Visual Art

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

Jobs to Consider

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
  • Galleries
  • Jewelry Stores
  • Libraries
  • Local Historical Societies
  • Museums
  • Newspaper/Publishing Houses
  • Open Galleries
  • Photographic Darkroom
  • Private Businesses
  • Public/Private Schools
  • Therapy Centers
  • Universities
  • Urban Planning Firms 

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  
  • 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   
  • Incredible Art - 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  

Career Exploration Hub

Employment Strategies

  1. Identify areas of interest related to your major so you can focus your academics and experiences towards these fields. 
  2. Gain direct experience within the areas that interest you most through research projects, independent studies, internshipspart-time jobsstudent organization involvement, or volunteering
  3. Register for Hire Jayhawks and subscribe to the Internship Newsletter to receive automated weekly emails with specific internship information. 
  4. Consider joining a professional organization related to your area of interest, and, if possible, attend local and/or regional conferences to make connections with professionals working in your field. 
  5. Practice interviewing on your own or by conducting a mock interview at the University Career Center. 
  6. Develop your resume and tailor it to your area(s) of interest.
  7. Earn a minor or take additional coursework outside your major when relevant to your career goals. 
  8. Complete an independent study to gain advanced research skills. 
  9. Maintain a strong GPA if you are considering pursuing graduate or professional school. 
  10. Consider getting involved with a student organization at KU related to your area of interest.