The Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Arts

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Arts consists of 120 credit hours, including university general degree requirements. All students seeking a degree from UNO must complete the general course requirements regardless of their major. These courses emphasize the skills important in all academic areas. Students must complete courses in English composition, literature mathematics, science, humanities, social sciences and computer literacy.  All Non-College of Liberal Arts requirements, College of Liberal Arts requirements (except foreign language), and Elective requirements are identical to the General Course Requirements and Approved Electives in the Liberal Arts Section of the General Catalog. See Liberal Arts Section of the General Catalog.



Students who take photography courses at the University of New Orleans have access to everything they need for beginner and more advanced photographic explorations. The Fine Arts building maintains a traditional wet darkroom and a film processing room, with 2 large format (35-4x5) and 7 Beseler 23CII enlargers that accommodate 35mm and 120 film sizes.


Students can check out lenses and 35mm camera bodies along with filters for black and white analog photography; tripods and portable lighting equipment. Students also have access to a medium format, 4x5 and 8x10 cameras. In addition, we house Holga cameras for more experimental uses, and a variety of high- end digital cameras.


One classroom in the Fine Arts building is dedicated to a lighting studio, with studio hot lights, strobes and battery packs, as well as remote trigger pocket wizards. The lighting studio is also set up for green screen photography and video, and has a tabletop set up.


We have a digital darkroom with two dedicated film scanners, two Epson flat bed scanners, and 24” to 44” Epson printers (7900 and 9900). Photoshop and Adobe software is installed on computers in our lab, to industry standards.  Other equipment for students enrolled in photography courses for off campus use includes tripods, flashes, handheld light meters, colored gels, reflectors, seamless backdrops, and portable lighting equipment.


The photo classroom has space for critiques, and there are flat files where students can store prints. Dry mounting and mat cutting equipment is available as well. Introductory students are instructed on basic camera controls for 35mm SLR, how to process black and white film and use a traditional wet darkroom. Advanced classes are offered on topics such as image and text, color, landscape, digital and alternative processes such as tintype and platinum palladium.



The Printmaking curriculum prepares students for graduate school, careers as professional artists, fine art printers, educators and servants of their communities. Hand-process print media are presented as primary tools, connecting to a broader art making practice. Through studio work, students investigate their conceptual interests while being encouraged to explore, develop, discuss and be critical of their work.


At the introductory level, students learn the etiquette and safety skills necessary to work in a cooperative studio. The historical milieu of printmaking is presented along with the popular trends and processes utilized by contemporary print artists. First semester printmakers study and practice monotype, collagraph, linocut, drypoint and polyester plate lithography.


Intermediate printmaking students build upon their foundation. Knowledge of relief printing is expanded with the introduction of woodcut and wood engraving. Etching is introduced using the solvent and acid free studio. Screen print and digital applications are also a focus of the intermediate student. Intention and concept serve as a point of origination and discussion of student work in critique. Artist statements are a requirement with all projects at the intermediate and advanced level.


Advanced printmaking students serve as leaders in the printmaking studio. Through directed independent study, the advanced printmaker exhibits a strong work ethic, and a hunger for refining her/his skills and conceptual inquiry. Advanced students prepare formal presentations for their classmates by researching contemporary and historical artists who are/were masters of print media.




Generic Art Solutions, Tony Campbell, Instructor

Painting and Drawing

The area of painting in the Department of Fine Arts maintains two studio labs and a wood shop.  The wood shop is equipped with standard machinery, including a belt sander, panel saw, table saw, and compound miter saw, with various power and hand tools, for the construction of a variety of substrates. Ventilation is assisted by one large fan in the area, which is enclosed by walls within one of the labs.  Painting instructors and graduate assistants maintain the tools and the space, and students are given one-on-one instruction in tool use, health, and safety.


Each painting lab can comfortably accommodate approximately 15-20 students. Easels, tables, and chairs are provided to the students for use during the semester, and wall space is available for students in Senior Project for somewhat individualized working areas.  The open floor plan of the labs encourages peer-to-peer feedback and conversation, both in and out of class time.  One lab serves students in the intro-level class, and the other is reserved for students in advanced levels.


We teach a variety of media, starting with either acrylic or solvent-free oil painting practices at the intro level.  We offer a particular course in watercolor painting.  At the advanced levels, students may work in their choice of medium: watercolor, acrylic, solvent free oil, encaustic, casein, and collage can all be taught and honed on a one-to-one basis. Sprayed paints cannot be used in the studios.  All students are instructed in the construction of traditional painting substrates, and have the opportunity to work on canvas, panel, or paper.  Students with particular interests in other surfaces can be assisted one-to-one.


