Studio Art

Suffolk’s studio art program is designed to help you develop your unique artistic voice. Our curriculum combines extensive exposure to materials and techniques with critiques and discussions that focus on elevating your creative vision. As a studio art major, you’ll join a supportive community of peers and faculty who are dedicated to facilitating your growth and preparing you for a wide range of arts-related career paths. Suffolk is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

Download video transcript [PDF]

The integrated professional practice component of our program reflects our commitment to preparing students for post-graduate life. You will be advised to choose from the many career-oriented minor options available across disciplines, including arts administration, entrepreneurship, nonprofit management, and art history.

As a studio art major, you will:

  • Expand your imaginative thinking skills, drawing from your experiences and other disciplines to generate original ideas
  • Develop, test, and implement design solutions for visual problems
  • Work alongside your classmates in small classes and shared studio spaces, building a creative community that’ll follow you long past graduation
  • Learn to articulate your work and master professional presentation techniques
  • Get individualized instruction and mentorship from a dedicated faculty of working artists

Experience is Everything

Program Options

The Major

All art & design students spend their first year completing our foundation studies program. As a studio art major, you’ll learn art history and the principles of visual language while honing your creative process and conceptual identity through immersive studio experiences. By earning a Bachelor of Arts, you’ll have the flexibility to complement your art education with other interdisciplinary and career-oriented majors and minors, bolstering your professional skillset to suit a spectrum of industries.

Our courses incorporate group critiques, during which students formally present their work to their classmates and instructors and receive constructive feedback. Faculty often invite local artists and professionals to participate as guest reviewers, as well.
View the Studio Art Major Curriculum
View the Art & Design laptop requirements

The Minor

Expand your artistic toolkit and gain the essential professional skills needed to flourish in the world of fine arts through the studio art minor. To complete this minor, you’ll take courses in drawing and printmaking, as well as theory-based Fine Arts Seminar I and II.
View the Studio Art Minor Curriculum

Customize Your Degree

Studio art students complement their skills with courses, minors, and double majors in areas such as:

The Art Gallery space

A&D Spaces

Transcript 0:00 (upbeat music)
0:04 - Right now we're in our Suffolk Sawyer Building on Floor A,
0:09 and this is where interior design students will spend most
0:11 of their time as it has some of our largest studio spaces
0:14 down here.
0:15 They feature large tables that we can all gather
0:18 and work around, and then we also have all
0:21 of the crit space on the walls around us.
0:23 So it's a great place to get feedback from our peers
0:26 and the critics that our professors bring in.
0:28 You can normally find students here on the weekends
0:31 and late at night working on projects together,
0:34 so it really becomes a second home.
0:36 Each of our classrooms are nice
0:38 because they're not too big, so you still get
0:40 that community feel while being really comfortable
0:43 and able to move around.
0:45 - In the wood shop, there's a bunch of different resources.
0:47 There's cutting tables, there's
0:50 a laser table, there's bloom, rug tufter, 2/3D printers, spray booth,
0:55 and any kind of medium that you wanna work on.
0:58 As students come in with different projects
1:00 and ideas, we work with the students to make sure
1:02 that they can get the materials that they need
1:04 to execute those very ideas.
1:06 - This is the print studio.
1:07 We're located on the B floor of the Sawyer Building.
1:10 Here, we do all things printmaking.
1:12 We have cyanotype, we have screen printing,
1:15 and then we have more traditional things
1:17 like lino cuts and etchings.
1:21 - Here, we're on the sixth floor Sawyer,
1:23 where we'll find graphic design classrooms,
1:26 studio art spaces,
1:27 and the Suffolk University Art Gallery.
1:30 At the Suffolk Gallery,
1:31 students are able to showcase their work in a couple shows
1:33 a year, as well as outside artists being able to come in
1:36 and showcase their work as well.
1:37 It's a really unique experience that's part
1:39 of the Suffolk Art and Design community,
1:41 and it's really cool to be inspired by the pieces
1:44 that you walk by every day.
1:45 - The sixth floor also hosts our graphic design classes.
1:49 So we have several classrooms, computer labs,
1:51 that all graphic design classes will take complacent.
1:54 - We have a book finding machine, we have a guillotine,
1:57 and as someone that's really interested in editorial design,
2:00 I take advantage of it.
2:01 We also have an apps and printer.
2:03 The quality is amazing
2:04 and resolution really matters when it comes to printing,
2:08 especially as well as digital work.
2:11 - This is the sixth floor hallway where a lot
2:13 of the studio majors who are taking either the Tuesday
2:15 or the Thursday class will display some of their work.
2:17 So here's some of the examples
2:18 of what we do in our Tuesday class.
2:20 Actually, this is a drawing of the Tuesday class in session.
2:27 - Right now we're on the 10th floor of the Sawyer building,
2:30 and on this floor is where all the foundational courses
2:32 happen for the Art and Design Department.
2:35 Here, you'll take graphic design courses,
2:37 you'll take integrated studio courses and drawing courses.
2:42 - I really fell in love with Suffolk
2:43 because it's located in the heart of Boston,
2:45 and so I think that it's the perfect place
2:47 to study when you wanna be surrounded by good,
2:51 youthful energy here,
2:52 but you're also passionate about your career
2:55 and really want people that will push you
2:56 to be the best version of yourself
2:58 and get as much out of your college experience as you can.
3:00 (upbeat music)

