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    May 21, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalogue 
2023-2024 Catalogue

Belhaven University Art & Design Handbook

Table of Contents


Corrections to or suggestions for the Studio Manual should be submitted to Professor Theisen:




Contact Information

Art & Design Department
1500 Peachtree Street
Box 307
Jackson, MS 39202.










Art & Design Department Faculty

Please click here for faculty bios.




Art & Design Department

The Art & Design Department at Belhaven University seeks to foster a creative community of makers that is holistic and multidisciplinary to meet the realities of the connected economy. A creative community is one that nurtures productivity and scholarly research among all its participants. It is engaged in learning that is self-directed and hands- on guided by faculty that provide skill-training and thoughtful critique. We believe that artists and designers are crucial in shaping the culture through the application of knowledge, leadership, creative thought, innovation, and a Biblical Worldview.

It is our goal to help students develop the creative vision, aesthetic insight, technical skill, intellectual rigor, spiritual discernment, and work ethic necessary for the practice of visual creation from a Christian worldview. In short, the department is determined to establish students as emerging peers. The department also seeks to provide the campus and local community with opportunities to encounter and engage with works of visual art and graphic design and their creators. Art & Design majors gain professional experience through participation in public exhibitions, including the senior show, as well as opportunities for internships.




Drawing is the fundamental language of all the visual arts.

We believe that through a process of profound experiential drawing, emphasizing both accurate draftsmanship and deep sensitivity, a proper base can be established on which to build other skills. Freedom to express with confidence and power can only be attained in direct proportion to disciplined control.

For the untrained, this process begins with learning to see: not merely to look, but to see with understanding, to see with more than the eyes. For the student already on this journey, it is a process of deepening and fine-tuning skills, increasing sensitivity and responsiveness, and experiencing drawing as another way of knowing about life and oneself.

Introductory classes focus on fundamental perceptual development and problem solving. Through time-proven exercises and repeated drilling, the student is taught to see. The act of correct observation is instilled as prerequisite to further development. Subject matter consists of assorted objects, plaster casts, and the live model. Gesture is established as the essential life force from which all other interpretation and expression emanates.

The process of learning to draw is demanding and time-consuming, and there are no short cuts. However, the rewards are enriching and life-changing. Any student who has the
determination, patience and commitment can attain a high level of skill in drawing. At Belhaven we are committed to assisting serious students in this vital area of growth.


Much like our approach to drawing, instruction in painting begins with an emphasis on careful observation of form, color, and light. The fundamentals of oil technique are introduced with exercises that gradually increase in range and complexity. Skills in observational painting provide a foundation from which students can also explore more expressive and conceptual approaches.


The study of photography begins with an intensive technical examination of the camera and the various photographic materials used in the production of a fine art photograph. In the semesters that follow, photo students develop a thorough understanding of the history of photography. As their expertise with the photographic medium increases, students explore both purist and pictorialist approaches to photographic expression, interfacing photography with graphic arts, design, and alternative non-silver printing and screen printing processes.


Perhaps more than any other mode of art-making, sculpture requires facility, dexterity, and overall familiarity with materials on the part of the artist. The knowledge of the attributes and limitations of sculptural substances is the key to unlocking their aesthetic potential. The basic sculpture courses provide an introduction for those with little or no experience with sculpture. The concepts, ideas, forms, and critical response to sculpture are all examined, but the main focus is on mechanical and technical issues associated with the primary materials and methods of working in the third dimension, typically wood, clay, and metals.

Advanced sculpture is a continuation of the basic sculpture courses. The concepts, ideas, forms, critical response, materials and methods of sculpture continue to be examined; however, these courses allow students a freer, more personal exploration of the language of sculpture. A high level of maturity and responsibility is required.


A four-semester survey of art history from the ancient world to the present introduces students to major artistic monuments, styles, and cultures from both western and non-western civilizations. Art history courses seek to develop visual literacy, skills in oral and written analysis of works of art, and Christian discernment in the interpretation of artifacts as they embody worldviews.

Courses on aesthetics and art theory explore the philosophical underpinnings of discourse on art from antiquity to the present. Through the study of original texts by philosophers, artists, and critics, students investigate the basic premises, ideologies, and philosophies that have shaped pre-modern, modern, and postmodern artistic production and analyze them in light of a Christian worldview.




Art & Design Department

Through a study in Graphic Design, students will practice visual communication in preparation for entering a competitive global environment. Our Graphic Design program offers exposure to a variety and depth of design applications through all spectrums of the field. These practices are firmly rooted in the foundational studies of Fine Art courses. Strategy development, communication campaign implementation, cultural visual language application, photography, logo and identity development, animation, web design, interactive media, packaging, illustration, environmental graphics, and exhibitions all weave together to form a complete experience for our majors.

In additional to traditional approaches, you will be given the opportunity to participate in modern art and design processes using new and emerging technologies. Our 3D Fabrication Lab enables us to explore art making processes with the latest technology in 3D scanners, 3D printers, and CNC machining.




Art & Design Department

To thrive in the art world requires technical knowledge and professional savvy; Portfolio & Résumé Development, a course taken the fall semester of the senior year, seeks to prepare students to launch into the professional art world. The course consists of instructor lectures, guest lectures and presentations, and student-led discussions as well as practical applications. For BFA candidates, this course culminates in the senior exhibition in which students go through the process of developing, producing, hanging, and de-installing their own work. This is a complex and difficult process, and the goal of this course is to give students the ability and experience to make their mark in the larger art world.




Art & Design Department

Practicum is a unique program pioneered by Belhaven University’s Art & Design Department. One of the struggles of art students as well as instructors is that art education often seems disconnected from the realities of life as a practicing artist. All good artists know that finding their voice, and knowing who they are as artists, count for much more than what courses they have taken: art is a process, not an assignment. Practicum thus seeks to foster a spirit of serious discovery and open exploration. Practicum is not a course, but a period set aside every semester during which students of all class levels produce art outside of the confines of assignment-based projects. Practicum generally occurs during the last month of the fall semester and the last month of the spring semester, when all studio courses change from their normal mode of operation into a more open experience, with the instructor playing a less prescriptive and more supportive, yet critical role. Practicum culminates in the annual student invitational exhibition, where the results of the Practicum process are displayed. Practicum is not a class; it is an experience!




Art & Design Department

The Gallery is located on the first floor of the Bitsy Irby Visual Arts and Dance Center. The Gallery itself is one of the best art venues in the area, providing artists and students a premier place to showcase their work. The Gallery hosts the annual student exhibition, senior exhibitions, and faculty exhibitions as well as guest artist and group shows.

The Gallery maintains a traditional commission agreement with artists exhibiting work in the gallery, including the rotunda and hallway display areas. Note: The Gallery does not offer insurance for student work, but has an excellent safety record. For more information, contact Brittany Davis, Gallery Director, at




Art & Design Department

Throughout the semester, all Art & Design majors are required to participate in departmental meetings, scheduled during the Practicum Seminar Course. Meeting activities include gallery talks, museum trips, group or individual critiques, guest speakers, and creative encounters. The primary purpose of these sessions is to reinforce and enhance the Practicum process, which is designed to introduce students to true art-making and help them find their path as visual makers.

FOR ALL ART & DESIGN MAJORS. Extracurricular, work, and travel schedules




VADC Facilities Access Policies


The Belhaven Art & Design Department seeks to make every reasonable effort to ensure your safety and that of the facility and its equipment. The following policies must be understood and adhered to by all Art & Design majors. OUR FOREMOST CONCERN IS YOUR SAFETY AND WELL-BEING.

