Fine Arts Major, B.A./B.S.

"Samford’s challenging design program is just what I needed in order to get a leg up in a competitive career. Upon graduating, I had the skills of someone with 2-3 more years of experience than a lot of people my age. After working at award winning agencies, I am now the managing partner and creative director of my own business. Samford’s Design education is phenomenal."  
Sara Cannon, B.S. Graphic Design 2005 sara-cannon.com

Program Summary

Samford's Fine Arts degree is available as a B.S. or B.A. and provides a study enriched with mastering skills and techniques as an artist.   The on-site art gallery hosts professional shows each month that reflect the very best of what the arts have to offer. The B.A./B.S. degree includes courses in Design, Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, and Art History. Our graduates work as painters, gallery workers, arts administrators, sculptors and printmakers.

Exceptional art and design studios provide creative environments.  The recently opened Art Lofts provides a modern educational space for innovative learning.  Senior students have dedicated studio space, and classrooms are designed specifically for creative purposes.

Our Art Department faculty are active artists and highly trained in their respective fields. Our low professor-to-student ratio of 13-1 gives students the opportunity to receive individual instruction in a studio class setting.

Samford art students are creative, passionate, independent thinkers with an artistic vision.

Objectives and Goals

Our goal is to design and offer experiences that expand and illuminate traditional learning. We strive to challenge students while giving them a comfortable and friendly environment in which to grow as artists.

“Having fine art as the basis for the design major at Samford has been beneficial to me in so many ways. Expanding and mastering fine art techniques and color theory truly made me a better Graphic Designer and digital Illustrator. Not only that, but getting off the computer and mastering a craft with your hands brings balance and perspective - furthering your creative thought process."

Engaging Faculty

We have outstanding faculty who are active artists. 

"The most valuable distinction of the Samford Arts Program is the dedicated teachers who foster an environment for creativity and ingenuity to thrive. They were critical to my success as a student and to my career as an artist."
 Michael Aaron Williams, B.S. Fine Arts 2011

Larry Thompson's work on the The Infantree Project was recently shown at Space 111 and shown at the Pentagon in Washington DC. The Infantree Project was sponsored by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. The exhibition, which includes both sculptures and paintings, reflects a number of issues that soldiers and their loved ones face.

Career Preparation

According to the US Occupational Outlook Handbook, "fine artists typically display their work in museums, in commercial or nonprofit art galleries, at craft fairs, in corporate collections, on the Internet, and in private homes. Some of their artwork may be commissioned (requested by a client), but most is sold by the artist or through private art galleries or dealers. The artist, gallery and dealer together decide in advance how much of the proceeds from the sale each will keep.

"Some artists work in museums or art galleries as art directors or as archivists, curators or museum workers, planning and setting up exhibits. Others teach craft or art classes, or conduct workshops in schools or in their own studios." 

Notable Alumni

Our students work throughout the Birmingham community in internships at local galleries and at the Birmingham Museum of Art.  Our graduates pursue careers as professional artists, designers, illustrators and use their Samford training to reach their highest potential.  

Cliff Bell has used his camera to document his extensive travels and has exhibited his work in several art shows including the Bluff Park Art Show.  His images have been publicized and shared through social media by various tourism boards including the State of Georgia and Brand USA, which is a public/private partnership focused on generating interest in international travel to the United States.

A native to East Tennessee, Michael Aaron Williams is best known for his ethereal portraiture. These paintings are created using coffee and ink on antique ledger paper to capture the ephemeral nature of people and society.  The fragile nature of the ledger paper mirrors the often fractured portraits that depict beauty despite their imperfections. In a similar context, Michael’s street art is a narrative of the people whose lives are lived on the streets. As an avid street artist since 2009, Michael has installed his work on the streets of over 15 different countries. Through television features and magazine publications, he has received international recognition in Brazil, Australia, China, India, Germany and the United Kingdom, amongst others. Michael holds a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama and recently received his Master of Fine Arts from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

Curriculum

The Fine Arts degree is available as a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.).