Fine Arts

Exploring & Collaborating Across Disciplines

The Fine Arts Department is an interdisciplinary department offering courses in art history, contemporary art practice, graphic design, painting and drawing, sculpture, social practice and arts administration, photography, ceramics, and printmaking. Students are introduced to historical art-making materials and processes in addition to encouraging them to experiment across mediums freely. Students also explore relationships with other artistic disciplines and their role in society. Our campus galleries and off-campus opportunities allow for rotating and studio art thesis exhibitions, and other opportunities for exchange and discourse.

Career Opportunities

In becoming professional visual artists and designers, students completing the Bachelor of Arts degree in studio art are prepared to take on careers in various fields such as positions in museums and galleries, curatorial, research, art history, and critical writing. The study of studio art is not primarily about mastering techniques but is about thinking, evaluating, analyzing, and creating unique and personal solutions. The Studio Art program is also excellent preparation for post-graduate study in the visual arts.


The School of the Arts at IU Northwest is located approximately thirty-five minutes by car from downtown Chicago.

More About Our Proximity to Chicago

This close proximity to Chicago manifests itself in many ways throughout our program. From the class trips to Chicago museums and galleries, intimate artist studio visits, to the faculty we attract to our campus, IUN benefits from being close to Chicago, while keeping the openness and ease of a freestanding campus. 

Our proximity gives our students and faculty easy access to one of the country's great metropolitan art and tech centers, including world-class museums, galleries, and theaters, as well as leading incubators and firms in science, entrepreneurship, design, and media.

Faculty at IUN

The faculty at IU Northwest is an impressive group of artists, practitioners, and scholars actively engaged in their creative work and renowned in their fields. Faculty accomplishments include high-level public commissions and acquisitions to the permanent collections of some of the most prestigious museums, such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, The Museum of Contemporary Photography, and many others. Our faculty has exhibited widely across the US and in Europe and Asia in addition to being active members of the Chicago arts community.

In addition to being accomplished art and culture practitioners, IUN’s Fine Arts Department faculty are committed teachers with a long history of working closely with students, helping them to grow their general knowledge, studio work, and individual visions. Students work directly with their individual instructors, exploring new concepts and techniques in an energetic and collaborative environment.

For More Information

Browse the links above to learn about course requirements, student extracurriculars, facilities and technology, and more.