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Art & Design

College of Arts & Sciences

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The Department of Art and Design provides comprehensive training in the visual arts and art history. Our faculty includes internationally exhibited artists, published authors, and a Guggenheim fellow. Members of the art faculty have won ETSU awards in research, service, and teaching. We are affiliated with the Mary B. Martin School of the Arts at ETSU, which sponsors an eclectic calendar of visiting artists, curators, art historians, and exhibitions on the ETSU campus each semester.

Our students prepare for lifelong careers in the visual arts by developing excellent problem solving skills, a strong work ethic, the ability to pursue research goals, and completion of capstone projects in their chosen areas of study.

The Southern Appalachian region is home to a thriving, diverse community of artists located in the mountains of East Tennessee. Johnson City is a developing art and cultural center and is conveniently located near Asheville, NC, and Knoxville, TN.

Careers in the Visual Arts

Studio Artist, Graphic Designer, Art Teacher (K-12; Colleges and Universities), Art Historian, Curator, Museum and Gallery employee, Animation, Design, Art Therapy, Art Criticism, Art Theory, Writer, Illustrator, Photographer, Painter, Drawing, Animator, Sculptor, Metals and Jewelry Artist, Printmaker, Ceramicist, Potter, Film Maker, Installation artist, Advertising, Film industry, Theater and Set Design, Art Dealer, Fashion industry, and many more.

Degrees offered by Art and Design at ETSU:

Bachelor of Fine Arts (Studio Art) (B.F.A.) - Students prepare for careers as professional artists and designers, gallery work, preparation for pursuit of the M. F. A. degree. Students must pass B.F.A. Portfolio Review after 21 credits of studio art to be accepted into the B.F.A. track.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (Graphic Design) (B.F.A.) - Students prepare for careers in graphic design and related fields of visual communication design such as advertising design, art direction, commercial art, and publication design.

Bachelor of Arts (Art History) (B.A.) - Students prepare for careers in museum and gallery work, archives, preparation for advanced study in Art History.

Bachelor of Arts (Studio Art) (B.A.) - Students prepare for careers in professional art and design studios, museums, galleries, additional study towards graduate degrees in Art related field. Requires a Minor.

Bachelor of Arts (Studio Art), with an Education minor (B.A.) - Students prepare for careers teaching art to students on K-12.

Minor in Art - The Art Minor is an excellent professional credential for students pursuing other degree programs which rely on additional knowledge of visual art, including Digital Media, Interior Design, Marketing, Advertising, and Communications. It is also a wonderful supplement to students pursuing degrees in other fields of study, providing training for a lifelong appreciation of visual art.

Minor in Art History - The Art History Minor provides students the opportunity to study the history of art from the Neolithic cave paintings, to ancient Greek and Roman art, to contemporary art from around the world. The minor is designed to complement a variety of disciplines including business, history, philosophy, psychology, and literature among others. For further information, see the ETSU catalog or contact Dr. Scott Contreras-Koterbay at

Masters of Fine Arts (Studio Art) (M.F.A.) - This is the terminal degree in studio art. Students prepare for careers as professional artists and designers; the MFA qualifies students to teach at the college or university level.

Masters of Art, New Media Studio- Department of Art and Design and the Digital Media program, in collaboration, offer this degree program.

Studio Areas of Emphasis

• Ceramics
• Drawing
• Fibers
• Graphic Design
• Jewelry and Metals
• Painting
• Photography
• Printmaking
• Sculpture

The studio areas are well equipped with an array of tools and larger equipment; please see each area's page for a list of current tools and equipment. The department houses 2 Mac labs for use by Art and Design students, as well as several Smart classrooms. Digital cameras are available for check out by registered art students; students may also use a variety of large format digital printers and scanners.

Studio Space for Students

The department offers individual studio space to some advanced students and to all graduate students. We have space for graduate students on campus as well as Valleybrook Farm, the ETSU research facility.

Accreditation and Affiliation 

The Department of Art and Design is accredited by NASAD, The National Association of Schools of Art and Design. The department is also a member of CAA, the College Art Association; SECAC, Southeastern College Art Conference; ISC, the International Sculpture Center, and is a consortium member of SACI, Studio Art Centers International, based in Florence, Italy.

Study Abroad

Annual study abroad opportunities are available to all ETSU students; the Ceramics program offers an annual workshop in Spannochia, Italy.

For additional information, please contact us: (423) 439-4247

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