  • The VADC is closed 12:00-6:00am Monday-Saturday and 12:00am-3:00pm on Sunday.
  • ONLY ART and DESIGN OR DANCE STUDENTS are allowed in the building after hours, beginning at 10pm. No Visitors. No Exceptions.
  • Do all that you can to manage your worktime and schedule so that you will not need to work after hours if at all possible.
  • Anyone wishing to occupy the VADC after 10:00pm must be in the building before that time.
  • When you leave you must sign out so that Campus Security will know who is and who is not in the building.
  • No access will be granted after 10:00pm, when the building will be locked.
  • If you leave after 10:00pm, re-entry will not be possible.
  • The building must be vacated by 12:00am.
  • NEVER block open an exterior door, EVER.
  • NO USE OF POWER SAWS is permitted without another person present.
  • When you exit the building, make sure the exit door has completely closed and latched.
  • Do not walk back to the dorms by yourself. If no other student is with you, call Campus Security and they will be happy to escort you.
  • Know the Campus Security phone number: 601-968-5900.
  • Cooperate respectfully and immediately with any and all requests or directives from a Campus Security officer.
  • Students must be actively engaged in their artwork or they will be required to leave at the discretion of the authority challenging their activities.
  • Security and faculty will make unannounced visits to verify that those occupying the VADC have signed in and have a legitimate need to be in the building after hours.
  • Any student found in the building contrary to the rules above will be subject to disciplinary action, including the loss of any privilege to occupy the building after 10:00pm for the rest of the current semester and the next semester the student attends. Additional disciplinary action will be decided by Student Development and the arts faculty.
  • All students are required to report infractions of any of these rules to Campus Security and/or the arts faculty immediately. Those students found to have not reported any infraction will also be subject to disciplinary action.
  • Second and third documented violations will incur increasingly serious disciplinary action.




Studio Access, Cleaning, & Storage Policies


Studio classrooms will be opened for class. Access outside of class time is granted only to students currently enrolled in the particular course; see your instructor for details related to your class.


All workspaces in the classrooms must be cleaned before leaving the room.

This includes:

  • placing hazardous materials in the hazardous chemical locker
  • placing oily rags in the fireproof waste can
  • putting tools back in their proper place
  • vacuuming dust and/or sweeping
  • removing materials brought into the studio
  • cleaning sinks if used
  • throwing paper towels and other non-hazardous waste into the trash bin

All tools and equipment must remain in the classrooms to which they belong. Art & Design majors wishing to temporarily remove equipment from a room must receive permission from the Art & Design faculty.


At the end of each semester, all Art & Design majors are required to participate in the all-department clean-up, usually scheduled for the morning before the start of the final exam period. A major focus is to pick up all items off the floor in the studios and studio classrooms to allow housekeeping to clean the floors.


Lockers located on the first floor of the VADC building are available for use. Please contact one of your instructors for further information. Many of the studio classrooms also have designated storage areas, which include flat files, lockers and shelves. These areas are issued at the discretion of the instructor. All flammable materials must be stored in one of the hazardous materials lockers located in the painting room, sculpture room, or upstairs studio. Large pieces may require special considerations; these accommodations must be made by the student. Work, tools, or materials left out or unlabeled are subject to disposal or appropriation; please inform the faculty of any special needs or exceptions.


Students are required to make their own accommodations for the work they produce. In many cases, the faculty can assist in this process. ALL MATERIAL THAT HAS BEEN LEFT IN THE DEPARTMENT BY STUDENTS WHO HAVE GRADUATED OR OTHERWISE LEFT THE PROGRAM WILL BECOME THE PROPERTY OF THE ART AND DESIGN DEPARTMENT UPON DEPARTURE. The faculty reserves the right to display or dispose of all such work. Please see a member of the faculty if you need accommodations.


The upstairs studio is a shared, communal space for active engagement in art-making. Individual studios in this area are reserved for serious Art & Design majors whose process requires a dedicated long-term workspace. The upstairs studio and the individual studio spaces area are unique and exciting facet of Belhaven University’s Art & Design program and must be properly respected and maintained.

  • All Belhaven University rules, regulations, and codes of conduct apply to these spaces.
  • Safety is everyone’s concern - all flammable liquids, solvents, combustible materials, paints, etc., must be stored in the yellow fire-proof cabinet.
  • The Art & Design Department is not responsible for the loss of or theft of any personal belongings from individual studios. Store valuables at your own risk.
  • Hallways, doors, and emergency exits must be kept clear of debris, trash, or work.
  • It is your responsibility to dispose of ALL trash generated by you and your work. Trash should be placed in a trash can in the room or put into another receptacle elsewhere in the building. DO NOT pile trash by the entrance to the upstairs studio.
  • All flammable waste, such as painting rags, must be placed in one of the red fireproof waste cans located throughout the building.
  • These spaces, as well as the whole building, must be kept workably neat and free of excess trash and junk.
  • Curtains/coverings are for privacy while you are working in your individual studio space. They should be neatly tied back or opened when your studio is not in use.
  • Studios are assigned, not claimed, inherited, passed down, or staked out. Individual studio spaces are assigned at the discretion of the faculty based upon the needs of the individual student.
  • In order to be considered for an individual studio, please consult the chairs of the department.
  • Upon graduation or completion of your senior show, your studio must be left empty and clean.





Student Safety Rules & Guidelines


  • The studios and tools of the Art & Design Department are for the use of Art & Design students working on course or Practicum-related projects ONLY.
  • In particular, NO ONE may use the power tools in the studios without the express permission of and training by Art & Design studio faculty.
  • All flammable or otherwise hazardous materials must be stored in one of the hazardous chemical lockers located in the painting, sculpture, and upstairs studios.


  • Do not eat or drink in your work area. Foods can absorb airborne particles and the materials on your hands.
  • Belhaven University is a smoke-free campus. No smoking is allowed in any facilities or spaces on campus, indoor or outdoor.
  • After working, always wash your hands with hand soap. Do not use paint thinners or other solvents on your skin.
  • Wear appropriate clothing for making art. It is best to have a separate set of clothes for making art, which are also to be washed separately.
  • Always clean up your workspace when you are finished.
  • Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) are located in each studio classroom. Please see your instructor for more information.
  • Clearly label all hazardous materials and place them in the hazardous materials storage lockers located in the painting, sculpture, and upstairs studios.


  • The use of materials in aerosol cans is restricted to the outside of the building or the designated spray booth located in the drawing studio. Never spray paints, finishes, or solvents inside an enclosed space other than the designated spray booth.


  • Buy only what you need in order to minimize risk.
  • When transferring hazardous materials to other containers, always use an appropriate container. Glass may break, and acids can eat metals.
  • Use care and proceed slowly when transferring materials. Transfer liquids with a funnel and be aware that powders can cause dust.
  • Clearly label all hazardous materials.
  • Ensure that all containers are tightly covered.
  • Store all hazardous materials on a shelf in one of the hazardous chemical lockers. Make sure the locker is completely shut and that your materials are seated firmly and level on a shelf in their original metal or plastic containers to avoid spilling or breakage.


  • Always work on a stable, clutter-free surface.
  • Wear clothes appropriate for the tools you are using. Avoid dangling jewelry and loose clothing and wear sturdy footwear with good traction. Long hair should be tied back.
  • Be aware of your environment. Watch where you are cutting and be aware of what you are working with.
  • Use the right tools for the right job. If you force the tool, you risk harm.
  • Make sure all tools are up to working standard (blades sharpened, hammer heads firmly attached, etc.) Most accidents occur due to forcing.