At the intro level, students learn traditional techniques such as painting alla prima, working indirectly from grisaille and glazing, and modern applications of paint.  Students work with a variety of brush types to learn kinds of mark making and the correct tools for certain gestures.  In addition, we teach traditional subjects, such as portraiture, landscape, and still life.  The focus of the intro class is to offer instruction in practiced standards, providing a launching pad for invention in the advanced classes.


Topics for advanced courses have included solvent-free oil painting, painting the figure, working in a series, working with other media in combination with painting, and expressing mood and memory.  Large-scale painting techniques (e.g. mural painting) are also covered.  Advanced painting is mostly student-driven, independent work under the guidance of an instructor.  Advanced students are prepped for their capstone course with practice in writing proposals and artist statements.


UNO Campus Gallery

The UNO Campus Gallery is dedicated to providing a student driven exhibition space for student research in the visual arts.  We wants students to feel confident in making their work accessible and available because its an important part of being a visual artist.


Creative Innovation Exhibition

In the Fall the University engages in Innovate UNO which is a campus wide symposium on research.  The Fine Arts department puts on exhibition in conjunction with Innovate UNO in order to showcase Fine Arts student research.  The exhibition is a juried and is open to a broad array of art mediums.


Svenson Drawing Exhibition

During the Spring semester the Ernest and Shirley Svenson Donationa allows our the gallery to put on a student drawing exhibition that details one of the most important aspects of the artistic process.  Drawing is the backbone of creative thinking and this exhibition explores the many ways with which drawing can occur.  3 Judges awards are given to outstanding submissions and a gallery event will be planned to mark the opening of the exhibition.  If you are a student in the Fine Arts department please submit work to the drawing exhibition


Senior Project Exhibition

This exhibition is held at the end of every semester and is the culmination of a students academic journey in the Fine Arts Department.  The exhibition is put together by all the students participating in the Senior Project class and is the group exhibition experience for many of the participants.  Each student spends the semester creating a unified body of work to then display in the gallery.  Students design, hang and advertise the exhibition.



Sam Stolte, Alumni

Digital Media and Animation

Art principles and practices are at the heart of the undergraduate track in Digital Media and Animation.  We offer small class sizes and direct faculty interaction which allows for individualized courses of study, designed for innovative artists wishing to develop personal visions within the ever-expanding parameters of animation.  The Digital Media and Animation track offers a framework in which students explore, develop and refine intellectually demanding, aesthetically progressive concepts and professional practices in their personal cinematic art-making.  The Program enjoys a long-standing level of excellence in innovative animation production.


The Digital Arts area is designed to help undergraduate students grasp the knowledge to build and design innovative custom works to impact our understanding of how technology can be used in the arts. A student who works in the digital arts area has demonstrated aptitude in digital design, video editing, digital fabrication, digital sound production, and knowledge of the historical context of digital arts.


Digital media and animation has multiple Mac and PC computer labs running industry standard software, stop-motion workstations, traditional animation tables, a wide range of video drawing tablets and a 2,000 sq ft photomedia studio (green screen, multiple backdrops and professional lighting) access to 3d printers, and available equipment including Wacom Cintiqs, a Stedicam pilot sled, and various film and digital cameras for both stills and video.


UNO Alumni

"The Reflecting Pool", 2017, Wood, LED lights, Paint, Soundscape (in collaboration with Alex Maya), and Water. 68"x 58" x 41"

Martin Benson is a New Orleans-based painter, sculptor and installation artist. Martin was born in Georgia, raised in Kentucky, and received his B.A. in Studio Art at the University of Southern California. Upon graduation in 2010, Martin moved to New Orleans with his Wife to begin a studio practice. Over the  seven years he has been working in New Orleans he has been shown at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, the Contemporary Arts Center of New Orleans, and the New Orleans Museum of Art. In May of 2017, Martin will complete his MFA from the University of New Orleans, for which he was awarded the UNO Fine Arts Achievement Scholarship and Graduate Assistantship. In 2016 Martin was commissioned by the New Orleans Arts Council to create a site specific art installation for the annual light and art festival, Luna Fete.

