Art and Design Art and Design Art and Design Art and Design Art and Design
College of Arts & Sciences

Art and Design

Questions?

Christine Rabenold
MS 105
630 637 5543

In graphic design, studio art, art education, and art history, we provide students from all areas of study opportunities for exploring visual media creatively and intellectually. Artists and designers specialize in creating visual work that effectively communicates ideas and emotions to prepare you for 21st-century careers in fine arts, digital communications, and education.  

Our facilities are outfitted with studios for painting, drawing, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, design, and animation. At North Central, you’ll find your creative voice as a professional artist and have plenty of opportunities to share it in our dedicated gallery spaces. And along the way, you’ll build a portfolio that will impress industry leaders, educators, prospective clients—and most importantly, you.  

As a graduate, you can pursue careers in industrial design, fashion design, the entertainment and media industry, education, and more. Recent graduates have also pursued graduate degrees in Master of Fine Arts programs and Master of Art Therapy.  

In studying art and design, you will  

  • learn traditional and contemporary media to bring your creative ideas to life  
  • engage in analytical, critical, and abstract thinking  
  • gain experience expressing ideas visually   
  • sharpen your communication and writing skills  
  • enroll in community-engaged, cross-disciplinary, and team-taught courses  

Opportunities include:  

  • participate in the Senior Art Show, solo and group exhibits, and juried events in the College’s dedicated exhibition spaces and local art galleries  
  • network with prominent artists at on-campus gallery exhibits and talks  
  • intern at local museums, studios, galleries, auction houses, and organizations  
  • gain hands-on experience by working at our student-run Design Agency creating designs for on and off-campus organizations, while getting valuable client experience  
  • study world-class art and architecture at galleries and museums in Chicago   
  • conduct undergraduate research and present your findings at the College’s Rall Symposium for Undergraduate Research  
  • apply for competitive scholarships in art and design   
  • gain an academic foundation for graduate study in studio art, art education, art history, art therapy, arts administration, art criticism, and visual communications  
  • access the University Partner Program offered by the Art Institute of Chicago. As part of this arrangement, all North Central students can gain admittance to the AIC free of charge with their North Central student identification card, and have access to lectures, educational programs, and other special events 

NOTE: This page contains all of the regular course descriptions for this discipline or program. Academic credit for each course is noted in parenthesis after the course title. Prerequisites (if any) and the general education requirements, both Core and All-College Requirements (ACRs), which each course fulfills (if any) are noted following each course description. Not all courses are offered every year. Check Merlin, our searchable course schedule, to see which courses are being offered in upcoming terms.

Graphic Design, B.F.A

Graphic Design is the art of visual communication. The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design provides a hands-on approach to design thinking and problem solving through a variety of courses and experiences. Students master a broad range of conceptual, formal and technological skills to create effective visual solutions to communication problems in an array of media including print, web and motion. Projects focus on relationships among the audience, context and content to create results that may interpret, inform, instruct, persuade or entertain. The B.F.A. is a professional program structured to provide in-depth, formal education that prepares students for entry into professional practice or advanced, professionally-oriented study upon graduation. In addition to academic work, B.F.A Graphic Design students complete an internship, community-engaged design studio practicum, and a final public exhibition of a research-based design project or portfolio. Graduates are employed in digital marketing, design services, publishing, advertising, public relations or related industries.

For additional programs and courses in this department, see Art and Design.

Major Requirements

Additional Requirements for the B.F.A Degree

Students must demonstrate elementary competence in a foreign language. For more information, see the B.F.A Degree Requirements within the Academic Regulations section of this catalog.

Design, B.A.

Design majors plan and execute the design of visual communication according to the needs of audiences and contexts. Design B.A. students demonstrate an understanding of various areas of design practice and processes. Students develop a range of skills in computer technology and an understanding of design principles to improve the visual appearance and function of messages and information. B.A. degree in Design provides a general foundation for later design study toward professional competency in design practice, or in scholarly areas such as design history and criticism, or for future studies in business, technology, planning, architecture and many other fields. Students can complement their Design studies with astudy abroad, Chicago term or internships an additional major in anthropology, sociology, business, marketing, communications, media studies, computer science and psychology amongst others.

For additional programs and courses in this department, see Art and Design.

Major Requirements

Additional Requirements for the B.A. Degree

Students must demonstrate elementary competence in a foreign language. For more information, see the B.A. Degree Requirements within the Academic Regulations section of this catalog.

Studio Art, B.F.A

Studio art B.F.A. majors develop and master problem-solving skills and creative design thinking strategies through analysis, critique and creation of works of art. Students explore a thorough grounding in fundamental principles and techniques with opportunities for emphasis in one or more specific fine arts areas culminating in a senior art exhibition. Students wishing to explore graduate study in the future and/or a career as a professional artist are encouraged to pursue the Bachelor of Fine Arts major. The department recommends connecting the major with the liberal arts and sciences by pairing their art practice with an interdisciplinary minor, study abroad, language study or a focused grouping of courses from the departments and programs offered.   

The B.F.A. is a professional program structured to provide in-depth, formal education that prepares students for entry into professional practice or advanced, professionally oriented study upon graduation. Graduates pursue professional opportunities and careers in art therapy, arts administration, education, commercial design, visual merchandizing, illustration, fine art, art entrepreneurship and art graduate studies.   

For additional programs and courses in this department, see Art and Design.

Major Requirements

Required Courses

Studio Art Core Courses

One of the Following:
One of the Following:

Studio Art Electives

  • An additional eight credit hours in studio art at the 200-level or above

  • Eight credit hours in studio art at the 300-level or above

  • Eight credit hours in studio art at the 400-level
Note:

*Four credit hours can be fulfilled by a 400-level credited internship or independent study

Art History Courses

One of the Following:

Senior Art Exhibit/Capstone

Note:

*ARTD 494ARTD 496 and ARTD 498 do not count toward the 400-level studio art courses

Additional B.F.A. Requirements

Students will submit an initial portfolio to the department when they declare the B.F.A. major or by the end of their sophomore year. Please contact the department for portfolio guidelines and submissions.  

Additional Requirements for the B.F.A Degree

Students must demonstrate elementary competence in a foreign language. For more information, see the B.F.A Degree Requirements within the Academic Regulations section of this catalog.

Studio Art, B.A.

Studio art majors develop problem-solving skills and creative design thinking strategies through analysis, critique and creation of works of art. Students explore a range of media in foundational studio courses and refine their art practice in advanced courses, culminating in a senior art exhibition. Students can enhance their studies with an additional major or minor, a study abroad or Chicago term and internships. Graduates pursue professional opportunities and careers in art therapy, arts administration, education, commercial design, visual merchandizing, illustration, fine art, art entrepreneurship, and art graduate studies.

For additional programs and courses in this department, see Art and Design.

Major Requirements

Required Courses

Two of the following:

Studio Art Core Courses

One of the following:

Studio Art Electives

  • An additional four credits in studio art at the 200-level
  • Eight credits in studio art at the 300-level or above
  • Four credits in studio art at the 400-level

Art History Courses

One of the following:

Senior Art Exhibit/Capstone

Note:

*ARTD 496 and ARTD 498 do not count toward the 400-level studio art course

Additional Requirements for the B.A. Degree

Students must demonstrate elementary competence in a foreign language. For more information, see the B.A. Degree Requirements within the Academic Regulations section of this catalog.

Art History, B.A.

The art history program prepares students for twenty-first century careers that require careful analysis, interpretation, and communication of visual information. Using visual analysis research methodology, students learn to think critically about art from a range of historical periods and geographic regions. Students can enhance their studies with an additional major or minor, study abroad or Chicago term and internships. Graduates pursue opportunities in areas such as archives and curatorship, art therapy, commercial design and digital communications, education, arts administration and historic preservation. Students planning to pursue graduate study in art history should have at least one foreign language.

For additional programs and courses in this department, see Art and Design.

Major Requirements

Art History Core Courses

One of the following:

Art History Electives

Twelve credits from the following, with no more than four credits from internships, practica or independent studies:

Required Support Courses

One of the following:

Additional Requirements for the B.A. Degree

Students must demonstrate elementary competence in a foreign language. For more information, see the B.A. Degree Requirements within the Academic Regulations section of this catalog.

Art Education, B.A.

Art education majors develop problem-solving skills and creative design thinking strategies through analysis, critique and creation of works of art. Students explore a range of media in foundational studio courses and refine their art practice in advanced courses, culminating in a senior art exhibition.  Students pair the major with secondary education and are prepared for K-12 Art Teaching Certification as well as a wide range of teaching possibilities in community art centers, children's museums, art museums, parks and recreation departments and arts organizations. 

For additional programs and courses in this department, see Art and Design.

Major Requirements

Required Courses

One of the following:

Studio Art Electives

  • Four credit hours from studio art electives at the 200-level
  • Eight credit hours from studio art electives at the 300-level
    • Note: Studio electives should be from different methods for breadth

Art History Courses

One of the following:

Senior Art Exhibit/Capstone

Notes:

*ARTD 496 and ARTD 498 do not count toward the 400-level studio art electives (can be taken for 0 credits for Art Education majors)

*ARTD 190 is a recommended course

Education Requirements

Completion of the Secondary Education major requirements and the following courses:

Additional Requirements for the B.A. Degree

Students must demonstrate elementary competence in a foreign language. For more information, see the B.A. Degree Requirements within the Academic Regulations section of this catalog.

Graphic Design Minor

Graphic design minors plan and execute the design of visual communication according to the needs of audiences and contexts. Students master a range of conceptual, formal and technological skills to create effective visual solutions to communication problems. The minor complements majors such as marketing, journalism, public relations and business.

For additional programs and courses in this department, see Art and Design.

Minor Requirements

A minimum of 20 credit hours, including:

Required Courses

One of the following:

Graphic Design Elective

One of the following:

Art Elective

One additional course from ARTD.

Studio Art Minor

A minor in studio art is for students wanting to explore a creative practice for personal expression or as an integral component to their major.  The minor exposes students to concept, design, production, history, and critical analysis of art.

For additional programs and courses in this department, see Art and Design.

Minor Requirements

A minimum of 20 credit hours, including:

Foundation/Gateway

One of the following:

Drawing

Art History

One course from the ARTH prefix, minumum four credit hours.

Advanced Studio Art

One of the following:

Art History Minor

For additional programs and courses in this department, see Art and Design.

Minor Requirements

The minor in Art History requires 20 credit hours, including:

Electives

Eight credit hours from the following:

Advanced Electives

Four credit hour of Art History at the 300-level or above.

Animation Minor

Animation minors plan and execute computer-based animations. Students are introduced to a variety of digital animation techniques and fundamental sketching skills. Students also learn about creating and developing characters for these mediums, developing stories, and managing a concept from creation to post-production. The minor complements majors such as film studies, studio art, computer science, interactive media studies and broadcast communication.

For additional programs and courses in this department, see Art and Design.

Minor Requirements

A minimum of 20 credit hours, including:

One of the following:

We offer the B.A. degree in

We offer the B.F.A. degree in

 

Christine Rabenold

Associate Professor of Art; Student Art Gallery Director; Chairperson, Department of Art and Design
Art & Design
+1 630 637 5543
Lindsay Shannon

Associate Professor of Art History; Gallery Director; Student Gallery Coordinator
Art & Design
+1 630 637 5334
Hale Ekinci

Associate Professor of Art and Design; Student Gallery Coordinator
Art & Design
+1 630 637 5545
Kathryn Pszotka

Half-time Assistant Professor of Art and Design
Art & Design
+1 630 637 5333
Kevin Valentine

Half-time Associate Professor of Art and Design
Art & Design
+1 630 637 5773
David Cordero

Assistant Professor of Art and Design
Art & Design
+1 630 637 5584
Whitney Sage

Assistant Professor of Art and Design
Art & Design

Extra-curricular and professional activities that will enrich your art education.

  • Art Portfolio Review - To schedule your transfer or admissions portfolio review, please call 630-637-5800.  
  • Obtain hands-on experience in creative design and forge corporate connections that can lead to valuable experiences in paid internships and jobs  
  • Work closely in small classes with the practicing artists and art historians on our art faculty.  
  • Join Impressions, SLIP, or the Digital Photo Club, the student art organizations, which sponsor juried and non-juried exhibitions, art sales, lectures by visiting artists, field trips to special art exhibitions, and pre-professional workshops such as matting, framing, and photographing student art  
  • Gain an academic foundation for graduate study in studio art, art education, art history, art therapy, arts administration, art criticism, and visual communications  
  • Pursue an internship at an exciting array of Chicago area art museums, galleries, studios, and historical institutions.  
  • Gain hands-on experience by working at our student-run Design Agency creating designs for on and off-campus organizations, while getting valuable client experience  
  • North Central College is part of the University Partner Program offered by the Art Institute of Chicago. As part of this arrangement, all North Central students can gain admittance to the AIC free of charge with their North Central student identification card, and have access to lectures, educational programs, and other special events  
  • Undergraduate research opportunities include presenting or exhibiting work at the annual Rall Symposium, National Conference on Undergraduate Research, and in the campus galleries https://finearts.northcentralcollege.edu/galleries.

Past student employment includes:

  • Visual Experience Design, Kellogg Company  
  • Lead Motion Designer & Writer, Esquire  
  • Visual Designer, Atomic D  
  • Senior Graphic Designer, Ivy Lane Design  
  • Teaching Fulbright to Germany   
  • Inventables, digital fabrication company   
  • DuPage County Historical Museum   
  • Art teachers in a variety of public schools in Illinois.   
  • Local art centers like Lillstreet Art Center in Chicago   
  • Advertising Graphic Designer, The Bradford Group  
  • Graphic Designer, The Strategy Group  
  • Instructional Design Project Manager, Sears Hometown & Outlet  
  • Graphic Designer, Concordia University Chicago  
  • Senior Content Developer, Dealer Inspire  
  • Graphic Designer, Copy Express  
  • Graphic Designer, SSP America  
  • Technology Center Coordinator, FUJIFILM  
  • Marketing Coordinator, Red Frog Events  
  • eCommerce Marketing Coordinator, Sourcebooks  
  • Redesign Coordinator, GateHouse Media  
  • Interactive Designer, Optomi, LLC  
  • Designer, LLT Group  

Graduate school acceptance includes:  

  • Mills College   
  • The School of the Art Institute of Chicago   
  • Northern Illinois University in Dekalb   
  • Cranbrook Academy of Art   
  • Oregon College of Art and Craft   
  • Adler School of Psychology   
  • Northeastern Illinois University   
  • Moore College of Art   
  • Southern Illinois University of Carbondale   
  • University of Glasgow   

Past student internships include:   

  • The Art Institute of Chicago  
  • Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago  
  • Elmhurst Art Museum  
  • Leslie Hindman Auctions  
  • DuPage Children’s Museum   
  • Oak Park Art League  
  • Shedd Aquarium

 

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