At the Cleveland Institute of Art, our Department of Painting has a long and illustrious history of producing successful artists. As a Painting major, you will acquire a broad knowledge of the visual arts and an in-depth knowledge of painting as a studio practice. At the core of our coursework is an understanding of what it takes to be a professional artist. With this goal in mind, we provide our students with a solid foundation in technical and problem solving skills, art theory, and contemporary practices in the visual arts.
As a Painting student, you will experience a wide range of approaches from figural and abstract painting to alternative media and installation. Your work will be guided by our faculty of professional artists through individual and group studio critiques, workshops, seminars, and special topics courses. In addition, a series of special events such as exhibitions, artist visits, and scholar programs will present you with the issues, challenges, and practices you can expect to face during your professional life. You also will be tutored in creating a professional portfolio, developing grant-writing skills, and proper strategies for successfully approaching dealers, curators, and collectors. You will learn how to set up your own professional studio in our Professional Practices program. Your CIA experience culminates with a BFA exhibition that entails presenting a body of self-initiated work, an oral defense, and a written artist statement.
As part of the Visual Arts Environment, you will share in an integrated curriculum studying other disciplines within the environment including Drawing, Printmaking, and Sculpture. You also may take classes from and work individually with our VA Environment Artist-in-Residence, a leading artist in his or her field. Each spring, you have the opportunity to visit professional galleries and exhibitions, such as the Whitney Biennial and The Armory Show, in New York City.
Real-world experience for real-world careers
What may best set CIA apart from other colleges of art and design is its commitment to engaged practice. CIA’s Engaged Practice provides you opportunities to learn through experience by working on real-world projects with external partners or clients, or in the public sphere—all before graduation.
These opportunities allow you to put your classroom and studio knowledge to work in a professional setting while still being guided by faculty. You’ll learn what it takes to meet clients’ expectations, and you will emerge with confidence that will serve you as you launch your career.
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While at CIA, you'll learn from the masters through our rigorous, world-class curriculum and connect with working professionals to begin your career.