Students look at artwork panel in a gallery

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fine Art Degree

The continual practice of imagination and discipline is essential to a career in art. While pursuing your Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree at ArtCenter, you'll learn to express a compelling vision that transforms our way of seeing, thinking and engaging with the world. Here, aesthetics evolve hand-in-hand with experimentation. You’ll take risks and hone technical skills in small classes that foster collaboration and one-on-one learning. In a range of disciplines—drawing, painting, sculpture, installation, film/video, photography and digital imaging, and art-and-design hybrids—your imagination will blossom as you develop your craft.

Program Overview

Discover your voice and sharpen your skills through rigorous courses in fine art history, theory and practice. Explore broadly across sculpture, photography, film and installation with a focus on Fine Art, or narrow your study in the Painting and Illustration track. ArtCenter’s Bachelor of Fine Arts program is part of a community of global artists—including our distinguished faculty—whose professional networks and creative impulses become your resources and inspirations in the classroom, the studio and the world.

Summer Program

Focus intensely on your work in ArtCenter’s artist residency-style Summer Program. When you enroll in the Summer term, you’ll be assigned to one of our forty-five artist studios, where you’ll have the space and time to concentrate on creative projects. You’ll also take an intensive selection of student-led courses that will contribute to your project planning and execution.

Delve into Expansive Fine Art Disciplines

Creativity is limitless; your study options should be, too. In ArtCenter’s BFA in Fine Arts program, you’ll explore many aspects of artistic practice while mastering the medium (or media) that most inspires you.

Drawing

Interrogate drawing practices from direct observation to photographic references, site-specific projects to imaginative original characters, abstract images to photorealistic reproductions and more. You’ll practice criticism from both sides, critiquing professional works and responding to critiques of your own drawings. You’ll ultimately cultivate a personal drawing practice that suits your style and sensibilities.

Painting

Study the storied history of painterly practice, consider traditional and contemporary methods and materials in painting, create and question symbol and allegory, work hands-on through opportunities like generating mural concepts for the Indonesian Consulate center in Los Angeles, visit significant works in museums and galleries, and build your portfolio for further advancement in the complex and rewarding world of painting.

Sculpture

Exercise your craft using wood, steel, plaster, sheet metal, plexiglass, fiberglass, clay, found objects and fiber arts in ArtCenter’s dynamic shops and labs. Through class discussions, you’ll contextualize your and your peers’ projects within sculpture history and contemporary sculpture. You’ll examine monuments and temporality, movement and experience, process and installation, labor and materials.

Installation

What makes an artwork an installation? Evaluate your experience creating and witnessing works that exist in space without finite edges. Practice integrating into and intentionally counterbalancing installation sites, use your body and identity as a tool in your artistic practice, and buck against traditional notions of talent, success and failure with an eye toward the conceptual and historical position of installation art.

Film/Video

Build on basic skills constructing scenes, shooting and editing in courses that push the boundaries of film and video production. Study experimental animation like rotoscoping and collage, or take over campus-wide monitors with your collaborative projects. You’ll engage in film theory, history and critique with both classic films and your peers’ productions, consistently reimagining your place and potential as a creator of the moving image.

Photography and Digital Imaging

Meet at the intersection of drawing, cinema, performance, sculpture and sound in the inventive realms of historical and modern photography. Conversations around imagery reach broad and deep, encountering “us vs. them” mentalities and pushing fresh perspectives where value disagreements have grown stale. Your classroom interrogations will lead you to unique opportunities in digital imaging, including 3D modeling and exhibition spaces looking for the old in the new and the new in the old.

Art–Design Hybrid

How does new media inform the arts? Through practices in printmaking, collage, curation and more, encounter robust opportunities to bring your artistic skills into dynamic environments thirsty for design expertise. You’ll compete in and contribute to real-world design needs that hugely benefit from your creative expertise.

Fine Art Careers

In continually exercising your imagination and practicing discipline, you’ll develop a highly adaptable foundation of skills that suit a variety of professional contexts. At ArtCenter, you’ll also gain experience collaborating with students and faculty from other departments, establishing the interdisciplinary team ethic needed to thrive on complex projects. You’ll join a network of notable alumni whose work has been displayed at prestigious institutions across the world, including New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo. Prepare for careers in:

  • Art Commissions
  • Art Therapy
  • Computer Visual Imaging
  • Conservation and Restoration
  • Drawing and Painting
  • Exhibition Installation
  • Experimental Illustration
  • Gallery Curation
  • Mural Painting
  • Photography and Imaging
  • Production Design
  • Sculpture and Public Art
  • Storyboard Art
  • Teaching and Art Education
  • Video, Film and Sound Editing

Learn more about Fine Art at ArtCenter

Get feedback on your admissions portfolio and receive guidance throughout your application process.

Featured Course

In Walls: Public Art and Culture, students create a mural to celebrate the diversity of Indonesians

Change Lab 58: Jackie Amezquita on migration, memory and making art

My practice as a culture worker is hinged on the belief that art making lives in tandem with social action.

Kristy LovichAlumna, Fine Art
Fine Art

Student Gallery

student painting ceramic piece
Featured Course

Ceramics

Students explore endless sculptural opportunities through a variety of hand-building clay techniques — from practices that have endured for centuries to modern patterns and decals that offer striking intricacy.

Altogether now! Transdisciplinary Studio courses allow students to collaborate across majors

Earn Your BFA in Fine Art at ArtCenter

Establish a foundation in art history and theory and create meaningful work in the Bachelor of Fine Art in Fine Art program at ArtCenter. Practice socially engaged creation, learn to craft and respond to critique, assemble a portfolio of complex projects and develop art-oriented collaborative skills that will help you thrive in an artistic career.

Painting by Yunhee Min

Take the first step toward a career in fine art.