Visual Art/Design

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The University of Kansas School of the Arts, which is housed under the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers a BFA or a BA, as well as a MA in Visual Arts. The degrees are divided into eight specializations which are Ceramics, Drawing & Painting, Expanded Media, Metalsmithing/Jewelry, Printmaking, Sculpture, Textiles, and Visual Art Education. The undergraduate program also includes a Professional Activities Seminar that helps prepare seniors for gallery representation, graduate school application, and alternative career options. If students so choose, they may further their education and work towards a Masters in Fine Arts. Individuals graduating with a degree in art often are self-employed, may have multiple jobs at one time, and often teach at some point in their lives.

KU School of the Arts Website

Sample of Related Skills

  • Understand technologies utilized in the creation, dissemination, documentation, and preservation of works of art
  • Demonstrate competence with the principles of visual organization, including the ability to work with visual elements in two and three dimensions; color theory and its applications; and drawing
  • Apply knowledge of the principles of visual organization to conduct formal analysis of artworks
  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of media, technologies and equipment applicable to their area of emphasis. This includes environmentally responsible practice
  • Identify the major historical achievements in world art, ethical and formal issues, current processes, and directions of their area(s) of emphasis
  • Integrate skills in studio practice, theory, analysis, media and technology to address a variety of art problems, independently and in collaboration with others
  • Demonstrate through public exhibition the capability to produce work that embodies a coherent set of artistic and intellectual goals 

Popular Career Paths

Art Education: Involves educating others, including children through senior citizens, on art techniques or history, often in a school, community, or healthcare organization.

Corporate Art: Includes assisting companies with corporate art collections and/or communications.

Entrepreneurship: Allows individuals to utilize their talents in art and business to start their own art-based business or organization.

Professional Artist: Involves using artistic talents to create and sell art for profit.

Freelance Work: Entails utilizing one’s network and resources to contract with individuals, companies, or organizations to complete project-based assignments.

Explore More Career Paths

  • AIC - online career resources from a professional organization for those interested in the conservation of historic and artistic works
  • Association of Teaching Artists - information for professional artists who teach or want to teach
  • - online resource for those interested in utilizing their art degree in the federal government
  • National Association of Independent Artists - organization that serves to enhance economic well-being of those who exhibit their artwork at quality art shows
  • National Portfolio Day Association - national organization for those in the art community who are needing assistance in their portfolios
  • Strategic National Arts Alumni Project - annual online survey, data management, and institutional improvement system for arts gradates
  • The Curb Center - a national policy center committed to research and teaching that challenges leaders to rethink the place of art and creativity in our world

Jobs to Consider

App Developer

Art Auctioneer

Art Director

Art Editor

Art Educator

Art Lecturer

Artists' Agent


Combat Photographer

Corporate Curators


Fashion Designer

Film Editor

Foundry Artist

Freelance Artist

Gallery Director/Owner


Jewelry Designer

Layout Designer




Museum Guide

Police Sketch Artist

Self-Employed Artist

Set Designer


Technical Illustrator

Wallpaper Designer


Places to Seek Employment

Art Studios

Art Shops

Art Supply Shops

Arts Administrator

Corporate Communications

Corporate Companies (corporate art collections)

Digital Facilities

Etsy Shop

Fashion Houses

Film Companies


Jewelry Stores


Local Historical Societies


Newspaper/Publishing Houses

Open Galleries

Photographic Darkroom

Private Businesses

Public/Private Schools

Therapy Centers


Urban Planning Firms


View specific employers by state.

Employment Strategies

  1. Identify areas of interest in visual arts so you can focus your academic and experiences towards these fields.
  2. Become familiar with the required professional qualifications associated with careers that interest you (i.e. advanced degrees, licensure and/or certifications).
  3. Consider starting your own business, doing freelance work, or working several part-time positions at once.
  4. Gain direct experience within the areas that interest you most through research projects, independent study, internships, part-time jobs, student organization involvement, or volunteering.
  5. Register for and subscribe to the Internship Newsletter to receive automated weekly emails with specific internship information.
  6. Consider joining a professional organization related to your area of interest in visual arts/design, and if possible, attend local and or regional conferences to network with professionals working in your field.
  7. Earn a minor or take additional coursework outside your major when relevant.
  8. Maintain a strong GPA if you are considering pursuing graduate or professional education.
  9. Consider getting involved with a student organization at KU related to your area of interest.

Job and Internship Search Resources

  • American Association of Museums - national job listings board for those interested in working in museums from a professional organization
  • Americans for the ARTS - job bank with careers in the arts
  • Apparel Executives - job listings for both internships and full-time positions in the apparel and fashion industries
  • - list of excellent opportunities for competitions, internships, exhibitions, festivals and fairs, film, and public art
  • ArtSchools - online resource for portfolio preparation for college and employment opportunities
  • Creative Hotlist - online search engine geared towards career development in the art fields
  • Coroflot - online resource for the "creative world at work" featuring job listings board, portfolio advice, groups, and general career advice 
  • Design Addict - resource featuring over 5000 links in all fields regarding visual arts/design such as museums, collectors, associations, and artists
  • Incredible @rt Department - national job listings board arranged by state which offers a variety of art related jobs
  • National Art Education Association - premier electronic recruitment resource for the profession, includes job listings

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