  • Always work on a stable, clutter-free surface.
  • Wear clothes appropriate for the tools you are using. Avoid dangling jewelry and loose clothing and wear sturdy footwear with good traction. Long hair should be tied back.
  • For most power equipment, wearing gloves can be dangerous.
  • Plug into an appropriate power source using an extension cord if necessary. Keep cords out of the path of drills and saws. Be aware of your footing, since cords can become tangled around your feet or cause you to trip.
  • Be aware of your environment. Watch for obstructions or debris.
  • Never interrupt anyone while they are using power equipment. If they are doing something potentially dangerous, call out their name: do not slap them on the back or startle them, as this could lead to loss of control.
  • Follow all of the specific safety precautions for each tool you use.



  • Always wear safety glasses, goggles, or a face shield while using the saw or while standing or working near a running saw.
  • Always have someone with you to help or watch you while operating the saw (faculty and/or student).
  • Wear a dust mask and use the shop-vac if cutting wood that will give off excessive dust.
  • Avoid anything that could dangle or catch in the blade, including but not limited to long sleeves, gloves, jewelry, loose-fitting clothing, etc. LONG HAIR MUST BE TIED BACK AND OUT OF THE WAY.
  • Wear non-slip footwear. Always stand firmly on the floor, avoid awkward positions, and make sure the area around the saw is clean.
  • Check that the stock has no nails, knots, screws, stones, etc. in it prior to cutting into the wood. These items can become projectiles and cause injury.
  • Only seasoned, dry, flat wood should be cut.


  • Use a push stick to cut stock that is 6” or less in width.
  • Position your body so that it is NOT in line with the blade. This is to avoid being injured by flying sawdust, woodchips, or the work.
  • The height of the blade should be set just slightly higher than the stock being cut. It should never be more than ½” above the height of the stock. This is to ensure that if your hand should slip, you only receive a slight cut and do not lose a limb.
  • Wait until the blade comes to a complete stop before reaching over it or making any adjustments to anything on the saw.
  • Release work only when it has been pushed completely past the blade.
  • Maintain the rip fence parallel to the blade so that the stock will not bind on the blade and be thrown.
  • Never operate the table saw with the throat plate removed.
  • Do not make free-hand cuts on the table saw. The stock must be guided through the blade either by the rip fence or the miter gauge.
  • Do not use the fence and a miter gauge at the same time, unless they are both on the same side of the fence.


  • When the width of the rip is 6 inches or wider, use your right hand to feed the work/piece until it is clear of the table. Only use the left hand to guide the work/piece - do not feed the work/piece with the left hand.
  • When the width of the rip is less than 2 inches, the push stick cannot be used because the guard will interfere. Use an auxiliary fence support and push block. Use two C clamps to attach the auxiliary fence to support the rip fence.
  • When the width of the rip is 2 to 6 inches, use the push stick to feed the work.


  • Always disconnect the power prior to changing the blade or performing any other maintenance operation.
  • After any adjustment, make sure that the blade is free before you turn on the power.




Responsibilities of the Art Student

The Christian artist is one who not only excels in their area of expertise in the arts but does so seriously and ethically. The dedication required to become a successful artist means giving over our whole selves to our work. It is a calling, not a vocation. It is not a secondary thing, nor a thing to be settled upon because we do poorly in math or science. The committed Christian artist is one who exemplifies the life of Christ in their own, who understands the creation, incarnation, and resurrection in their minds and hearts, and who lives it out for the betterment of themselves and others.

It is the goal of this department to aid students in their spiritual journey through the arts to help them attain a high level of professionalism in their vocation and compassion in their approach to art-making and life. Included in this attitude is the giving of due respect and courtesy to all Belhaven personnel, including the security, maintenance, and housekeeping staff; indeed, to all citizens of this world and the next.




Responsibilities of the Art Student


51 hours to include:

  • 27 hours of foundation courses (ART 120-121, 125, 128, 280, 250, 240 and 130-131)
  • 9 hours of art history (ART 360, 461 and either 361 or 460)
  • 3 hours of aesthetics (PHI 275)
  • 3 hours of senior seminar (ART 401)
  • 9 hours of studio art electives

BA students are required to participate in a senior exhibition, portfolio review, or complete an equivalent senior project as approved by the faculty.

78 hours to include:

  • 18 hours of foundation courses (ART 120-121, 125, 128, and 130-131)
  • 12 hours of art history (ART 360-361 and 460-461)
  • 6 hours of aesthetics and art theory (PHI 275 and ART362 or 462)
  • 3 hours of senior seminar (ART 401)
  • 30 hours of studio art electives
  • Up to 6 hours of courses in graphic design (GDS) may count toward the visual art major in the BFA program.

BFA students are required to mount a senior exhibition (solo or group).

21 hours to include:

  • ART120, 130, and 3 hours from ART 360, 361, 460, or 461.

Students taking a major and a minor that include overlapping courses may apply up to six credits from those courses toward meeting the course requirements of the minor.

21 hours to include:

  • Required Art History Courses: ART 360, 361, 460, 461
  • Specialized history & theory courses: ART 362, 365, 462; PHI 275
  • Additional History courses: HIS 223, 331, 332, 341, 342

Art and Design majors are required to attend and participate in scheduled departmental meetings. Visual arts majors are responsible to read and abide by all departmental policies as described in the Art and Design Department Studio Manual.

Honors Program*:

The Art courses offered for honors credit: ART 360, 361, 362, 365, 460, 461, 462, and PHI 275. Other ART courses may also be considered for honors status subject to faculty approval.


51 hours to include:

  • 18 hours of foundation courses (ART 120-121, 125, 128, and 130-131)
  • 6 hours of art/design history (6 hours from ART 360, 361, 365, 460, or 461)
  • 24 hours of graphic design to include GDS 110, 112, 114, 210, 211, 300, 320, and 440.
  • 3 hours from either GDS 400 or 488

78 hours to include:

  • 18 hours of foundation courses (ART 120-121, 125, 128, and 130-131)
  • 12 hours of art/design history and theory (GDS 300, ART 461, PHI 275, and 3 hours from ART 360, 361, 365, or 460)
  • 15 hours of ART studio courses (200-level or above) to include ART 240 and 241
  • 3 hours of BUS 327
  • 30 hours of graphic design to include GDS 110, 112, 114, 210, 211, 310, 320, 412, and 440

24 hours to include:

  • ART120 and 130 and GDS 110, 112, 114, 210, 211, and 320

Honors Program*:

The graphic design department offers the opportunity to enroll in courses for Honors credit, by request and subject to faculty approval.

*For honors program policies, see “Honors Program” found in the “Administration of the Curriculum” section of the catalogue.


54 hours to include:

  • 27 hours of foundation courses (ART 120-121, 125, 128,130, 131, 241, 250, 480)
  • 9 hours of art/design history (ART 360 and 461 and 361 or 460)
  • 18 hours of graphic design (GDS 110, 112, 300, 320, 440, and 488)

BA students are required to participate in a senior exhibition, portfolio review, or complete an equivalent senior project as approved by the faculty.




Responsibilities of the Art Student

All art and design majors are required to attend every opening reception for every exhibition in the Bitsy Irby Gallery. All minors are strongly encouraged to attend. Feel free to invite your non-art major friends! Gallery exhibitions offer invaluable insight into the art community, not to mention exposure to new experiences in art and the possibility of seeing very important and life changing work. With this in mind, you are also strongly encouraged to attend off-campus gallery openings (including Gallery Walks) and exhibitions. Students are also required to assist with the hanging of exhibitions and serving during the opening reception.


The annual student invitational exhibition highlights a wide range of styles and media including drawing, painting, photography, sculpture, and mixed media. The exhibition is juried by the faculty who select the strongest pieces produced during the current academic year. The show is open to all art majors and the installation and reception are strongly supported by the efforts of the student body.

This exhibition consists primarily of work created during the Practicum period (see “Practicum” above) rather than work generated as a response to a class project or graded as such.

The exhibition represents the students’ own artistic voices as they develop their own aesthetic sense and calling in the arts.


The Senior Exhibition is the culminating experience for students pursuing an Art and Design degree. BFA students are required to mount an exhibition, and BA students are strongly encouraged to participate as well. The process begins in and extends through the Portfolio & Résumé Development course. Students plan, organize, mount and de-install their own work. In addition, students are responsible for advertising and promoting the show by producing postcards, informing local media outlets, contacting the appropriate groups and individuals to inform them of their upcoming exhibition, providing catering and entertainment for the opening reception, and maintaining the exhibition while it is in the gallery. This experience offers students a chance to develop crucial skills needed to thrive as professionals in the art world.


In the Gallery of the Bitsy Irby Visual Arts and Dance Center, each semester brings new opportunities for students to view and benefit from professional exhibitions by faculty, locally or nationally recognized artists or invitational exhibitions that bring in artists from Mississippi and beyond.




Responsibilities of the Art Student

All students are expected to adhere to the behavioral and ethical guidelines outlined in the Belhaven University Student Handbook (The Kilt).


If you have a personal studio space, remember that it is part of a larger professional and communal environment. Basic consideration for others and a serious commitment to your working space will help facilitate you and your fellow students’ art-making process.


Do not make your instructor clean up your messes; they are not your parents, and even if they were, they would want you to clean up your own messes. All tools should be returned to their proper places. Tables, easels, stands, etc. should be cleaned off after each use, and messes on floors, walls, sinks, etc. should be cleaned up. This is a stewardship opportunity for us all!

  • No smoking is allowed under any circumstances: Belhaven University is a smoke- free campus.
  • No loud music, television, or video in the studio area.
  • No non-art or non-dance majors are allowed in the building after 10pm. Any person not actively enrolled in the art program needs to leave the premises before 10pm.
  • Art-making is the only activity allowed in the building after hours.
  • If these rules are not followed, severe limitations may be enforced for the safety and security of all persons and property located in the building.
  • Even during normal opening hours, please use discretion when allowing anyone in the building.




Responsibilities of the Art Student

Students are expected to purchase all supplies required for the courses in which they are currently enrolled. Most of these materials are essential art-making materials that will also be useful later in your career. Unless otherwise mentioned by the instructor of the course, the highest grade of materials is to be used. In most cases, the better the materials, the better the final result.




Responsibilities of the Art Student

The Art & Design Department organizes course-based and department-wide excursions to studios, museums, and galleries, both locally and regionally and at a national or international level. In recent years, destinations have included museums and galleries such as the Mississippi Museum of Art, Fischer Galleries, Pearl River Glass Studio, and the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art; students have also had opportunity to participate in trips to New York City as well as to Florence, Rome, and Venice, with visits to major museums and contemporary galleries.




Responsibilities of the Art Student

The Warren A. Hood Library provides information resources and services to the Belhaven University community. The Hood Library houses the library’s physical collections, the University Archives, study spaces, classrooms, the Think Center, and Barber Auditorium. The staff is well trained to assist all faculty and students with a wide range of research activities. The faculty strongly suggests that you become familiar with the library and its resources. Specific care is given by the faculty to ensure that the library maintains up to date book collections and subscriptions to relevant periodicals. It should be your “third home” after your studio.




Responsibilities of the Art Student

The following annual departmental awards are given at the discretion of the faculty:

The Art Spirit Award: awarded annually to the art major who has, through interest, cooperation, and leadership, made the greatest contribution to the Department during the current session.

Graphic Design Excellence Award: awarded annually each year to a graduating senior in recognition of outstanding performance and leadership within the department.




Responsibilities of the Art Student

Each year the Art & Design Department hosts a professional working artist to teach a Master Class. This class is offered to our students as a way to meet a professional in their field, learn about their artistic and professional process and development, and ask questions. In conjunction with the Master Class, the Gallery holds an exhibition featuring the artist’s work.




Responsibilities of the Art Student

The faculty of the Art & Design Department are always searching for opportunities available for students and often encourage, prepare, and enable students to enter juried exhibitions, approach galleries with their portfolio, apply for internships, etc. Each student is a valuable person in the eyes of the faculty, and we are always striving to make your experience as an artist productive and successful.




Résumé & Curriculum Vitae

A résumé is a 1-4 page document used in professional art situations such as contacting a commercial gallery or inclusion in a grant proposal. It is an abbreviated overview of the biographical and professional information found in the curriculum vitae (outlined below). Like the curriculum vitae, your résumé should be free from errors and padding, easy to read, and designed for print, not electronic dissemination. Tell the truth and be able to provide proof for your assertions.




Résumé & Curriculum Vitae

The curriculum vitae (CV) is a comprehensive document often used for academic purposes such as employment in a teaching position. It can also serve as a master document from which résumés, biographical sketches, and other important documents can be derived. The CV should include as much detail as possible but should not include false information or any form of “padding.” All the information provided in the curriculum vitae should be supported by documentation. It is a good idea to develop the habit of keeping all newspaper announcements, exhibition postcards, awards, etc. in an easily accessible place. The CV should include:

  • Name and contact information
  • Education (both degree and non-degree)
  • Teaching and/or other professional experience
  • Awards
  • Exhibition Record
  • Publications (books or articles authored)
  • Bibliography (Newspaper articles, reviews of work, etc.)
  • Other professional experience (seminars, special training, apprenticeships, groups, etc.)
  • Collections that have your work
  • References (contacts within the professional art world if possible).




Documenting Work

Students are encouraged to maintain a digital portfolio of their work. These portfolios are a necessary component in seeking out art or design related jobs, applying for graduate school, approaching a gallery, entering juried exhibitions, etc. The photography Shooting Studio houses a Documenting area, and students should feel free to utilize them. Facility Permission and proper instruction are required, so ask first.




Matting & Framing

Matting and framing of 2-dimensional works is a mandatory skill for all artists. The VADC maintains a Matting and Framing Room for student use. You will be required to matt and frame your work for all pertinent exhibitions and proper training will be administered.




The Art & Design Department’s Approach to Art

Creativity is a common gift of God to mankind, the pinnacle of His Creation.
When the Divine creator spoke man into being, He endowed him with special gifts not given to any other creature such as a conscience, the ability to reason, and most important for us: the ability to create. To be creative suggests a form of reasoning that is not reasonable, or a method for bringing a preconscious thought to the light of consciousness. To create is to take that preconscious thought and, through a physical process, give it substance (or form). This is called the creative process. In writing this might entail the process of formulating an idea, then picking up a pen and squeezing the unformed idea through the form of verbal language. Verbal language is its substance. In the case of the visual arts, one might start with a preconscious notion (a deliberate conscious idea can also work as a beginning), then pass this thought through a selected medium (paint, clay, mashed potatoes, etc.). This is like the writer’s choice to use poetry or novel.

The medium is then organized by a design process. This is a rough equivalent of the poet’s choice to use rhyme or not, or the musician’s choice of tempo, rhythm, etc. Once these choices are made (or elements constructed) the whole is referred to as a composition, in literature, music, and the visual arts.




