As an art major at Augustana, you will join a community of artists who are passionate about their work and eager to help others develop and grow. Our beautiful state-of-the-art facilities are always available and professors are often working beside you in the studios. Undergraduate art majors can choose between a Bachelor of Arts with multiple tracks to choose from or a Bachelor of Fine Arts.
Visual Arts at Augustana
Learn more about course descriptions and requirements for the art major and minor in the undergraduate catalog.
Our 36 to 43 credit hour program, in addition to 38 teacher certification credit hours, prepares you to teach at the elementary and secondary level.
Art history is a complete synthesis of the liberal arts by incorporating aspects of not only visual studies and history, but also the disciplines of philosophy, geography, foreign language, economics, religion and scientific discovery. In every art history course, students will practice analyzing, evaluating, explaining and reflecting on the contingent nature of images, i.e. that there are “ways of seeing” and representing the world, and these differences are dictated by culture and time period. Students are challenged to become informed global citizens. For example, in ART 112, we study the founding and development of the major world religions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam. By understanding differing theological structures and religious differences and seeing how religions are living, cultural institutions that change over time, often in response to political events, you can apply this understanding to current events, thus illuminating contemporary conflicts and social patterns.
High impact learning techniques and experiential learning are important components of an Augustana education. Students in art history courses have opportunities to study the history of art first hand through gallery and museum visits, such as traveling to London or New York City as a part of a spring break short course, studying changing exhibitions in Sioux Falls or the Twin Cities, or even helping curate exhibitions at Augustana’s Eide/Dalrymple Gallery.
Study forms inherent in medium of clay through free-form hand building and disciplined, classical style wheel thrown forms. You are challenged to experience new applications, test your limits to create more diversified clay works and build on your design and application processes.
Augustana drawing courses establish a solid foundation for all other studio areas by providing you with the necessary studio practice and conceptual framework for understanding drawing as a creative process. Learning to draw is about learning to see, and discovering how you can organize, simplify, and intelligently express your experience through putting marks on paper.
The Augustana University graphic design program distinguishes itself with its strong emphasis on design and concept. These result, in no small part, because the experiential community design projects and internships give excellent real world, practical experiences. Many of our graphic design students have second majors increasing potential career choices. Some popular second majors are business, marketing, English and journalism. The art department has a Mac lab with the latest Adobe software.
The quality and diversity of expression exhibited by our student painters is a truly wonderful example of the human spirit. Students find their original voice through innovative techniques and applications and through an emphasis on intuitive solutions to problems.
A key element in this success is the sense of community prevalent in painting courses. From day one, students engage in collaborative learning by sharing their insights and growing expertise with each other. This particularly occurs while paintings are in progress and during group critiques. The group critiques, led in part by students themselves, speak to the quality of students at Augustana.
You will study the technical and aesthetic concepts of digital photography and how various modalities inform image content. You'll develop competency in the digital darkroom and be encouraged to develop your own vision and visual language with technical, aesthetic and conceptual tools. To assist in this pursuit it is important to learn about the history of photography, which will be addressed with various slide lectures, discussions, films and readings.
Printmaking is rooted in time. Prints are part of our deep human story evident in the incised line drawings and stenciling of handprints on Paleo cave walls. Printmaking offers you the opportunity to develop your editions with a deliberate, contemplative and experimental approach. The Augustana printmaking coursework focuses on intaglio, lithography, screenprinting, woodcut and wood engraving. Our studio community is supportive and collaborative which encourages passionate inquiry, conceptual growth and a certain playfulness, if not downright irreverence in your daily thought process and evident in your work and progress.
You will begin by exploring the coupling of sculptural processes with traditional mediums including modeling and mold-making in plaster and clay, carving, construction and/or assemblage with an emphasis on design. Further study includes stone carving, bronze casting, welded metals, plastics and contemporary movements in sculpture.
Liberal Arts Track: A 36 credit hour major allows you to explore your art making practice, and can include a concentration in a particular medium. In order to broaden your preparation and background, you may add a second major, such as in business administration, communication studies, psychology, English or modern foreign languages.
You will also have the opportunity to study abroad creating stained glass in Germany, painting in Peru during Interim or visiting the great museums of Europe or New York on a spring break course. Students often choose to study philosophy, languages, history, the sciences or music alongside their studio courses.
We are a community of involved artists at Augustana and you are very important to us. We will get to know you well when you come study with us. We will empower you with an essential foundation in design and give you the tools to build a successful creative career in art. We will provoke your imagination and help you in your search to understand and discover yourself and the world around you through art. We will engage you in discussions that matter to you and nurture the profound questions that define and connect us.
Our recent graduates are employed in a range of creative fields, becoming artists, creative directors, animators, printmakers, sculptors, architects, freelance, creatives, graphic designers, technologists, professors, teachers, photographers, while others go on to graduate studies to pursue a Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) and Masters of Architecture (M.Arch.) programs across the United States and more!
In addition to the course requirements, all graduating majors are required to exhibit studio work in a juried senior show. Additionally, all majors must pass the Sophomore and Junior Reviews (15 and 24 hour studio review). Art majors apply to the B.F.A. degree program during spring of their second year, and their B.F.A. portfolio application is reviewed at the time of the 15-credit studio review. B.F.A. candidates must maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average in their studio courses. Unsuccessful applicants may apply again the following year during their 24-credit studio review, though the delayed acceptance into the program may necessitate a fifth year to complete all degree requirements.
In addition to the base requirements, B.F.A. candidates will take 15-24 credit hours in an emphasis medium and 15-24 hours of studio electives and/or approved correlate [totaling 39 credit hours]. Augustana offers the following emphases: ceramics, drawing, graphic design, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture.
“It’s a tremendous opportunity for our students to be able to offer this program,” said Lindsay Twa, department chair. “We’re responding to changes in the art industry and better preparing our students to enter the workforce or continue their education. The B.F.A. more clearly conveys to employers, galleries and graduate programs the depths of training our students have received.”View BFA course requirements
Anna Reich, Chair
Assistant Professor, Art
Anna Reich is Assistant Professor of Art who specializes in photography. She earned her M.F.A. from the Milton Avery School of Art at Bard College and has worked as a visiting artist and lecturer at both the Vilnius Art Academy in Lithuania and the Art Academy of Latvia. Her work investigates memory, identity, and landscape and has been exhibited throughout the U.S. and abroad. Highlights include the Sioux City Arts Center, Sioux City, Iowa; the Association of Icelandic Visual Artists' Studio in Reykjavik, Iceland; ZARYA Center for Contemporary Art in Vladivostok, Russia; the American University Museum in Washington, D.C.; the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture in Chicago, Illinois; and Columbia College in Chicago, Illinois. She has received numerous grants including a travel grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Art (2013), a Fulbright Research Fellowship (2013-14), an Artist as Activist Research Grant from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation (2015), and a South Dakota Arts Council grant (2017-18). At Augustana, Reich contributes to the Art Education department and First Year Seminar Program.
Scott Parsons is an international award-winning artist. He teaches printmaking and drawing at Augustana University. Scott has received numerous public art commissions across the United States and Canada. His work includes percent for art and private commissions for churches, museums, research facilities, university buildings and transportation centers. Scott was recognized by Art in America for creating one of the most significant works of public art in the United States in 2002. He has received national and international awards for his art, including multiple National Terrazzo and Mosaic Association Honor Awards. Scott's work is reviewed widely, including in Art in America, Sculpture, Architectural Record, Stained Glass Quarterly and Public Art Review. Scott received his bachelor's degree in art from Augustana College and his M.F.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Scott was the recipient of the Jane & Charles Zaloudek Faculty Research Fellowship in 2013.
