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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
Complementary Programs
Distinctive Requirements
Unique Spaces
The Esther Prangley Rice Gallery

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.

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

AHY 1113 - History of Western Art I

A survey of painting, sculpture, and architecture from 15,000 B.C. to 1400 A.D. Included are Near Eastern, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and Medieval Art.

AHY 2240 - A History of Modern Art

This course is an overview of Modern Art from the mid-19th century through the 20th century in Western Europe, Eastern Europe and America. In weekly lectures and discussions we will examine major artistic movements such as Impressionism, Expressionism, the Russian Avant-Garde, Cubism, Dada, Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism among others.

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 3307 - Web Design

This course teaches Website creation, interface design, user experience, and work flow/project management. Students will focus on the basics of optimizing graphics for the Web and assembling and managing a Website. Emphasis is on both design and technical skills.

Senior Capstone


Art and Cinema double major Mangie Moreno talks about her senior capstone in Cinema.

Meet Our Alumni Working Artists

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

The healing power of art fuels alumna’s art therapy practice

As a Studio Art major at McDaniel, Kim Clemens never doubted art would play a leading role in her future.

Special Opportunities

Students can double major in Art and Communications or specialize in Graphic Design.

Quad Walkway

Art–Communication Dual Major

The overlap between Art and Communication is significant, so we built a track that let’s you graduate with a major in both. 

Grad student on computer.

Graphic Design Specialization

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

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.

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

Alumni Spotlight Cheeny Celebrado-Royer 2014, 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

  • Faculty earn top teaching awards

    Three McDaniel professors have earned awards for their dedication to teaching and scholarship, awarded at McDaniel's 152nd Commencement ceremony. The awards are: the Ira G. Zepp Distinguished Teaching Award, Ira G. Zepp Teaching Enhancement Grant, and the Shelton Adjunct Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence.

  • Senior Capstone Art exhibition features work from graduating Art students

    “explorations of 14 emerging artists” features a range of media, from traditional two- and three-dimensional approaches, to digital and new media from graduating Art students at McDaniel. The exhibition runs Thursday, April 28-Friday, May 13, in Rice Gallery, Peterson Hall.

  • Art–Communication major earns $1,000 grant to build Little Free Library in Westminster

    Through her passion for graphic design and community enrichment, junior Art–Communication major Gia Koutsokostas was awarded a $1,000 grant to fund a Little Free Library at the Charles Street Tot Lot in Westminster, Maryland. It all began in Assistant Professor of Art and Art History Chloe Irla’s Graphic Design II course.