The Art & Design Department’s Approach to Art

No completely sufficient definition for what art is has ever been formulated. However most everyone knows what is generally meant when the term is used. We can speculate thusly: art is solely human phenomenon, it is something that usually has little to no utilitarian function, it deals with beauty, usually made by artists, involves the creative process, and serves to enrich the society in which it is made (and often other cultures throughout history).

Several things are included in every work of art that can be recognized. These universals are: Subject Matter, Content, Style, Medium, and Design.




The Art & Design Department’s Approach to Art

Throughout the centuries there have been a number of explanations for how the creative process is sparked. Two of the most popular notions include Plato’s conception of Divine inspiration whereby the gods are the beginning source (muses) of inspiration; the human is merely a receptacle for a disembodied message. According to this thought the artist is just a vehicle through which the message flows, and the less he is involved the better.

A second thesis involves the emotional release of the artist. This concept begins with an unconscious welling up of emotion within the artist; creativity is sparked when something external triggers the emotions to release.

As Christians we understand that True Creation in the ultimate sense exists solely as an attribute of God. As humans, our creativity is limited by our inability to create something from nothing, our limited time to create, and our limited imagination and ability.

The word ‘inspire’ means to ‘breathe into’. It can be compared to a general revelation in that it is a gift given to all mankind, just as rain is given to the whole earth. The voice that speaks to us is the voice of the Holy Spirit. Just as he hovered over the waters during the creation of the earth, so he hovers over the forms we create. We receive the divine breath of inspiration: we are the medium through which God works His perfect will.

Armed with this knowledge we can then understand the artistic meaning of the incarnation. Christ chose to embody himself in physical material, (which was called good) thereby signifying the importance of matter and its capacity for containing spirit.
It also gives us an understanding of the value of mankind in the eyes of God. We similarly invest a ‘spirit’ (content) into matter (our chosen medium).

Finally, there is the message of the resurrection, our hope for salvation. This gives us the freedom to create in the thankfulness of grace. Through sanctification we know we are works in progress, not solitary art geniuses, but fallible, learning entities.




The Art & Design Department’s Approach to Art


  1. Creative thought occurs most frequently in states of meditative calm and also times of transition. The basic premise regarding the creative process is that there is an outward flow of ideas from a nonmaterial source into the material universe. Since creativity is a function of the spirit, we can expect it to occur most naturally at those times when (if it is possible) we are more attune to our true nature. Occasions when we are relaxed after an intense struggle with a problem are often cited as the most frequent times for creativity to occur. Creativity is cited as the ability to create something new, or to provide a unique solution to a problem. In the creative process answers appear more or less fully formed after we wrestle with an issue and are not a result of linear problem solving. Perhaps the subconscious mind acts a filter for such transference of concepts (this can be seen in the fact that we sense an idea first before we have rational thoughts about it). Our minds and bodies wrestle together, which sparks the spirit into action. But it cannot speak to us until we are in a state ready to listen (this is a smaller version of the way God often seems to communicate with us). These revelations seem to occur, as mentioned, most frequently between modes of thought, rather than within a particular one. They do occur when we are relaxed and ready to receive them, but also in those unpredictable occasions when we do not (the “A-HA” experience). On these occasions the thought slips in the cracks of our defenses, not when our meditative minds are focused, nor when our rational minds are calculating. This is because our minds are not focused on anything else, even the act of reflection that usually brings the answer. It is then that the spirit sneaks in uninhibited, seemingly against the will of our bodies.
  2. Once the thought is transferred, our will determines its form. Once a solution is reached, the spirit sends it into our minds; our intuitive senses are the first to see it coming. (The artist learns to hone this skill.) The mind then interprets what our intuition has received and proceeds to decipher and solidify it into a rational expression. The form of the idea is altered by various factors including the temperament and memory of the artist. However, the determining factor for whether or not the information received will be used is whether or not it can possibly conform to material nature. The probability of the idea’s conformity to the rules of the tangible universe determines whether the thought is of any use. The temperament of the artist selects and disregards ideas based on a felt kinship to his/herself. If the idea seems too foreign it is frequently disregarded, but more often the idea is altered to make it more familiar. Our memories serve as the material that our temperament uses to rework the idea once we have chosen to use it. We remember past occurrences of similar concepts working successfully in our lives and we try to conform this new occurrence into the shape of the old.
  3. Form and thought mingle and react naturally. The mind is the setting and moderator. We have received an idea, decided to use it, and given it a rough form. We now give it over to the rules of matter and perception which proceed to alter the form more specifically. (“Gravity allows such and such”, “the chemical properties of the materials allow this and that”, and “good design would dictate the following…” The laws of nature (matter) and rules of perception (design) determine how the idea can be used. (See Diagram 1) The specificity of the result of this stage in the process is determined by the kind of product that is to be made, the capacity of the artist to maintain abstract thought, and the role sensuous response is to play in the outcome. As for the product to be made, if a work is meant to be abstract, then the idea cannot get too specific. Music might need to get more specific than abstract visual art because the musician needs to rely on his memory of sounds and rhythms; something more abstract. The visual artist doesn’t need to be so specific at this point because he knows it will be there as a tangible form soon and he might not be able to gauge the complete effect or even how the materials might interact. Next, if an artist is able to sustain abstract ideas to a high degree of complexity, then maybe he will use this skill. This can be learned however, so habits of mind can train us to do less with our hands and more with our “inner eye”. Lastly, if a work is meant to be primarily a record of the artist’s direct response to materials or concepts, then it is important not to get too specific in order to allow the artist to respond with his senses. If the work is meant to convey specific meaning in a specified way, however, then the idea must become very refined at this stage. As we can see, the setting for this event is the mind, yet the mind is also the primary facilitator, drawing on experience and referencing past experiences through memory.
  4. Form and thought mingle and react naturally. The mind is the setting and moderator. We have received an idea, decided to use it, and given it a rough form. We now give it over to the rules of matter and perception which proceed to alter the form more specifically. (“Gravity allows such and such”, “the chemical properties of the materials allow this and that”, and “good design would dictate the following…” The laws of nature (matter) and rules of perception (design) determine how the idea can be used. (See Diagram 1) The specificity of the result of this stage in the process is determined by the kind of product that is to be made, the capacity of the artist to maintain abstract thought, and the role sensuous response is to play in the outcome. As for the product to be made, if a work is meant to be abstract, then the idea cannot get too specific. Music might need to get more specific than abstract visual art because the musician needs to rely on his memory of sounds and rhythms; something more abstract. The visual artist doesn’t need to be so specific at this point because he knows it will be there as a tangible form soon and he might not be able to gauge the complete effect or even how the materials might interact. Next, if an artist is able to sustain abstract ideas to a high degree of complexity, then maybe he will use this skill. This can be learned however, so habits of mind can train us to do less with our hands and more with our “inner eye”. Lastly, if a work is meant to be primarily a record of the artist’s direct response to materials or concepts, then it is important not to get too specific in order to allow the artist to respond with his senses. If the work is meant to convey specific meaning in a specified way, however, then the idea must become very refined at this stage. As we can see, the setting for this event is the mind, yet the mind is also the primary facilitator, drawing on experience and referencing past experiences through memory.

Diagram 1: Diagram displaying the relationship of an artist and artwork. Components of the diagram are: Artist: Catalyst that is rationality and emotion, Matter, Spirit. Artwork: Physical properties, emotional and rational response, and spiritual content. Natural and Physical Reality.

