Immerse yourself

Cornell College offers majors in art history and studio art, with numerous options for independent studies to tailor an education to your interests. The art department has a twofold approach to art education: it teaches you to make art and respond to art. Its faculty teach art principles that apply to any media and will not go out of date. Its lessons are broad, they run deep, and they will last a lifetime. Cornell art and art history students become tomorrow's leaders as artists, educators, architects, curators, production supervisors, and art administrators. They are articulate and creative, they can read analytically, write with clarity, and communicate verbally.

  • The Peter Paul Luce Gallery hosts major exhibitions and senior thesis shows within McWethy Hall. You’ll have the chance to engage with visiting exhibitions and artists throughout the year.

  • The Luce Gallery is open to the public during the week.

  • Winter 2021 Exhibit “totis viribus” by Erick Wolfmeyer.

  • The Luce Gallery provides an inspirational and quiet space for studying and creating.

  • McWethy Hall is home exclusively to the study of art and features large, up-to-date classrooms, a darkroom, wet room, carpentry shop, and ceramics studio.

  • There are no prerequisite courses for you to be enrolled in any art class at Cornell College. We want you to tap into your creative side.

  • Participating in art at Cornell College is as easy as enrolling for a class! There are no prerequisites for studio art or art history classes, even if you are a non-major or minor.

  • As a studio art major (or minor) you can take courses in collage and assemblage, installation art, intermedia performance art, and casting and mold-making along with traditional coursework in ceramics, sculpture, painting, and photography.

  • Cornell College is proud of its student-to-faculty ratio: 12:1. You are guaranteed individualized teaching and mentorship in our studio art and art history classes.

  • Studio spaces are yours for the duration of your class, so you can leave your materials out. As a student, you will also have extended access to studio spaces if you work better at night.

  • The One Course At A Time curriculum provides you unparalleled focus on your work, and the ability to get the experience of what it is like to work as an artist.

  • The Art Department houses six kilns including one outdoor kiln.

  • In ceramics, you'll learn utilitarian design and casting, along with more standard slab construction and standard modeling. The sculpture lessons may include 3D digital design processes.

  • Recent majors have completed internships locally, regionally, and internationally. Cornell art and art history students become tomorrow's leaders as artists, educators, architects, curators, production supervisors, and art administrators.

  • Senior art majors have 24-hour access to their very own designated studio spaces.

  • Dedicated senior studio space.

  • Example of senior capstone project.

  • McWethy Hall is home to two painting and drawing specific dedicated studios.

  • As a photography student, you will have access to our designated darkroom.

Inside the Art Department

Take a pictoral tour through McWethy Hall!

Learning without boundaries

Arturo Hernandez '16 senior art show
  • Study abroad in Italy or elsewhere.
  • Travel with your classmates for a block on an off-campus course to study art and architecture up close.
  • Take a field trip for a day or longer to nearby museums.
  • Complete an internship to build up your work experience. 

Recent majors have completed internships at the National Museum of American History, Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, the Ceramics Center in Cedar Rapids, Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Mexican Museum in San Francisco, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Philbrook Museum in Tulsa, Puerto Rican Museum of Art, Rochester Art Center, and Russian Icon Museum in Boston.

Charlie Anderson senior art show

Art awards


The fine arts scholarship application is due by March 1, as is a portfolio of 5 to 15 pieces of work. Work may be submitted as email attachments, as a PowerPoint, on a CD, DVD, flash drive, or as original work.

Find out if you will be awarded a scholarship: