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Academics

You see

  • the world in colors, shapes, textures and patterns 
  • the ways art expresses beauty, reflects history and comments on society
  • how art gives outlets for emotion and creativity

Many facets

The study of art at Bethel College means

  • you’ll both analyze and create art
  • you’ll learn art history and how art has been a voice for social justice
  • you’ll be exposed to, and you’ll practice, multiple media – painting, printmaking, ceramics, drawing, sculpture, photography, crafts, graphic design – to give you a broad education while helping focus your own artistic passion.

Small is beautiful

When it comes to studying art at Bethel, that means

  • a low student-to-faculty ratio that ensures your teachers know you, your interests and your goals
  • being able to show your work in the Regier Art Gallery, in the annual Student Show as well as a senior show if art is your major
  • opportunities for hands-on experience – for example, graphic design students will work on projects for the college and local community clients
  • a general education/liberal arts curriculum that equips you to speak, write and communicate well, giving you an edge in applying for jobs or graduate school

And then there’s Italy

Every four years, Bethel offers Selected Topics in Art History, which concludes with a study-abroad trip. Weekly lectures during the semester cover a particular time period – for example, the Italian Renaissance – focusing on history, religion, politics, society and, of course, the artists. Then for 15 days, the class travels throughout Italy – stepping back in time to tour the streets, and see the artwork, of Milan, Verona, Venice, Florence, Siena and Rome.

Picture yourself in art at Bethel. Follow the Bethel College art department on Facebook!

Want to talk more with faculty and current students? Schedule a campus visit.

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Internships/research

The art curriculum is designed to give students the chance to develop skills in a number of different artistic media, including painting, printmaking, ceramics, drawing, watercolor, sculpture, photography and crafts. During their senior year, art students arrange their own shows for public display in the Robert W. Regier Gallery in the Luyken Fine Arts Center.

Study abroad

Every four years, the Department of Art offers Selected Topics in Art History (ART435), which concludes with a study-abroad trip. The 2007 course focused on the Italian Renaissance and investigated major artistic traditions in greater depth than is possible in art history survey courses. The Renaissance period is seen as one of the cornerstones of Western civilization. Weekly lectures during the semester give an understanding of the time period, its religious and political atmosphere and, of course, its artists. Then for 15 days, class participants traveled throughout Italy – stepping back in time to tour the streets of Milan, Verona, Venice, Florence, Siena and Rome, as well as to view works created by Giotto, Donatello, Michelangelo, Raphael and others. The course grade is based on a written term paper or creative project and a daily travel journal or sketchbook.

Bethel art graduates have presented themselves well at job interviews and have succeeded in a wide variety of occupations, from floral arranging to faux painting. They have a broad visual art and liberal arts background and are flexible in adapting to expectations in the wider job market. One alumnus with a B.A. in art (painting) was hired to design the painting of aircraft exteriors at Cessna. Another was recently admitted to the University of Kansas School of Architecture master’s program, successfully competing with graduates of other colleges and universities with a more focused B.F.A. degree. Bethel students apply a strong work ethic to the sound education they receive and can go far in all sorts of career directions.

Post-graduate careers include:

  • floral arranging
  • faux painting
  • graphic design
  • pottery
  • architecture
  • illustrators
  • mental health workers

Notable Alumni

Leah Gaeddert – ’14
Leah turned her college opportunity shadowing in the Hesston school district into a job after graduating from Bethel. She is currently the only art teacher for Hesston Elementary and Hesston Middle School.
Major requirements for Art:
38 hours (including 9 hours in art history) and participation in senior art exhibit.
Major requirements for Art teacher licensure:
additional 12 hours (including 4-credit-hour Teaching the Expressive Arts) plus completion of General Education requirements for teacher licensure and professional education requirements.
Minor requirements for Art:
19 hours (including 3 hours in art history)

Rachel Epp Buller

Associate Professor of Visual Art and Design

rebuller@bethelks.edu

David Long

Professor of Visual Art and Graphic Design

dlong@bethelks.edu

Donalyn Manion

Assistant Professor of Graphic Design

dmanion@bethelks.edu

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.