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Fine Arts and Art History

Overview

When you have something say, is your first instinct to pick up a paintbrush, a chisel or a camera?  Is your favorite way to spend a day wandering through a museum, imagining the history and culture in which an artist lived, and how it shaped their work?

More than ever, as expanding types of media push the boundaries and definitions of art, the world is a canvas that reflects, influences and educates - from museums and municipal buildings to subway platforms and city streets, computer games and corporate offices.

Pursuing a degree in fine arts or art history at Hofstra means you'll learn in diverse, high-tech studio and lab facilities with professors who will help you explore new mediums, discover your artistic voice and develop the aesthetic fluency to interpret and understand broad historical and social themes in the visual forms.

Our professors continue to be active in the art scene – showing in New York City, across the U.S. and internationally, and their work is included in the permanent collections of institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the National Center for Art and Culture Georges Pompidou in Paris.

And there's nothing like studying art so close to New York City, the largest art market in the world and one of the most powerful and connected places to train and work in the arts.

Just walking the streets is enough to spark creative inspiration, from the Graffiti Hall of Fame Wall in East Harlem to the art installations along The High Line.  Not to mention you're also less than an hour by train from the city's thousands of world-class museums, established and emerging galleries, artist's studios, arts foundations and education programs, art technology companies and auction houses.

You'll find creative outlets on campus as well. Hofstra's FORM Gallery is a student-run gallery that hosts exhibitions throughout the year. The Rosenberg Gallery brings in exhibits by guest artists who meet with students to talk about their craft and the business of the art world.

And the Hofstra University Museum of Art, accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, has a permanent collection of 5,000 works in varied media dating from the ancient to the contemporary, and it plans a calendar of diverse exhibitions and programming every year.

You'll also benefit from collaborations with other disciplines, like history, English, biology, drama, psychology, religion, business and computer science. This cross-pollination is the jewel of our program, and the reason why our students graduate ready for advanced studies or careers in a variety of industries.

Curriculum

Hofstra offers a comprehensive curriculum in art history, studio art and design, with three different degrees in Fine Arts and Art History.

BA in Fine Arts:  This degree is for students who may be interested in a double major in areas like education, marketing, computer science or film. Students have the option of a general fine arts degree, or specializing in ceramics, design, painting, photography or sculpture-industrial design.

BS in Fine Arts: This is more intensive program, with more required coursework in fine arts and art history than the BA degree. In addition, students must select a specialization.

BA in Art History:  This degree offers classes in the study of art and architecture, from cave paintings to new media installations Students learn about medieval art and works of the Italian Renaissance, the Romantic, Baroque and Gothic Ages. They learn about artistic movements and how the study of art highlights issues related to politics, culture, and religion.

Up-to-date information about required classes and more is available in the Hofstra Bulletin.

BA in Fine Arts Requirements BS in Fine Arts Requirements BA in Art History Requirements

A wide variety of electives also are available, with classes like metalsmithing, motion graphics for digital media, design for smartphones and iPads, social media design, furniture design, packaging and branding design, documentary photography and alternative photographic processes.

We also offer a major in Fine Arts Education, as well as several fine arts minors including:

In addition, we also offer two interdisciplinary minors, Business and Design, offered in conjunction with the Zarb School of Business, and Computer Applications and Digital Media Design, offered with the Department of Computer Science.

Recent Alumni Outcomes

A degree in fine arts or art history is great preparation for careers in many industries, including publishing, film, television, fashion, advertising, marketing and auction houses. Our students are working fine artists, furniture makers, jewelry designers, graphic and web designers, illustrators, animators and photographers. They are also educators, museum and gallery administrators.

Among the places where our recent graduates are working:

  • NYLON Magazine
  • Leigh Adams Advertising
  • Relix Magazine
  • Times Beacon Record Newspapers
  • Continental Accessory Corp
  • Marylyn Dintenfass Studio
  • South Country Central School District
  • The Creative Group
  • Steven Kasher Gallery

Our recent alumni have also gone on to advanced degree programs at institutions such as:

  • School of Visual Arts
  • University of Sydney (Australia)
  • University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • Columbia University
  • New York University

FINE ARTS & ART HISTORY

99% are employed, grad school or both
94% accept a position within six months
$36K median salary
Get More Info on Fine Arts Outcomes Get More Info on Art History Outcomes

Facilities

Student in Class

Calkins Hall is home to our fine arts and art history programs. Recently renovated facilities include:

  • A state-of-the art-computer lab staffed by a full-time technician.
  • Fully equipped wood, metal and welding shops, as well as carving and plaster studios.
  • A ceramics studio – one of the most popular areas in the department – that is an impressive light, airy and well-equipped space.
  • Painting, drawing, sculpture and new media, graphic design and industrial design studios.
  • A professional-level photography studio where students take a full-spectrum of photography courses and engage in traditional darkroom processes and the latest digital technologies.
  • Two 3D printers
  • A CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machine that uses computers to control the movement of equipment.

Internships

Students are strongly encouraged to participate in internships. These can often lead to important networking contacts and job opportunities. That’s why in a recent survey, approximately 60% of our students completed internships at organizations such as Chain Theatre, Chloe Wise Studio, Gagosian Gallery, Google Maps, Greengale Publishing, Hearst Corporation, NBC Network, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Pierogi Gallery.

The FORM gallery is an on-campus space that regularly hosts student exhibitions. Students are in charge of creating, planning, installing and promoting the exhibits. The gallery hosts an annual, juried Spring Student Art Show, highlighting student work from ceramics, graphic design, new media, industrial design, photography, painting, sculpting and illustration.

Experience

art easels

This is a program that embraces innovation and ingenuity. Courses of study can be tailored to the needs, talents, and interests of the individual student. So, if you want to propose a project that's a bit unusual or doesn't quite fit in with the syllabus, our professors will work with you to help make it happen.

One of the highlights of our undergraduate program is FORM, a student-run gallery that features a different exhibition of student work every week throughout the academic year. FORM shows all types of work, and the opportunity to exhibit is open to students of all class years. Besides providing exhibition space for student work, the FORM gallery is a great opportunity for students to learn the ins-and-outs of managing a gallery space.

Our annual Spring Art Show features student work from all studios. Best in show awards are given in each genre, including a $1,000 purchase award, where the University buys a piece of artwork to display on campus.

Incorporating technology, and learning how to balance hand and machine is also a important element of our program. For instance, Hofstra offers a VR Creation Lab digital storytelling course that brings together fine arts, engineering, computer science and communications and uses the latest in virtual reality technology.

Meet HAYLEY BLOMQUIST '18

 
 

From an unusual sculpture that took over an entire room to a public mural in the biology department stairwell, fine arts arts major Hayley Blomquist '18 has embraced the concept of 'social practice' – making art an event that encourages people to interact with her work by touching it, holding it and even sitting on it. Hayley's internship with multimedia artist Chloe Wise led to a full-time job as her studio assistant after graduation.