female student painting
Explore the Power of Art
Materials + Making + Meaning

Welcome to the Art Department

The Art Department is guided by the belief that art makes a unique contribution to society by offering a visual language of expression and investigation. Art plays an important role in expanding the public imagination by engaging viewers in visual and intellectual dialogue. Through the synergistic relationship between the visual arts and the liberal arts and sciences at Ithaca College, our students and faculty participate in the larger intellectual, political and social life of the community.

Art majors come from all social strata and have an appreciation for the support, stimulus and challenges this faculty provides. Students can pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, a Bachelor of Art Education degree, or a Bachelor of Arts degree. We offer a minor in Graphic Design and a minor in Art. The Art Department extends the visual arts to the entire student body through courses specifically for non-majors, artist lectures and master workshops, exhibitions and a student-run off campus gallery. Field trips twice yearly to locations such as New York, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Toronto, and MassMOCA in North Adams give students exposure to current ideas in the arts. Internships offer students rich experiences working with professionals in their fields.

Ithaca’s program recognizes and emphasizes the importance of individualized mentoring in art. We offer small classes with experienced faculty, fostering a high level of personal interaction. All of our faculty members hold a terminal degree for studio art and are practicing professional artists who exhibit nationally and internationally.  We have facilities for painting, drawing, all areas of printmaking, sculpture, digital art, graphic design, and a student-run exhibition and maker’s space.

The Art Department at Ithaca College embodies a community that values curiosity, scholarship and imagination. A dynamic, responsive curriculum, productive artist/teachers, community engagement and an active guest lecture program support these qualities and objectives. Our educational objectives balance the mastery of specific professional skills and techniques with the abilities to think, talk and write about art. Our program serves students who are optimistic about the role of the arts in society and who see art as a vital, integral part of our culture. 

Special Features 

  • Senior Project – a two semester, faculty mentored independent project for BFA students culminating in an exhibition at the Handwerker Gallery
  • Independent Study – advanced work with a mentor, studio space is provided
  • Art Internships – placements with local artists and agencies
  • Creative Space Gallery – a faculty mentored student run gallery off campus in the city of Ithaca
  • New York City Internship
  • Honors in Art – based on grade point average (GPA) and portfolio presentation
  • Urban Education Experience – a teacher education partnership with New York City schools
  • Visiting Artists – offering master classes and lectures
  • Excursions – to museums and galleries in New York, Philadelphia, and Washington DC


The art department is located on the lower level of the Ceracche Center. We have facilities for drawing, painting, screenprinting, lithography, etching, sculpture (including wood, sheetmetal, and dimensional steel fabrication), book arts, and a Mac lab for computer art and graphic design.

Related Minors

Photography, advertising, graphic design, integrated communication management, public relations, business, biology, art history, anthropology, writing, and computer science are just a few of the possibilities.

Do I Need a Student Portfolio to Apply?

Students applying for admission to the Art Department are not required to submit a portfolio with their application. If a student chooses to submit a portfolio, a faculty member will review it and forward a recommendation to the Department of Admissions.

Portfolios may be submitted by emailing a link to dbrown15@ithaca.edu; or you can mail a CD of images to:
Department of Art
Ceracche Building • Ithaca College
953 Danby Rd. • Ithaca, NY 13864

Enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope if you want the portfolio to be returned.

Contact the Department of Art

Dara Engler, Chair, Associate Professor Painting & Drawing
Doreen Brown, Administrative Assistant

Ceracche Center • 953 Danby Road • Ithaca, NY 14850
Fax: 607-274-1358