Visual Arts | Chatham University, Pittsburgh, PA

Chatham University


Visual Arts

Visual Arts

The Visual Arts major is designed to prepare students to work as visual communicators and artists in a complex, rapidly changing global culture. The mission of the major is to empower students through the integration of technical applications and critical theories, to provide students with marketable skills, to assume creative, scholarly, and leadership roles in the visual arts field, and to promote an understanding of the role that the visual arts play in all facets of contemporary life. Concentrations are available in: Studio Arts and Art History.



Students are introduced to fundamental hands-on skills, technical processes, theory, history, and culture beginning in art historical instruction and entry-level foundation classes to contemporary visual theory and advanced studio practices such as ceramics, sculpture, painting, drawing, and printmaking.


A lively art curriculum recognizes that innovation always requires context. The Art History concentration grounds students in the trends and traditions of major art movements; Asian and African as well as American and European. Students are trained in the critical analysis of visual images, from the traditional fine arts of painting, sculpture, and architecture to newer art forms of photography, film, video, and electronic media. Emphasis is placed on understanding works of art within a historical, social, political, and cultural context.


The Art Museum Studies minor provides students with the skills, experience, and specific professional knowledge necessary to work in the art museum field. The minor balances museum history and theory with practical experience designing and installing exhibitions, and program planning. This minor provides students with a dynamic curriculum that includes field trips to local museums, access to the Chatham Olkes Collection, and applied exhibition practice in the Woodland Art Gallery. Students interact with prominent leaders in the arts community. Directors and curators provide important dialog about art and its institutions, and the role they play in the local, regional, national and international experience.


Talented students interested in sharing their curiosity about learning with others should explore Chatham's art teacher certification program. For certification in art K-12, 42 credits in education coursework is required. Additionally, in accordance with the Pennsylvania Department of Education, students must satisfactorily complete PRAXIS I & II and required visual arts coursework.


The arts management major is an interdisciplinary program, combining courses from business and the arts. The major is designed to prepare students for leadership roles through expertise in strategic planning, man-agement, marketing and artistic planning. Students will ascribe meaning to the artistic elements in all their combinations, recognize historic styles, and the cultural forces that shaped them. Students will also identify business opportunities within the art world and focus on planning, organizing, leading, and controlling the use of resources to accomplish performance goals in art organizations.


Chatham University prepares its students to build lives of purpose, value, and fulfilling work. Through professional skill development and liberal arts learning, Chatham prepares its graduates to be informed and engaged citizens in their communities; to recognize and respect diversity of culture, identity, and opinion; and to live sustainably.

"During my time in the Visual Arts program at Chatham, I was able to explore my creativity with the help of my professors. I am now ready to express myself and the concepts that are dear to me through my artwork."

– Rachel Sciffrin