  1. Originality is a product of our individually given nature, not the result of our effort. First of all it should be mentioned that in materialistic thought, we strive for our own existence and success in this life. In the creative process too, we construct ourselves in the same existential manner: we strive and perfect our style. If we have a spiritual view, this is exposed as vain striving. We are created once as eternal individuals. Although, admittedly, we are the physical expression of our ancestry in our bodies, we are more than meat. There is an indelible marking of individuality on our very soul, this makes us who we are and dismisses the deceit of a produced originality. However, man’s imagination lacks the dexterity to conceive of the changes that will be made to our indelible individuality once all things are “made new”.
  2. The interpretation of the work is a near reversal of its production. When we encounter a new work of art we go through a process of familiarity, beginning with a mere physical response to the materials and physical structure of a work. We next move on to an interpretive mode, decoding symbols and empathizing with the materials and structure. Then we move into a discovery of endowed content. Sometimes a reflective period or an emotional basking in the meaning or mystery of a piece follows this stage. (See Diagram 1)
  3. The success of a piece is determined by many factors. Some of these factors seem to be out of our control, such as the sensibility of our audience, the timing of its production, our own ignorance and limited technical capacity at that moment in time. A strong adherence to the rules of design is often a determining factor in the reception of a piece. (See Diagram 2) The rules of design are absolutes in the articulation of a work of art. Artists may stretch or even break some of these rules, but they still stand as reassuring universals that are understood consciously by the artist and instinctively by the viewer.

Diagram 2: Environment Production picture showing an unsuccessful piece and successful piece. Components: 4 cirlces. Central circle = Clearest Articulation. Second circle = Well Designed. Third circle = Better Design. Fourth circle = Not Designed. "Difficult to Understand" falls within the fourth circle.

Diagram 3: Two Components of Art. It displays "Unit" and "Variety" on scales and the base is "Form = Elements of Art + Principles of Design". At the bottom it reads "COMMUNICATION (expression, the spiritual, content, message, meaning)" and "FORM (language, tangibility, structure)" and "(appropriate) FORM + (honest) COMMUNICATION = (personal) STYLE".



The Art & Design Department’s Approach to Art

Critiques: The Critique is the time-honored method for evaluating a work of art. It is the process used in most academic situations and sets the stage (when used properly) for a deeper involvement and respect for works of art.

Criticism is simply your response to awork of art. It is a verbalizing of the internal states, emotions, or concepts that are evoked when you view a piece. Outlined below are some helpful questions to ask yourself when you are looking at a work of art. This list should be seen as incomplete, but it should get you started.

  • What is it made from? (The materials, ex. Clay, charcoal, paper, pencil)
  • How is it put together? (Drawn, sculpted, glued, taped)
  • What is the artist’s intent? (What is s/he trying to say?)
  • How does this piece use the elements of art? (Line, shape, value, texture, color, etc.)
  • How does this piece use the principles of design? (Balance, rhythm, scale, proportion, hierarchy, etc.)
  • What is the first thing that comes to my mind when I look at this piece?
  • What does this piece remind me of?
  • How do I feel about this piece?
  • Could there be any improvements made to this piece? (What would they be?)
  • How well is it put together? (Craft) What does that say about the meaning of the piece?
  • How much time/ effort was put into this piece? (How does that affect content?).





  • Typography: The artistic arrangement of type in a readable and visually appealing way
  • Body Copy: The main part of text in your design or publication - the written website content, the book contents, etc.
  • Display Type: Type that is designed with the objective of attracting attention.
  • Hierarchy: The visual arrangement of design elements in a way that signifies importance.
  • Kerning: The adjustment of space between two characters in your type.
  • Leading: Pronounced ‘ledding’, leading refers to the space between lines of type.
  • Tracking: Tracking concerns the space between letters.
  • X-Height: The average height of lowercase letters
  • Ascender: The part of the lowercase letter that extends above the x-height
  • Descender: The part of a lowercase letter that extends below the x-height
  • Orphans and Widows: The words or short lines that appear by themselves at the top or bottom of a column of type. (You don’t want these in your work.)
  • Serif Typeface: A typeface with small decorative strokes (called ‘serifs’) found at the end of horizontal and vertical lines.
  • Sans Serif Typeface: A typeface without the small decorative serif strokes
  • Script Typeface: A typeface that mimics handwriting.
  • Slab Serif Typeface: A typeface with thicker, blocker serifs, commonly used in headlines and titles, but rarely in body Copy.
  • Legibility: The measure of how easy it is to distinguish one letter from the next.
  • Alignment: The lining up of elements to achieve balance, order, and a more logical layout.
  • CMYK: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key’, is a color model used for print purposes. It is subtractive color; this means that we begin with white and end up with black. So, as we add more color, the result turns darker.
  • RGB: ‘Red, Green, Blue’ is a color model that is used for onscreen purposes. It is additive color, meaning that when mixing colors, we start with black and end up with white as more color is added.
  • Pantone (PMS): The Pantone Matching System is a standardized system of colors for printing. Every Pantone shade is Numbered, making it much easier for people to reference and identify exact shades of color.
  • Resolution: The amount of detail an image has.
  • Stock Photo: A professionally shot photograph available online for licensing.
  • Brand: A collection of concepts, ideas, and emotions that encapsulate your company’s values and ethos. This is a mix of conceptual details that make up the company, from the content the brand promotes, the way employees talk, the Words used, the values upheld, etc.
  • Brand Identity: The visualization of your brand in a way that represents the values, content and ethos of the company. This includes things like a logo, business cards, letterheads, uniforms, packing design, etc.
  • Logotype: A type of logo where the name of the company is designed in a visual way.
  • Brandmark: A type of logo design where a symbol is used in place of the company name.
  • Thumbnail Sketch: Rough drawings of potential design concepts or solutions used to visualize and grow various ideas and concepts by hand before moving to the screen.
  • Grid: A framework made up of evenly divided, intersecting columns and rows used to help designers align and arrange Elements in a quicker, neater, and more consistent way.
  • Scale: The change of size of an object while keeping its shape and proportions intact.
  • White Space: Also called ‘negative space’, white space refers to the areas of a design that are not filled with content Often helping the design to ‘breathe’.
  • Margins: The space around the edge of a page.
  • Die Cut: The process of cutting areas of your printed design in various shapes to create unique effects.
  • Foil Stamping: The heat-pressing application of foil to certain parts of a design to give them a shiny, metallic finish.
  • Letterpressing: The process of using metal plates to press a design into the surface of paper to create dimensional Indentations.
  • Elements of Design: the irreducible elements found in every work of art.
  • Point: A unit or individual detail that anticipates movement.
  • Line: The path made by a moving point. It is usually made visible by the fact that it contrasts in value with the surface on which it is drawn.
  • Implied Line: A line that is suggested through closure.
  • Psychic Line: A line that is constructed in the mind of the viewer, rather than existing visually. A line-of-sight is one example.
  • Contour Line: Lines that follow the edges of forms. i.e. outlines
  • Gesture Lines: Lines that reveal the movement, structure, and dynamics suggested in a pose or object.
  • Hatching: Parallel lines used in shading
  • Cross-Hatching: Parallel lines that converge in a perpendicular axis with other parallel lines, used in shading. Shape: A two-dimensional, flat object bounded by an actual or implied line Rectilinear Shape: Forms that suggest geometry, usually composed of right angles and straight lines.
  • Curvilinear Shape: Forms that suggest nature, usually composed of flowing curves, soft angles, etc.
  • Biomorphic Shape: Shapes that reference living organisms.
  • Amorphous Shape: Shapes that are not clearly defined but are suggested in a more subtle way.
  • Positive Shape: Or Figure, refers to the dominant, or important form, usually to be seen as foreground.
  • Negative Shape: Or ground, refers to the background, or space left after, behind, or around the figure.
  • Mass: Three-dimensional form, often implying bulk, density, and weight
  • Value: The degree of lightness or darkness of color; its tone relative to a gray scale: one (black= the absence of light) through ten (white= light itself)
  • Value Contrast: The relationship between lights and darks.
  • Value Pattern: The total use of values in a work of art.
  • Chiaroscuro: From the Italian for ‘light’ chiaro, and ‘dark’ oscuro. Use of light and darks in a composition. More specifically references the dramatic light/dark shifts used in the Baroque period.
  • Tenebrism: From the Italian for ‘obscure’. Composition that is predominately dark in value, punctuated by small areas of light. Specifically references the work of Caravaggio.
  • Texture: The visual or actual surface quality of something.
  • Space: In 2Dart, illusions of intervals of depth throughout the picture plane. Can use Vertical Location, overlapping, size change, or a system such as linear perspective.
  • Linear Perspective: A systemofdepictingtheillusionofspaceina2dimensional format. Utilizes a vanishing point and converging parallel lines, as well as size change, overlapping, vertical location etc.
  • One Point Perspective: The use of one vanishing point in linear perspective. All forms appear as parallel to the picture plane.
  • Two Point Perspective: The use of two vanishing points in linear perspective. Only horizontal edges of forms are depicted as parallel to the picture plane.
  • Three Point Perspective: A specialized use of linear perspective that seeks to depicts tall forms. Utilizing three vanishing points, no edges of forms are parallel to the picture plane.
  • Vanishing Point: The point at which all parallel lines of depth converge in linear perspective. Always placed on the horizon line.
  • Foreshortening: A method of depicting a projected form that cuts out or shortens the length of the middle of the form.
  • Isometric Projection: Method of depicting the illusion of depth whereby all edge-lines remain parallel, rather than converge at a vanishing point.
  • Atmospheric Perspective: The use of color and value to depict deep space. Value contrasts diminish, and colors become bluer and detail is lost due to particles in the atmosphere between the viewer and the object.
  • Vertical Location: Method of depicting space that relies on the fact of nature where forms that are higher up are usually farther away.
  • Color: A phenomenon of light or visual perception that enables one to differentiate otherwise identical objects. The three properties of color are hue (Name of the color, ex. Red), value (relative lightness or darkness), and saturation (or color purity).





