Visual Arts

Students in the visual arts program become thinking artists and learn to use a variety of media and communicationsówritten, visual and verbal.

The curriculum encourages community building and prepares students for arts careers and higher education in visual arts. The visual arts department is respected by arts colleges and liberal arts programs across the country.

Exploring students’ personal voices through media, critical thinking and decision-making are the cornerstones of the program. Students expand their creativity, knowledge and discipline through production of artwork, discussion, critique and observation.

Curriculum in the first year gives students a common language and builds a supportive atmosphere. All first-year students share this communal experience of core learning—studying painting, drawing, graphic design, printmaking, documentation, portfolio development and art history.

Electives frame the experience for seniors. Choices—including  papermaking, oil painting, advanced drawing, stop-motion animation, ceramics, sculpture, digital imaging, public art, sculpture, jewelry, monotype printmaking, screen printing and portfolio development—prepare students for their next steps.

Senior classes are designed to hone skills, develop independence and explore postsecondary options. Both years are grounded in critique, making connections and discovering a broader and deeper understanding of how the visual arts relate to a variety of disciplines. 

"[Perpich] was a hugely formative experience for me and I think gave me many of the tools to get to this point of...doing meaningful work that I love."
— Andrew Edman, ‘05, visual arts

"I run art groups for women and men who been affected by sexual and domestic violence at a center in Faribault called Hope Center. When I went to school at Perpich I learned how art could save the world. How healing it can be so healing. I love this school. Love what it taught me because I feel like I can show people why now, art can save the world." — Rose Johnson, ‘03, visual arts