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Dylan Podesta senior painting studio

Studio Art and the Expanded Field

Innovation, exploration, and knowledge are the cornerstones of CVPA's art & design: studio art and the expanded field program. Our forward-thinking and comprehensive curriculum enables students to master their skills while exploring emerging genres in the pursuit of their individual paths. Studio art and the expanded field students benefit from studying within the context of a major research university where they can diversify their studies and expand their career opportunities.

Students will acquire fundamental skills while being exposed to contemporary practices in painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, printmaking, mixed media, ceramics, fibers, metals, art and technology, and collaborative work in the context of four areas of study: painting, drawing, 2D; sculpture, and 3D; integrated studio arts. Students of any major can minor in each of these disciplines. We value experimentation and curiosity and challenge students to hone their critical thinking in a nurturing and supportive environment. Collaboration and community engagement are woven throughout the curriculum.

Studio art students have opportunities for grant-supported work, internships, faculty-led field trips to relevant exhibitions in metropolitan destinations, exposure to a robust roster of visiting artists and critics, and encouragement for interdisciplinary study. They exhibit their work in a variety of venues and can develop student-directed exhibitions.

The BFA program in studio art and the expanded field culminates in each student’s BFA capstone exhibition in a professional gallery or museum setting. A graduating BFA student from our program has the experience and confidence to boldly enter a career in the visual arts and build a creative life amid the limitless possibilities available to the artist today.

For the BFA in art + design: studio arts and the expanded field, you'll complete 78 credits in courses related to your major, and 120 credits overall.

Course descriptions, schedules and requirements

Studio Art and the Expanded Field student work

Student success

Laying on the Surface, 2023, pink background with two yellow figures and one blue dog, 40 x 30 in.
Connor Chan '24

Chan's work explores the anatomy of friendship in his work for the 2024 Senior Exhibition.


  • Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Museum
  • New Bedford Art Museum (NBAM)
  • AHA! New Bedford

Graduate Schools

  • Cal Arts
  • Cranbrook
  • Maine College of Art
  • Maryland Institute College of Art
  • Rhode Island School of Design
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Washington School of Art, Art History & Design
  • Virginia Commonwealth University

Career Placements

  • Amaral Fabricators
  • New Bedford Beautiful
  • Desco Industries Inc.
  • Entrepreneurship for All
  • Mid City Studios
  • National Geographic
  • School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
  • The Trustees - Southeast Gardens
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Illinois
  • Whaling City Iron

College of Visual & Performing Arts undergraduate median starting salary:

NACE Data Collection of Class of 2023 Undergraduate Alumni

UMassD advantages

  • Internships: enhance your studies while gaining first-hand experience in creative fields
  • Studio facilities: our studios feature state-of-the-art equipment and ample work areas
  • Campus gallery: exhibit your own work and gain exposure to the work of contemporary artists 

Expand your opportunities

Master of Fine Arts: Develop your personal voice and advance your creative skills with a master's degree. You can specialize in drawing, painting, printmaking, or sculpture. 

Master of Art Education: With an emphasis on how the arts are integrated into daily life, the MAE program leads to a single-level professional certification in Massachusetts as an art teacher in grades Pre-K-8 or 5-12. 

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Fine Arts: Designed for artists who have earned BFA or BA degrees and would benefit from immersion in an academic/studio environment. Applicants may wish to develop their artwork for application to graduate school, professional residency or to launch a professional career. 

Studio Art and the Expanded Field faculty

Anthony Fisher
Anthony Fisher
Elena Peteva
Elena Peteva
Lara Henderson
Lara Henderson
Stacy in studio
Stacy Latt Savage
Suzanne Schireson
Suzanne Schireson

Explore more

Course descriptions, schedules and requirements

Related academic programs

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