John Peters received his M.F.A. from the University of Illinois, School of Art and Design, Champaign-Urbana in sculpture. He received his B.A. from Augustana College with a major in art. John is currently working part time in the Eide/Dalrymple Gallery helping with exhibitions and working on the permanent art collection. He also works in the Hovland Center for Liturgical Arts photographing and electronically cataloging church art and architecture in the Sioux Falls area. This is intended to increase the resources available at the Liturgical Art Center for architects, artists, designers, priests, ministers and church congregations of all denominations. John teaches and has experience teaching design, 3-D Design, humanities through the arts, art history, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, painting, art education, introduction to art and Box Art. His artwork can be seen in many Sioux Falls churches, Sanford Children’s Hospital and Heart Hospital, Minnehaha County Courthouse, Sioux Falls Environmental Offices, East Bank Gallery as well as Augustana’s Mikkelsen Library.
Gerry Punt received his B.A. from Sioux Falls College. He has been an artist-in-residence at Augustana University, an instructor of ceramics and sculpture at Northwestern College, and is currently an assistant professor of art at Augustana University. He has presented workshops and numerous exhibitions most recently including: USD Claywork Ceramics Invitational; Joint show with Julie Punt and Marianne Larsen at Eide/Dalrymple Gallery, Augustana University; Willard Gallery, Kansas State University; Joint show with Julie Punt and Marianne Larsen at Koch, Hazard, Baltzer Architecture Firm; and Faculty Art Exhibit, Eide/Dalrymple Gallery, Augustana University. Gerry has also won many awards including: Center for Western Studies "Artist of the Plains" People's Choice Award, Sioux Falls; one of South Dakota Selects, at the Governor's Award Night, Pierre, South Dakota, and many others.
Dr. Lindsay Twa, Humanities Division Chair
Professor, Art; Director of Eide/Dalrymple Gallery
Dr. Twa teaches the "Introduction to World Art History" courses, "Art Since 1945" seminars and Civitas honors and First Year Experience courses on contemporary art, art controversies, and race and representation. She also leads art history travel courses to London and New York City during spring breaks. Her research focuses on the black diaspora and exchanges between African American artists and the Caribbean, particularly Haiti. Her recent publications include the book Visualizing Haiti in U.S. Culture, 1910-1950 (Ashgate) and articles in Smithsonian American Art and Gradhiva: revue d’anthropologie et di’histoire des arts. Dr. Twa also directs the Eide/Dalrymple Gallery, where she organizes and curates eight exhibitions each year and oversees a permanent art collection of over 3,500 art objects. She received her bachelor’s degree in studio art and music from Concordia College and M.A. and Ph.D. in art history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Robert J. Aldern
Robert Aldern, professor emeritus of art, former department chair, and artist-in-residence at the Hovland Center for Liturgical Arts at Augustana University, passed away on Saturday, June 11, 2011. He was 82. Bob continues to be a guiding light for the art department and Augustana University:
“I want my paintings to seed my remaining seasons.
Through the textural changes of plowing, harrowing, planting, cultivating;
Growing to blossom
And yielding to harvest
To be disked and plowed again
For freezing snow and wind.
Now, resting is the time
For a gathering, scar soaked earth
Later carrying seeds to birth."
-Bob Aldern (from 1991)
Robert Aldern received his B.F.A. from the University of Hartford, Hartford School of Art, Hartford, Connecticut, and his B.A. degree from Augustana College, Sioux Falls. More here.
Carl Grupp received his M.F.A. from Indiana University, Bloomington. He received his B.F.A. from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. He also did undergraduate study at the School of Associated Arts, in St. Paul, Minnesota and at Augustana College in Sioux Falls. Carl has won many awards and distinctions including Who's Who in American Art and numerous other local and national awards. He has been selected to participate in more than 100 exhibitions, most recently "The Narrative Impulse: The Works of Carl Grupp & James Munce" at the University of New Hampshire. His work is also in the collections of the Chicago Art Institute, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the South Dakota Art Museum, Brookings, South Dakota, and many other local and national museums. He specializes in printmaking, drawing and watercolor.