The use and arrangement of the Elements of Design.

  • Balance: A sensing of equilibrium in a work of art.
  • Visual Weight: 1. The amount of attraction given to an area or element within a work of art. 2. The visual impression that something has weight.
  • Vertical Axis: An imagined line of reference whereby balance is determined between the left and right side of a composition.
  • Equilibrium: Sensing of equal balance.
  • Bilateral Symmetry: A precise equilibrium attained by identical, or nearly identical forms on either side of a vertical axis.
  • Asymmetry: Refers to compositions that have more visual weight on one side of a vertical axis.
  • Asymmetrical Balance: Balance achieved through the use of dissimilar but equally weighted, elements placed on either side of a vertical axis.
  • Radial Balance: A composition in which forms are balanced around and radiate from a central point. Usually employed in a circular or domed space.
  • Closure: The tendency of the viewer to complete a suggested shape or form.
  • Continuity: A unifying alignment of elements to create visual movement in a composition.
  • Contrast: Extreme differences; a juxtaposition of dissimilar elements (such as color, tone, or emotion) in a work of art.
  • Economy: The efficient and concise use of the elements of art.
  • Elaboration: Interesting fullness of detail, complexity, intricacy.
  • Emphasis: Giving unique visual weight to one or more areas in a composition.
  • Focal Point: A compositional device that emphasizes a particular spot or zone. In photography, the area of clearest focus.
  • Gestalt: A sensing in a work of art that the whole is greater (or different) than the sum of its parts; instantaneous recognition of significance; a sensing that the artwork has meaning beyond its appearance.
  • Harmony: The result of causing each emphatic feature of an artwork to show visual connections with other features which causes them to be seen as an integrated member of the whole.
  • Hierarchy: A ranking of visual themes in their order of importance to a work’s depictive and dynamic meanings.
  • Movement: The quality of representing or suggesting motion.
  • Kinetic Empathy: The human tendency to anticipate or emotively recreate movement implied in a work of art.
  • Proportion: Refers to size relationships between parts of a whole, or two or more items perceived as a nit.
  • Proximity: Objects placed near each other form a visual bond.
  • Repetition: The use of the same visual element a number of times in the same composition. It can be used to emphasize one visual idea, give a sense of harmony, or give a sense of movement in a composition.
  • Rhythm: A continuance, a flow, or feeling of movement achieved by repetition of regulated visual units; the use of measured accents.
  • Scale: 1. Actual size. 2. The reference to actual size. 3. Reference to human scale. 4. To alter the size of something.
  • Hieratic Scaling: Method of determining the size of an object based upon that object’s symbolic significance, rather than based upon observed fact.
  • Similarity: The sense that things with common qualities belong together.
  • Tension: A sensing of parts in a composition threatening change.
  • Unity: A sensing that all the parts in a composition are working together and are necessary. Cohesiveness, overall oneness.
  • Variety: The quality of having differing parts creating visual interest. Involves Contrast and Elaboration.





  • Abstract: Forms are usually derived from actual forms but are simplified or distorted and may not, in the end, resemble the original.
  • Aesthetic: Pertaining to the beautiful, as opposed to the useful, scientific, or emotional. An aesthetic response is an appreciation of such beauty.
  • Composition: The applied organization of art elements in a work of art.
  • Content: The essential meaning, significance, or aesthetic value of an art form.
  • Craftsmanship: Aptitude, skill, or manual dexterity in the use of tools and materials.
  • Critique: Method of evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of a work of art or design.
  • Design: The theory and approach to the organization of visual elements.
  • Form: 1. The physical appearance of a work of art- materials, style, composition. 2. Any identifiable shape or mass.
  • Nonobjective: Forms are imagined, and not based on anything found in nature.
  • Picture Plane: The actual flat surface on which the artist executes a pictorial image. In some cases, the picture plane acts merely as a transparent plane of reference to establish the illusion of forms existing in a three-dimensional space.
  • Representational: The use of forms as subject matter that remind the viewer of actual forms.
  • Style: 1. A characteristic, or number of characteristics, that we can identify as constant, recurring, or coherent. 2. The specific artistic character and dominant form trends noted in art movements or during specific periods of history.
  • Subject Matter: The persons or things represented in a work of art. In abstract or nonobjective art subject matter refers to the basic character of all the visual signs employed by the artist.
  • Technique: The manner and skill with which artists employ their tools and materials.
  • Visual Weight: A degree of eye appeal based on an element’s contrast with other parts or elements in the work or on its particular orientations, tilt, or direction on the picture plane.





