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Art Major

Studying art opens doors. It impacts how you look at the world and its visual beauty. It provides a creative outlet that can be personalized. And it connects history, design, culture, and more into a major that can be profitable and fulfilling. As an art student, you’ll be able to work in well-equipped studios in the company of committed faculty who are there to help you create and learn. Additional lectures and workshops provided by exhibiting artists will complement your studio and classroom experiences.

Artists like you contribute to the richness of our society through various mediums. Here at Parkside, you can major in art or choose it as a minor, plus certificates are available in art history, design, and museum studies. You’ll receive a background in the visual arts, along with experience in two- and three-dimensional studies, art history, and visual culture.

Learn more about the Art Department.

To gain increased experience in studio art areas, you may select a concentration. All three concentrations consist of an additional art history course, the exhibition capstone, and an additional 12 credits of studio course work related to the chosen concentration. 

Studio Art Concentration
(19 credits)
Three Dimensional Studio Art Concentration (19 credits)
Interdisciplinary Concentration (19 credits)

Parkside proudly houses three modern art galleries in the Rita Tallent Picken Regional Center for Arts and Humanities. Here, you will derive inspiration as you display work alongside leading artists from the around the world. Lectures and workshops provided by exhibiting artists complement your studio and classroom experience.

The major prepares you for graduate studies and careers that require skills in creative problem solving, sophisticated visual communication, and independent thinking.

Some specific titles include studio artist, art conservator, arts administrator, architect, freelance artist, graphic designer, production designer, package designer, web designer, animator, illustrator, typographer, art historian, museum or gallery professional, and art educator in public and private schools.

Art Club is the campus student organization that encourages a variety of student-directed events including a visiting artist series and an annual juried student exhibit to foster a greater awareness and participation in the visual arts. Learn more about Student Organizations.


See what our students have to say.


Tom Berenz  |  RITA 288  |  berenz@uwp.edu

Faculty Highlights

  • Lisa Marie Barber
    Associate Professor, Cermaics & Foundations

    "The majority of my ceramic work, often formatted as figures within dense environments, portrays how I wish to understand people in the world. I strive to create worlds composed of multiple, individualized parts, meant to be celebratory, shrine-like collections. Within them, the human is presented as a passive being, aware of life's weight, yet confident in its value. Often, the figures are children. Chosen for their purity of being, I use children as models of simplistic, unalienated living. To me, they represent a connection to the world that can be simultaneously awkward and full of possibility. In addition to these large-scale sculptures and installations, I also create series of paintings, drawings, and mixed-media works in the forms of quilts and assemblage sculpture. These works explore similar themes, as well as divergent subject matter."

  • Kristen Bartel
    Assistant Professor, Printmaking, Photography, & Foundations

    "Originally from the Southern U.S., I currently live and work in Racine, Wisconsin. As an artist invested in contemporary print-media with a strong background in traditional printmaking, my practice remains firmly rooted in multiplicity and duplication- always seeking the most efficient methods in creating and broadcasting ideas. I combine traditional print techniques with drawing, video, photography and digital media as a means to conceptual ends. I am currently interested in the impact of our culture on the Western Landscape- looking at the large and small implications of the American Dream."

  • Trenton Baylor
    Associate Professor, Sculpture

    "My work is inspired by both the young seedlings growing in the backyard and machinery that hums, rumbles, shifts, and glides. I developed a love of nature as a young boy while helping my mother in her garden, and I am certain that the many trips South in the passenger seat of my father's semi-truck account for my interest in machinery. It has been these experiences throughout the years that have shaped my aesthetic. As an aesthetic element, nature is alluded to in the surface coloration, forms, organic transitions, and natural materials. In contrast, the use of machine-made parts, polished surfaces, steel, aluminum, and hard edges connote the mechanical. In combination these two opposing visual elements contrast and complement each other in a way that requires a delicate balance."

  • Tom Berenz
    Associate Professor, Art

    MFA, University of Wisconsin - Madison, 2012

    "My paintings are about my relationship to the world around me; cerebral and physical, intellectual and visceral. I use the disaster motif as a metaphor to discuss personal, sociopolitical, environmental and ideological issues. Through the motif of disaster, I explore the existential self and examine personal narratives, with some being more literal and others more enigmatic. Notions of loss, place, memory, space and time are central as I reexamine personal experiences from my past and present. The imagery is in constant flux, but always returns to a pile. A pile is everything and it is nothing. It is a mound that once was and now isn't; a mass of information, both physical and metaphysical, organized and chaotic. I am interested in blurring the lines between realism and abstraction, life and death, beauty and horror, devastation and sublime. Everything we live with as Americans is delicately balanced-the cars (magic carpets/ death traps), houses (castles/ prisons), and wilderness (paradise/oblivion)."

  • Doug Singsen
    Assistant Professor-Art History

    Ph.D., CUNY Graduate Center, 2013

    "My research right now focuses primarily on the interaction between the avant-garde and popular culture. My dissertation, which was completed in 2013 and was entitled "An Alternative by Any Other Name: Alternative Comics between the 'Mainstream' and the Avant-Garde, 1976 to the Present," examined the history of "alternative comics," a category roughly comparable to alternative film or music, which combined influences from mainstream superhero, horror and crime comics, the countercultural underground comics of the late sixties and early seventies, and other avant-garde traditions. In 2014, a revised chapter from my dissertation was published in the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, and I have plans to publish other chapters from it in the future. My dissertation also raised broader questions about the history of interactions between the avant-garde and popular culture. I wanted to put alternative comics in a broader historical perspective but was confronted by the fact that there are very few studies of this area, and those that do exist are generally focused on one medium, time period, or society. I therefore began studying both the history of interactions between the avant-garde and popular culture and the theoretical models that have been applied to them, and I hope to begin publishing work on these topics in 2015."

  • Carey Watters
    Associate Professor - Art

    Master of Fine Arts, University of Wisconsin, 2006

    "A found object can be a mysterious thing. Inherent in every object is a narrative that describes the object itself or the life of the owner. The reality of an object's function is defined by the original owner. Every found object has a story to tell, a story I try to uncover. In my work, the found object is reinvented, and a new narrative is discovered through the manipulation of structure. By investigating sequential design and book structures I create a new way of engaging with an object. A new identity emerges. The users' interaction with the object creates a new history. The lines of function and design are blurred, and as the object is manipulated a new definition appears."

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