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Art student sketching in art studio.


“All art is a kind of confession,” the writer James Baldwin once said. Whether you’re a painter, a sculptor, a designer—or any other of the infinite types of creators—what drives you is getting your unique vision out of your head and into the world, to confess to others your idea of beauty, or your sense of justice, or your feelings about… well, anything.

Degree Types
Major , Minor
Distinctive Requirements
Unique Spaces
The Esther Prangley Rice Gallery

Why Choose Art at McDaniel?

At McDaniel, we give artists of all stripes the resources to bring their work to life — to declare their way of thinking, seeing, and feeling to the world. As a Studio Art major, you’ll use many forms and combinations of media to convey your ideas, which may include visual images, performance and relational approaches, text, audio, or a combination of these media to examine, interpret, and negotiate the world around you. You’ll learn that art may not only be used to convey notions of beauty but is well equipped to address social and political issues as well. It is flexible, fluid, and ever changing to meet the needs of the times it is addressing.

Art as Work

Integrating Art as Work throughout our curriculum ensures that you graduate ready for a career as a working artist.

Additionally, twice a semester, students have the opportunity to hear emerging and mid-career, nationally and internationally recognized artists, speak about their work and the trajectory of their careers.

Finally, our annual Alumni Networking opportunities invite alumni back to campus to network with you and share their experiences.

Students and faculty working at art studio tables.

Studios & Spaces

Our facilities include naturally lit studios for painting and drawing classes, a state-of-the-art computer lab, as well as graphic design, jewelry, printmaking, ceramics, and sculpture studios.

Each senior has a designated studio space for completion of their culminating work.

Career Success

Artists are in high demand in a number of industries, and graduates of the McDaniel Art program have been successful in a variety of fields and settings. Here are a few examples.

    Alumni Success

    • Betty Japinga ’15: MFA ‘17 in Curatorial Practices from Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD. (Communications and Development Coordinator at Arts Everyday in Baltimore).
    • Julia Celebrado-Royer ’14: MFA ‘16 in Multi-disciplinary Art from the Mount Royal School of Art, Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD.(Assistant Professor in Experimental Foundations at Rhode Island School of Design).
    • Victoria Potucek '12: MFA '14 in Art Criticism at the School of Visual Arts in NY, NY (Grants Manager at the Phillips Collection, D.C.).
    • David Ross '11: MFA '14 in Studio Art at American University, Washington DC (MakerSpace Manager at Temple University).
    • Stephanie Kurtyka ’11: MA’15 in Art Therapy at George Washington University, Washington, D.C. (IOP Art Therapist and Treatment Coordinator at MSA The Child and Adolescent Center).
    • Rachel Bishop '09: MFA '12 in Interior Design at George Washington University, Washington DC (Interior Designer at GGLO Design09, Greater Seattle Area).
    • Laura Cox '09: MFA '12 in Painting at the University of Delaware, Newark, DE. Post Baccalaureate Certificate '10 at Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD (Appraisal Coordinator at Freeman’s Auction House in Philadelphia).
    • Tim Snyder ’08: MA ‘10 in Art Teaching, McDaniel College.(Art Teacher at Frederick County Public Schools Maryland Teacher of the Year 2018)

    Distinctive Courses

    ART 1121 - 3D Design Concepts

    An introduction to three-dimensional form and space focused on problem solving projects emphasizing research, experimentation and synthesis. Students  acquire an understanding of fundamental design theory, construction processes and tool proficiency while researching themes in contemporary art and art  history. Independent and collaborative object making may include hand, machine, and digital processes in a variety of materials. 

    ART 2214 - Metal smithing/Jewelry

    An intensive study of problem solving in body adornment through historic and multicultural perspectives. Processes employed include piercing, forging, beading, fabrication, and repoussé.

    ART 3306 - Printmaking

    A study of the principles of printmaking, with emphasis on wood and linoleum printing, seriography, intaglio and, in special cases, monotype.

