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Art and Graphic Design

Integrating fine arts and liberal arts

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Augustana offers a major and minor in studio art, a major in art education, and a major and minor in graphic design.

Careers and internships

Many studio art majors prepare for graduate work in a specific art genre or for a career in areas such as art administration or education, art therapy, medical illustration or museum work. Some students double-major or minor in areas such as art history, psychology, biology, education or business.

Art-related internships are available to integrate these areas, and faculty advisors work with students to help them apply their talents to future goals.

Graphic design majors and minors have launched their careers in museum marketing and design for news and industry. Art education students are employed in public and private schools.

Recent graduates

Amanda (Ebert) Murphy '17 (graphic design) is a marketing product specialist with Parksite in Batavia, Ill.

Emily Grooms '17 (art) is attending a Special Program in School Psychology at Western Illinois University.

Becky Brosch '17 (graphic design) is a clinical research coordinator at Washington University School of Medicine.

Maureen Joyce '17 (graphic design) is a marketing coordinator and graphic designer with Performance Food Group in Davenport.

Nikki Radloff '15 (graphic design) is the creative director at Audentio in Rockford, Ill.

Jasen Hengst '14 (graphic design) is self-employed and the owner of Jasehen.

yarn bomb class

Students in art and graphic design created this "yarn-bomb" of a wall outside the Art Building in the spring of 2019. Ohio-based artist Carol Hummel, who specializes in yarn art, visited campus to get them started. She came to the Quad Cities in 2017 for the first yarn-bomb public project at Augustana, Longfellow School and the Figge Art Museum.


Studio art majors choose a focus in one of seven areas: ceramics, drawing, painting, photography and sculpture, fibers and printmaking.

kelvin mason glass plate


Kelvin Mason, associate professor, shows students how to make a glass plate for printmaking.

Graphic design majors have a traditional fine arts foundation, which focuses on creative problem-solving. Courses in art history and a survey of contemporary graphic designers add perspective to the major.

Beginning classes have only 15-20 students, and upper-level courses are generally smaller. The close faculty-student relationship is especially important in hands-on work such as studio art. Students in the department learn to express their ideas and emotions via the formal elements of art, while at the same time gaining an understanding of art's larger social and disciplinary contexts. International terms often include art classes in the curriculum.

Working closely with a faculty member, students integrate learning from throughout their liberal arts education to complete their project, which includes a written essay and public presentation. At the end of the capstone experience, students have a portfolio of work to use as they prepare for graduate school or employment.

The art department is housed in three buildings: the art building, the pottery/sculpture studio and the Abbey art studios. These buildings house separate facilities for painting, fibers, 2D design, weaving, ceramics, sculpture, photography, drawing and wheel-throwing.

The ceramics studio has a wood fire kiln and a rolling gas car kiln, the kinds of high-quality kilns generally available only to graduate students.

The Augustana College Teaching Museum of Art has a full-time staff and is readily accessible to art classes. Through traveling exhibitions and the extensive permanent collection, students view original works of art as primary texts for class discussion, as well as inspiration for their own work.

Augustana sponsors an on-campus community program called Kaleidoscope, offering short-term art classes and workshops for children. Many art and art education students serve as teachers and aides for Kaleidoscope, gaining experience for their future work.

Annie Wheeler
More Than I Imagined Annie Wheeler
“Because of the flexible curriculum, I was able to switch majors to graphic design and communications.”
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TaJania Jenkins
More Than I Imagined TaJania Jenkins
“Being at Augustana helped me gain great leadership qualities and communication skills.”
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Makenzie Walk
More Than I Imagined Makenzie Walk
“Professors here are typically super available for students.”
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Exhibit: Sept. 11, 2001: The Day That Changed the World

The Thomas Tredway Library will offer a poster exhibition, "September 11, 2001: The Day That Changed the World," developed by the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, through Sept. 13.

The Fishing Boat

Charters Collection travels to Pennsylvania

Works of Swedish art from Augustana College will be exhibited June 29-Sept. 9 at the Hoyt Art Center, New Castle, Pa.

Art by seven students showing at Figge Art Museum

Seven Augustana students will be featured in the Figge Art Museum's annual College Invitational Jan. 30-June 6.