Beyond the Classroom

Student standing in front of a wall of hanging art 

In our program, you’ll have room to grow as an artist while gaining the skills you need to present your work to the world. You’ll learn to speak confidently about your pieces, to photograph and present them, and to promote your work through networking and social media.

Our students show their work constantly—to each other, to faculty and alumni, and to the public via large-scale installations, pop-ups, fairs, and gallery shows. Learning to give and receive constructive criticism as you create will help you refine your projects and prepare them for public display. In the last few years alone, our students’ work has been featured on the sides of buildings and inside storefronts in prime downtown Boston locations, and in independent galleries.

Senior Capstone

Your senior capstone will show your progress as you present a curated final exhibition of your work in the Suffolk University Gallery. Once the exhibit is up, you’ll gain critical experience talking about your work with peers and industry leaders during an opening celebration.

The Art Gallery showing student work

Our City

Boston is a city steeped in history, yet on the cutting edge of discovery and innovation—a vibrant blend reflected in the diversity of art and design that surrounds us.

Within walking distance (or a short T ride) from our campus you’ll find world-class museums such as the Museum of Fine Arts, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the Institute of Contemporary Art. You’ll also draw inspiration from a plethora of work at numerous galleries, university collections, historic and cultural sites, memorials, and public art installations.

The Suffolk University Gallery

Within our walls, you’ll find dedicated space to explore, create, collaborate, and learn. Our gallery features an ever-changing series of thought-provoking exhibits designed to inspire and to showcase the work of students, faculty, alumni, and outside artists.

Professor gestures as students look on during a class

Our program will prepare you to step confidently into your professional career—and by the time you graduate, you’ll have a good idea of what your first step should be. That’s because most of our students complete multiple internships, and many pursue complementary minors, to gain experience and refine their goals.

You’ll form strong bonds with your fellow students and faculty here, and be welcomed into a creative community that includes alumni who are top working professionals in virtually every medium and application. Whether you want to pursue graduate work in fine arts, education, or expressive therapies, set up shop on your own, or apply your talents to curation or arts administration, support from our

Center for Career Equity, Development & Success

The Career Center will help you explore career options, plan your path, and land your dream internship or job. You’ll find practical help, like how to write an effective résumé or LinkedIn profile, along with valuable connections to leading employers and successful alumni. A specific Career Community for Humanities and the Arts provides events and information tailored just for our students.

Success after Suffolk

Here's a sampling of recent graduates’ current job titles and employers.

Megan Walsh Art
Gallery Attendant
Carpenter Center for Visual Arts
Retail Salesperson
Artist & Craftsman Supply
Interior Designer and Assistant Project Manager
Assistant Manager
Blick Art Materials
Junior Registrar
Gazelli Art House
Ceramic Studio Assistant
School of the Museum of Fine Arts
Junior Project Manager
Iconic Design Studio

Continuing Education

Our students can be found completing graduate programs at institutions such as Yale, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI), and Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt).

Questions? Get in touch!

Randal Thurston

Randal Thurston

Professor & Department Chair of Art & Design

Email [email protected]

Send a Message