The Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art (BFSDoART!) is one of the ten departments in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, and has a long, remarkable history at Georgia Southern University. We take great pride in the accomplishments of our alumni and in the promise of our current students. Perhaps even more so in the super-active, collaborative community both faculty and students create daily throughout the department as we pursue our professions with enthusiasm.
Our challenge to create a program of study that is anchored in traditional art media and flexible enough to embrace new media and technologies is recognized. We delight in working hard to further our reputation of offering quality undergraduate and graduate degree programs that truly prepare students to become professional artists, graphic designers, art historians and graphic communications management professionals. An accredited member of both the National Association of Schools of Art and Design and ATMAE, each of our degree programs ensures the best practices of our national accrediting bodies are evident in our comprehensive curricula.
Today's competitive job market requires college graduates to write and speak well, creatively resolve multi-faceted problems, learn new information quickly, embrace technology and work well with others. That’s one of many reasons why an art or design degree from a liberal arts university has merit—exposure to various disciplines broadens a student’s perspective, increases the breadth of their proficiency in skills, and provides them with conceptual content to stimulate their creativity. There is something special about a graduate with a minor in business or psychology, had one roommate who was a biology major and another in education.
BFSDoART! students are expected to think critically, to create visual artwork and design that communicates effectively, and be well versed in the professional practices and technology essential to a successful career in the visual arts, design, or the management of 21st century graphics communication technology. We demand our students’ investigate ideas, examine history, and experiment with visual language and media in order to acquire their own individual creative voice–and the confidence to speak with that voice.
The BFSDoART! provides comfortable learning laboratories that strictly adhere to safety regulations knowing the physical environment of a studio is paramount to students' health and their capacity to learn. Average class sizes of 15-24 students per studio course ensure faculty members can provide ability of one-on-one mentoring. Students have 24/7 access to most of our light-filled, spacious, and professionally equipped studios for around-the-clock creative production. Instructional studios where high-risk industrial equipment is employed, such as sculpture and ceramics, have graduate assistants as studio technicians to assist students who are novices at using this machinery. Graphic Design labs are staffed with a design lab technician and are open during the day as well as those popular student ‘nocturnal’ hours.
Successful art and design students require adequate space to explore, professional equipment to use when completing assignments, and state-of-the-moment technology to ensure they are on the cusp of new technology in the design fields at all times.
Four outstanding facilities filled with professional equipment and current technology support the ambitious programming of the BFSDoART! In all art & design training, the demonstration of skill using industrial equipment, precede students’ hands-on practice using this same equipment. What this educational best-practice requirement means is that the BFSDoART! takes up a good bit of real estate on campus!
The Center for Art and Theatre (2007) is a breathtaking venue for art exhibitions and arts events, with 5,000 square feet of galleries located in the center of our active campus. Permanent collections include the diverse Betty Foy Sanders Georgia Artists Collection and Smith Callaway Banks Southern Folk Art Collection. An active exhibition season features multiple annual student exhibitions that showcase student accomplishments and provide professional exhibition experience for all levels of students.
The Ceramics and Sculpture Studio (constructed in 2000) is renowned as one of the finest three-dimensional fine arts instructional facilities in the southeast. Sculpture studio highlights in include the capacity for large-scale metal casting or fabrication, and a full wood-shop. The vast and open ceramics studio space welcomes student artists who throw functional ware on the wheel as those who hand build sculpture. One can work
The remainder of the BFSDoART! instructional fine art studios and art history classrooms are located in the Visual Arts Building (renovated 2004) a 1930s K-12 demonstration school with oversized classroom studios within classic architecture that invites cascading light throughout the building. An apex of creative activities, this facility features a media center for art history research, a 176-seat auditorium, and a generous quantity of Master of Fine Arts graduate studios.
The Graphics Communication Management Center for Printability (1999) houses multiple laboratory print studio classrooms with full-scale industrial presses and specialty printing equipment—from variable data to traditional screen-printing. Graduates will be successful managers in the GCM profession because their knowledge is more than textbook theory; the GCM Center for Printability provides hands-on training in research practices with industrial equipment—for holistic managerial preparation.