Academic Catalog and Handbooks

2023-2024 Edition


Department Chair: Samuel Johnson

Faculty: Carol Brash, Samuel Johnson, Rachel Melis, Scott Murphy, Simon-Hòa Phan OSB, Elaine Rutherford, Andrea Shaker, Steven Lemke, Joseph, Singewald

The art department educates both art majors and non-majors in the theory, practice and history of art. This education involves the understanding of historical development of art in contemporary and past cultures, understanding the critical process used to assess art forms, understanding the meaning and evolution of art theories, understanding the basic concepts related to the structure of forms and understanding the technical aspects of art. This education is intended to prepare students for careers or further education in art. For the non-major, this education provides a preliminary understanding of art forms, the creative process and a beginning ability to employ critical analysis.

The department's studios, located on both campuses, provide facilities for drawing, design, painting, ceramics, printmaking, sculpture, book arts, papermaking, computer art, photography, and video. The Benedicta Arts Center Galleries and Saint John's Art Galleries schedule diverse exhibitions of artwork throughout the year. Special areas are available for exhibition of student work. Visiting artists, speakers, artists-in-residence, field trips and workshops supplement the students' experience of the art world.


Student learning and progress is assessed by means of critiques and portfolio reviews. Each course within the department has a strong component that addresses the critique process. Students learn how to interact with one another and the instructor to determine their strengths, weaknesses and how they might achieve better results in their work. At the conclusion of each semester’s work in studio art courses, a final critique is held with the instructor and student to assess the student’s progress.

Portfolio reviews are made to assess the student’s growth within their course of studies.


The art department offers a concentration in studio art, and minors in art history, book arts and art education.