Aaron McNamee, Instructor


The sculpture area in the Fine Arts department offers students the opportunity to explore and engage the world through sculptural practice. At all levels of instruction emphasis is placed on efficacy of communication through three-dimensional form, utilizing the most appropriate methodology and material available.  To facilitate this approach, the sculpture area introduces students to an extreme breadth of materials and processes, and cultivates a thorough understanding of contemporary developments in fine art through sustained research.


Beginning classes stress creative and technical process, and introduce formal language, materials, and referential communication. Intermediate classes elaborate on sculptural processes, materials, and ideas, with course offerings in Assembled Form, Cast Form, Traditional Processes and Expanded Formats. Advanced courses encourage students to define a distinct thesis, and to articulate the relationship of their artistic practice to art history, theory, and contemporary culture.  The BA degree prepares students to pursue a career in making sculpture for exhibition and public competition. In addition, the skill set and critical capacity cultivated in the sculpture area serve as excellent preparation for employment in various fields of custom fabrication, including pattern making for industry and foundry.  Facilities include a foundry with ceramic shell investment for pouring bronze and aluminum, a workroom with compressed air and pneumatic hand tools, an outdoor, covered metal fabrication area, and a small but functional woodshop. Upper-level sculpture majors receive a personal workbench and locker.



Craig Branum is an artist currently living in Brooklyn, NY. His art has recently been about the impact of the digital revolution on every aspect of life such as relationships, war, and self image. He explores this in the creation of sculptures that represent abstracted globes or video game worlds, digital animations concerning the virtual and simulated, and prints as allegories for embodied post-human experience. The visual themes of his work are bitmapped patterns, early computer graphics, and twenty-sided dice.

UNO Alumni

UNO st. Claude Gallery Prospect 3 exhibition

Minors in Fine Arts

A Minor in Fine Arts, Studio Art Option, requires the student take a total of 18 credit hours in art studio courses including the following:


  • FA 1051
  • 6 credit hours of Introduction to Studio Art courses of student choice (FA 2450, 2550, 2650, 2750, 2850)
  • 9 credit hours of Advanced Studio Practice (3000-level) courses of student choice.


A letter grade of "C" or better must be earned in each course. The courses may be taken as elective credits at any point in the undergraduate curriculum provided the student adheres to prerequisites and course-level restrictions listed in the Catalog.


A Minor in Fine Arts, Art History Option, requires the student take a total of 18 credit hours in Art History courses including the following:


  • 9 credit hours from FA 1010, FA 2201, FA 2202, or FA 2203.
  • 9 credit hours of Art History at 3000 level and above.


A letter grade of "C" or better must be earned in each course. The courses may be taken as elective credits at any point in the undergraduate curriculum provided the student adheres to prerequisites and course-level restrictions listed in the Catalog.



Honors in Fine Arts Studio Option

The UNO Honors Program requires a minimum ACT composite score of 30 or a minimum SAT score of 1350 for admittance. The grade point minimum for transfer and continuing students is 3.50. Students wishing to graduate with honors in Fine Arts Studio Option must meet the following requirements.


  • A cumulative grade-point average of 3.5 in all Fine Arts courses taken and a cumulative grade-point average of 3.50.
  • Completion of six hours of FA 4599 (Senior Honors Thesis), in addition to the usual course requirements for the degree.


Senior Honors Thesis will consist of an autonomous body of visual art supported by an expanded artist's statement.   Satisfactory performance defending the thesis before the thesis advisor, a representative of the honors program, and one other faculty member of the Department of Fine Arts.



Honors in Fine Arts-Art History Option

Students wishing to graduate with honors in Fine Arts-Art History Option must meet the following requirements.


  • A cumulative grade-point average of 3.5 in all Art History courses taken and a cumulative grade-point average of 3.50.
  • Completion of six hours of FA 4298 (Senior Honors Thesis), in addition to the usual course requirements for the degree.


Senior Honors Thesis will consist of a research paper based on extended research.  Satisfactory performance defending the thesis before the thesis advisor, a representative of the honors program, and one other faculty member of the Department of Fine Arts.



Senior Project

The Fine Arts Senior Capstone class FA 4599 Senior Project is the culmination of the students academic journey at UNO.  Students will develop and create a singular body of work that relates to their specific area of study.  Students learn to verbalize what they are doing and work closely with faculty while replicating a professional workflow.  Senior Project is taken during the students final year of study at UNO and is offered in spring and fall semesters.  The class is run by faculty that help to facilitate the interaction between individual students and their area head advisors.

Department of Fine Arts

Fine Arts Building

2000 Lakeshore dr.

New Orleans, LA 70148