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Visual Arts

B.F.A. in Visual Arts

The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree is a professional undergraduate degree in the Visual Arts. The B.F.A. adheres to the College’s strong general education in the liberal arts while offering increased breadth and depth in the studio arts. The primary goal of the program is to foster students’ mastery of visual arts by giving them further experience in the studio and advanced work in art history and art theory.


Students will be able to:

  • create an original body of artwork that is exhibited professionally.
  • execute professional writing and research techniques.
  • demonstrate advanced critical analysis of original artwork.
  • demonstrate an advanced knowledge of current or recent art history.

Career Outlook

Employment in arts-related fields is projected to grow by 1 to 6 percent over the next 10 years.

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"As a student, you’ll be trained in physical and material skills, as well as a range of conceptual and critical strategies. you'll apply those skills and strategies in the development of your unique artistic voice, and learn the professional practices that will support your career. Our faculty are dedicated teachers with a wide range of artistic practices and professional experience and we're excited about working with you.”

Amy Swartele Professor of Art
Cathartic Brush Strokes

After being diagnosed with Leukemia, José Abel Santiago ’24 has grappled with both physical and emotional side effects, while using his artwork to reflect on his illness. This spring, doctors told him that his cancer is in remission, and he’s now looking ahead to a bright future with his undergraduate degree in hand.

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Art for the Making of It

Josh Sperling '06 used his art degree to build the foundation for his rise to international acclaim and a creative style that blurs the line between two-and-three dimensional forms.

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Murals for the Masses

Amy Swartele, who has been a professor in the Department of Art for the past 20 years, just completed a vibrant mural in downtown Potsdam! After securing a grant for professional development, she has been expanding the scope of her work and learning the nuances of creating large scale murals—all with the goal of launching SUNY Potsdam's first-ever mural painting class in the fall of 2021!

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Art from Experience

SUNY Potsdam alumnus John Alleyne ’14 has found great success since graduating with a B.F.A. in studio art five years ago. He went on to work at the Museum of Modern Art, received his master’s degree from Louisiana State University and now works as an artist and adjunct professor at three universities in and around Baton Rouge.

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Landscape of Discovery

As he mastered sculpting, painting and graphic design in SUNY Potsdam’s Department of Art, Evan Blondell ’06 had no way of knowing that he was planting the seeds for a fruitful career as a landscape architect. Armed with an artistic eye, and years of training, Blondell now works in major urban centers to transform the landscape into breathtaking parks that intertwine modern design with nature.

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