Trinity Western University

School of the Arts, Media and Culture

Art and Design

Department of Art and Design

Prof. Erica Grimm-Vance, Chair

The Department of Art and Design offers:

  1. A major in Art leading to a B.A. degree;
  2. A concentration;
  3. A minor.

The Art and Design Department is a community of professional artists, designers, scholars and students who together inquire into visual ways of knowing and making. Within a web of historical, critical and theoretical contexts we explore the potency of visual art and how it powerfully creates and critiques culture. As artists, scholars and educators we are committed to mentoring students in discovering that art is a unique form of intelligence with which we make sense of the world. Art scrutinizes interior and exterior, inquires into self and society and constitutes an experience. Art seeks understanding, harnesses affective, perceptual, sensory and intellectual skills, and enacts through material, experiential, spiritual and textual means.

Our program, therefore, is grounded within a liberal arts degree and offers visual foundations, focus in design, art history, theory and studio art making practices (drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, ceramics) within a community receptive to exploring intersections between faith and art. We believe cultivating liberally educated, visually literate, cultural contributors to be at the heart of Trinity Western University’s mission. It is my experience that understanding, cultivating, practicing and theorizing around art making goes far beyond knowledge of history, skill, or theory alone. It cultivates a complex cognitive capacity that benefits the artist and society, without which the individual, society and curricula would all be handicapped. In an increasingly media-saturated society, meaning is disseminated through the visual, making this field increasingly critical to all leadership visions.

I welcome you to explore SAMC’s website, our program, our students and our faculty and to join us in this inquiring, generative, supportive and challenging community of creative that I am honored to serve as Chair.

Each of the four years has the following focus:

  • Year One—Art Core Foundation
  • Year Two—Skills Mastery
  • Year Three—Integration of Theory and Practice
  • Year Four—Voice of the Artist and Solo or Group Show

Program Checklists and Requirements:

Major in Art and Design, B.A. Degree

Concentration and Minor in Art and Design

Programs, Activities, and Facilities

Art Talks

An informal environment where students, faculty, and the public learn about artistic works from those responsible for creating them: the artists, designers, authors, and thinkers.

Verge Art Series

This collection of interdisciplinary artistic events incorporates the Art, Music, Theatre, and Communications departments. The series encourages artistic performance and scholarly interaction with the arts and gives students access to artists, ideas, and presentations that cross multiple creative disciplines.

New York Center for Art and Media Studies (NYCAMS)

A study opportunity offered during both the fall and spring semesters (recruiting from over 15 Christian post-secondary institutions). This program offers students studio, art history, and a custom-designed internship at a New York venue. Dorm spaces and studios are eight blocks from the Chelsea Gallery district in New York.


The Art Department provides opportunities for students at every level to exhibit their work either on or off campus. Each year-end art show features work from graduating art students. Students are involved in every aspect of the show from making the artwork to learning more about the business side of exhibitions, such as publicity, funding, and promotion.

Multi-Media and Instructional Computing Labs

Students have access to fully supported computer labs with industry software such as InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Flash, and more. Software is updated regularly.

Practica Program

Students receive credit towards their degree for working alongside practicing professionals in various areas such as design, visual art, museums, and galleries. Students may also choose to work on one of several student publications for practicum credits.

Department Leadership

Opportunities exist for students to work as student leaders within the Department. Positions include printmaking assistant, design lab assistant, shop assistant, and studio assistant. Full-time faculty studios are on campus, giving students opportunities to engage with faculty artwork or assist or collaborate with faculty on projects.

Job Opportunities

Art graduates have pursued graduate programs throughout North America and around the world. Many students go directly into art careers and use their creative gifts in a variety of art-related fields such as design, studio art, media production, art therapy, art history, art education, and church ministries. Trinity Western’s Art graduates often network with graduates from related areas such as music, theatre, and media to collaborate on projects involving music, media, art, and performance.

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This page contains official TWU academic program information.