art major at McDaniel, Kim Clemens never doubted art would play a leading role in her future. But it wasn’t until graduate school that she discovered her true passion — using her talent to help others with art therapy.

Professor Steven Pearson speaking to a student in the classroom.

Steven Pearson, M.F.A Faculty Feature

Steven Pearson teaches students the importance of pairing conceptual ideas with technical skills. “Art isn’t just the ability to copy a picture, it’s more about using those skills to convey an idea that addresses our contemporary world,” he says. Pearson joined the Navy after high school, but he was soon drawn to pursue art and become an educator.

Connect With Us

Chloe Irla

Associate Professor and Department Chair