    ART 4492 - Exhibition/Professional Practice

    This course will prepare students for their Senior Exhibition and design a portfolio for entering the job market. Students will curate and prepare their art work according to professional exhibition standards under the careful guidance of a faculty member. Students will be involved with the marketing of their work for the senior exhibition, as well as the job market. Implicitly, this course will prepare McDaniel Art Students for art related jobs, graduate school, and future professional exhibitions.

    Special Opportunities

    Grad student on computer.

    Graphic Design Specialization

    A specially crafted course of study for students who are considering careers in Graphic Design.

    Student Mandy Smith painting on an easel at Baugher's local market stand.

    Student-Faculty Research

    The Student-Faculty Collaborative Summer Research Program provides students with opportunities for fellowship-supported research. In the summer of 2023, Art students worked with Professor Steven Pearson to explore painting techniques en plein air.

    The McDaniel Commitment in Action

    The McDaniel Commitment—a series of opportunities guaranteed to all students—provides enhanced mentoring and coaching, and ensures every undergraduate student completes at least two meaningful experiential learning opportunities.

    A student stands in front of a metal background with a blue shirt and arms crossed.

    Meet an Alum Class of 2024: Sarah Méndez Journey to Becoming an Art Teacher

    As an Art major at McDaniel, Sarah Méndez has explored genres and styles she never expected to try, in turn strengthening her comic art. With her B.A. in Art, she's pursuing McDaniel's accelerated 5-Year B.A. to M.S. pathway in Secondary Education to one day become an art teacher.

    Class of 2023: Kate Cramer

    Meet our Students Class of 2023: Kate Cramer Get to Know a Green Terror

    Studio Art major Kate Cramer learned to say “yes” to opportunities during her time on the Hill. A Global Fellow and Honors student, she studied abroad at McDaniel’s Budapest campus, conducted student-faculty research, participated in art exhibitions on and off campus, and interned as a student teacher in classrooms around Carroll County. After graduation, she’s ready to put her capabilities into practice as a certified PreK-12 art teacher.

    Cheeny Celebrado-Royer '14 is a McDaniel alumna who was a finalist for the Sondheim Prize

    Alumni Spotlight Cheeny Celebrado-Royer '14 Studio Art

    Cheeny Celebrado-Royer was one of seven finalists for the 14th annual Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize, Baltimore’s most prestigious artist award.

    Rice Gallery in Peterson Hall

    The Esther Prangley Rice Gallery is a multi-faceted space dedicated to teaching, learning and exhibiting diverse art forms by McDaniel students and emerging contemporary artists from within the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond. Throughout the academic year, Art History and Studio Art faculty incorporate and often design content for their courses in conjunction with events and activities organized in the Rice Gallery. Contemporary artists displayed in the Rice Gallery are selected for their work’s ability to cross disciplines, enhance the liberal arts education of all McDaniel students, and support faculty research and creative projects.

    News for Art

    • Associate professor of Art earns top undergraduate teaching award

      Associate Professor of Art Chloe Watson Irla ’07 has earned the Ira G. Zepp Distinguished Teaching Award for her dedication to teaching and scholarship, awarded at McDaniel’s 154th Commencement ceremony.
    • McDaniel's annual Academic Symposium showcases the liberal arts in action

      McDaniel's Academic Symposium on Monday, April 29, includes a robust program of innovative and inspiring presentations. Throughout the day, McDaniel students, faculty, and staff showcase their original research, scholarship, and creative achievements. Plus, a keynote lunch features Assistant Professor of Biology Allison Kerwin who received a three-year National Science Foundation grant (advance registration is required).
    • Art majors showcase work in second capstone exhibition

      "Stereotypically Human" is McDaniel's second Art capstone exhibition. The exhibition runs Tuesday, April 23-Friday, May 10, in McDaniel’s Esther Prangley Rice Gallery in Peterson Hall. An opening reception takes place Friday, April 26, 5:30-7:30 p.m., with a gallery talk at 6 p.m.