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Art & Art History

Department of Art & Art History

Student artist

The drive to study and create art is a passion that each student finds within him- or herself. At Birmingham-Southern, we help you find your particular passion and then help you refine the skills you need, whether to express your artistic voice or to become a true scholar of art.

Here are some of the strengths of our program:

  • Art students can choose to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree (BFA), emphasizing extensive preparation in studio art, or a Bachelor of Arts (BA), which still requires studio work but also allows for more study in other disciplines; the BA is often combined with degree programs in education.
  • We also offer a BA in Art History. Art History students do more than just discuss art, taking studio classes to better understand the artistic process. Some of our classes are team taught by Art and Art History faculty.
  • Our art faculty are working artists with deep roots in the community and work that has been exhibited around the country and the world, which prepares them not just to teach but also to offer perspective on life as an artist. Our art history professors bring up-to-date scholarship and past experiences in some of the top museums and galleries to the table.
  • Our professors have strong relationships with the Birmingham Museum of Art and local galleries, giving students access to permanent collections, special exhibits, and presentations by artists, critics, and scholars. Classes also travel to regional museums and galleries—including Rome, Paris, and Los Angeles—to see the great works in person.
  • Juniors participate in the Junior Studio, exploring themes in contemporary art, developing the depth of their ideas, and writing about their work, which allows them to refine their artist statements. Seniors work in-depth on their portfolio, culminating in a senior thesis and exhibition in the Durbin Gallery. BSC’s January Exploration Term allows students a month to work on an in-depth creative project or pursue an internship off campus. Or they can take a class that looks at art in a whole new way, whether it’s an exploration of cell phone photography, a seminar on crafting toys, or the creation of artist’s books.

To contact the BSC Department of Art and Art History, please write or email:

Department Chairperson, Dr. Kathleen Spies
Birmingham-Southern College
900 Arkadelphia Road / Box 549021
Birmingham, Alabama 35254-9021

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