  • Absorption: The retention or subtraction of light by a material. The proportion depends on the molecular structure of the material.
  • Additive Mixture: Color fusion obtained by combining light.
  • After-Image: The illusion of color and shape produced in the visual apparatus after staring at a strong color for some time. A positive after-image is the same color as the original; a negative after-image is its compliment.
  • Analogous Hues: Those lying next to each other on the color wheel.
  • Broken Color: Colors not physically blended to each other, but rather placed in proximity to one another.
  • Color: The character of a surface that is the result of the response of vision to the wavelength of light reflected from that surface.
  • Color Constancy: The Psychological tendency to see colors as we think they are rather than as we actually perceive them.
  • Color Harmony: The selective use of colors in a design.
  • Color Wheel: A circular model showing color relationships, originating from Sir Isaac Newton’s bending of the spectral hues into a circle.
  • Complimentary Hues: Colors that lie opposite each other on the color wheel; when placed side by side they intensify each other, when mixed they neutralize each other.
  • Cones: Special cells in the retina at the back of the eye which enable us to distinguish hues in daylight.
  • Cool Colors: The green and blue range of the color wheel, including blue-violet.
  • Expressionistic Color: Colors chosen for their emotional impact.
  • Hue: The name of a color such as “red” or “blue”.
  • Intensity: The relative purity of a color.
  • Local Color: The color sensation perceived directly from an actual object.
  • Monochromatic: A color combination based on variations in value and intensity of a single hue.
  • Neutral: Colorless. Of the white-gray-black scale of values, exhibiting no color response. Open Palette: The use of a wide range of colors in a work of art.
  • Pigments: Chemical agents that impart color to most paints and inks, usually comes in a powdered form.
  • Primary Colors: Hues from which all others can theoretically be mixed. The primary colors in pigment form are red, yellow, and blue.
  • Retina: The inner surface of the back of the eye, where rods and cones respond to qualities of light.
  • Rods: Light-sensitive cells in the eye that operate in dim light to distinguish values.
  • Secondary Colors: Hues made by mixing primaries. The secondary colors in pigment form are violet, green, and orange.
  • Simultaneous Contrast: The tendency of complimentary colors to intensify each other when placed side by side.
  • Spectral Hues: Those colors seen in the spectrum created when light passes through a prism or seen in a rainbow.
  • Tertiary Colors: Colors created by mixing a primary and an adjacent secondary.
  • Triadic Hues: Colors equally spaced from each other on a color wheel.
  • Value: The degree of lightness or darkness of a color.
  • Warm Colors: The red and yellow range of colors on a color wheel.





  • Addition: A sculptural term meaning to build up, to assemble or attach.
  • Casting: A sculptural technique in which liquid materials are shaped by pouring into a mold.
  • Modeling: A sculptural term meaning to shape a pliable material. Sculpture: The art of shaping expressive three-dimensional forms. Subtraction: A sculptural term meaning to carve or cut away materials.
  • Void: The passage of space through an object; an enclosed negative shape.





  • Postmodernism: A cultural movement that includes philosophy, art and literature. In art it refers to work that reacts against or supersedes Modernism. Usually is conscious of historical styles and is pluralistic.
  • Modernism: A cultural movement that occurred before and around WWI as a reaction to the traditional view of art that preceded it. Strong belief that art is progressive, rejecting historical styles.
  • Deconstruction: A term coinedbyJacquesDerridainthe1960s. A method of critical analysis that seeks to show how meaning is constructed in a text, and often with the goal of exposing such meaning a self-contradictory.
  • Pluralism: In art, the view all artistic styles are valid forms of expression.
  • Relativism: Belief that there are no absolutes. All truth may be valid in its own context, but there is no Absolute meaning, being, or reality.
  • Eclecticism: View that multiple forms, rather than a single source, dictate thought and art. Related to relativism in that it holds that there is no absolute source, but eclecticism adds the notion of multiple sources for truths.
  • Kitsch: Art that is considered to be inferior. Art that is done to satisfy popular tastes as opposed to work that is avant-garde (serious, or high art). Usually marked by sentimentality, overly repeated formulae, bad taste, melodrama, or superficiality.
  • Maximalism: A post-minimalist concept that stresses that largest possible view, or extravagantly drawn-out process in art. Often work that focuses on process and elaboration.
  • Minimalism: View in art that seeks to strip away nonessentials to reach its fundamentals. Often seen as the final result Modernism and the avant-garde.
  • Metanarrative: Any all-encompassing story or view of reality. The idea that there are metanarratives is rejected by postmodern thought.
  • Post-structuralism: Reaction against the idea that meaning is derived from some foundational structure.
  • Self-reflexive: Form or idea that refers to itself. For example, art that is about the processes involved in its production (art for art’s sake).
  • Semiotics: Study of signs and their meanings. View that all forms contain codes that must be deciphered within the context of a given society. Semiotics is the process of decoding meaning hidden within forms.




Belhaven’s Art Related Publications


Arts Ablaze, now available in PDF format on the Belhaven website, contains the arts schedule for the school year and profiles of each of our Arts faculty. Its main function, however, is to list all the performances, exhibitions, concerts, and recitals happening during the year.


The Brogue is a literary magazine devoted to creative and critical writing. It is published once a year under the sponsorship of the Creative Writing Department. This publication also contains reproductions of student artwork and provides an opportunity for arts majors to publish their work in print form.




Suggested Reading


  • Storybrand, Donald Miller
  • Grid Systems in Graphic Design, Josef Müller-Brockmann
  • Thinking with Type, Ellen Lupton
  • Designing Brand Identity, Alina Wheeler


  • Art and the Bible, Francis Schaeffer
  • Art Needs No Justification, H.R. Rookmaaker
  • God in the Gallery, Daniel A. Siedell
  • Walking on Water, Madeline L’Engle
  • It was Good: Making Art to the Glory of God, Ned Bustard


  • The Creative Process, Bruster Geslein
  • Art and Fear, David Bayles and Ted Orlando
  • No More Secondhand Art, Peter London
  • Courage to Create, Rollo May
  • Search for the Real, Hans Hofmann
  • The Shape of Content, Ben Shahn
  • The Critique Handbook, Buster and Crawford
  • Art as Experience, John Dewey




Websites of Interest


Makoto Fujimura
CIVA (Christians In the Visual Arts)
Council for Christian Colleges and Universities
Musei Vaticani


Institute of Contemporary Art (Philadelphia)
Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston)
Journal of Contemporary Art
Museum of Contemporary Art (Sydney)
New Museum of Contemporary Art


Art history network


College Art Association (CAA)

The Getty




Sources for Materials



140 Dyess Rd
Ridgeland, MS

163 Ridge Way Suite C
Flowood, MS

5711 US-80
Jackson, MS


200 Ridge Way
Flowood, MS


Deville Plaza
5058 I-55 N Frontage Rd
Jackson, MS


3995 Hwy. 80
Vicksburg, MS


6388 Ridgewood Ct

712 Mackenzie Ln
Flowood, MS



5710 E Hwy 80
Pearl, MS


2817 Old Canton Rd
Jackson, MS

5317 I-55 N
Jackson, MS


717 Hwy 80 East
Pearl, MS


826 Wheatley St.
Ridgeland, MS

3100 Highway 80 E
Pearl, MS

  • LOWE’S

910 E County Line Rd.
Ridgeland, MS

120 Ridge Way
Flowood, MS

128 Grandview Boulevard
Madison, MS


6325 I-55 N
Jackson, MS

211 Colony Way
Madison, MS

5000 Hampstead Blvd
Clinton, MS


815 S Wheatley St.
Ridgeland, MS

2711 Greenway Dr
Madison, MS

5520 E Hwy 80
Pearl, MS

5341 Lakeland Dr.
Flowood, MS

950 Hwy 80 E.
Clinton, MS

200 Marketplace Dr.
Richland, MS


Mister Art
Dick Blick
Douglas And Sturgess
Joann Crafts
Polytech Development Corp.
Daniel Smith
Cheap Joe’s
Utrecht Art Supplies




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The Belhaven University Art & Design Department is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD).

Founded in 1944, the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) is an organization of schools, conservatories, colleges, and universities with approximately 363 accredited institutional members. It establishes national standards for undergraduate and graduate degrees and other credentials for art and design and art/design-related disciplines, and provides assistance to institutions and individuals engaged in artistic, scholarly, educational, and other art/design-related endeavors.

(Information from © 2021 National Association of Schools of Art & Design).