Sculpture professor emeritus Steve Thomas' mission is to "utilize my work experience in private and public art to become a servant of the general public in the person of an artist." Steve is an Augustana College graduate and has a Master of Fine Art from the University of South Dakota. He has continued studies at the University of Minnesota and in Italy and has taught sculpture in France and Great Britain. He has a passion for art education and the development of creating thinking skills in children. Steve has public art works in Sioux Falls and throughout the region. He is a recipient of the Sioux Falls Mayor's Award in the Arts and has been a member of the Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation Board for more than 10 years. Steve also oversaw the pre-architecture program within the art department.
Our art program emphasizes studio work in a variety of disciplines and also provides hands-on learning opportunities to organize and curate exhibits, implement effective graphic design and work within the Sioux Falls arts community.
Our art majors gain invaluable real-life experience with internship opportunities across the United States and Europe. These internship experiences have had a significant impact on the career paths of our students and the well-being of entire communities.
Every student majoring in art is assigned a faculty advisor within the department based on their emphasis: studio art, art education, architecture, design, etc. You can also choose your advisor as your needs change through your course of studies. Your advisor will work closely with you to help you decide on classes, to keep you on track in fulfilling the general education requirements and to assist with study abroad, graduate school and professional goals.
Students have had recent internships with:
- Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center (Graphic Design Intern)
- Metropolitan Museum of Art (Cloisters Museum Internship)
- Derix Glasstudios in Taunusstein, Germany (Interim Studio Course)
- Frogman’s Printmaking Workshop (Assistantships)
- Journey of Healing in the Arts at Sanford (Art Therapy Intern)
- TSP Architects (Internship in Architecture)
- Koch Hazard Architects (Internships in Architecture)
- Fresh Produce (Graphic Design Intern)
- Lemonly (Graphic Design Intern)
At the Eide/Dalrymple Gallery in the Center for Visual Arts, art majors assist with all aspects of organizing and curating exhibitions. The Carl Grupp Permanent Art Collection on campus holds more than 3,000 pieces, including works by past masters Pablo Picasso, Francisco Goya, Käthe Kollwitz and Henri Matisse, along with regional and national contemporary artists including Robert Aldern, James Cambronne and Carl Grupp.
In the community, graphic design students actively help nonprofit organizations and Augustana student organizations produce outstanding communications and marketing materials.
Studying Off Campus
Past Study-Abroad Art Courses Offered:
- Eastern Europe: Cultural Trauma, Communications & the Camera — Dr. Anna Reich (ART) and Dr. Tasha Dunn (COMM)
- ART 397: Germany and France — The Sacred in Stained Glass Art
- ART 315: The Art and Archeology of Ancient Peru
Regional and National Opportunities:
Augustana is a founding member of the Higher Education Consortium on Urban Affairs (HECUA), through which we participate in rigorous study abroad and off-campus learning. HECUA’s Arts for Social Change program is built on the belief that artists are active members of our democracy, and that artistic and cultural expression have the capacity to shape society. We’ve also sent many of our students around the world through the Upper Midwest Association for Intercultural Education (UMAIE). Recently, we have had students accepted into a semester program in Manhattan at the New York Center for Art and Media Studies.
Closer to home, Sioux Falls nurtures an expanding arts community with an active visual arts scene. Major exhibitions come to the city’s several contemporary arts galleries and arts organizations, and student groups and classes have easy access to major regional museums in Omaha, Chicago, Kansas City and Minneapolis-St. Paul.
Within the greater context of Augustana University’s mission, the Art Department develops students’ awareness of the diversity of human cultures and ways of visual thinking and expression, both past and present. This provides a strong foundation for engaging today’s complex and ever-changing global world.
Augustana’s Art faculty provide a deeply supportive environment for students to develop their studio practice, to deepen their capacity to ask questions, to broaden their expressive potential, to probe unknowns, and provides a cognitive framework for understanding their own creativity in relationship to the history of art and culture, and contemporary conversations in art practice. The studio process foregrounds the interplay of intuition and response as students interact with physical materials and the elements and principles of art and design. Studio classes are hands-on and process oriented. Students make decisions and problem-solve through a material to discover or learn something about themselves and the world they live in. Class critiques largely parallel this same process of intuition and response in a group dynamic of dialogue and questions.
Art faculty work within the guidelines of the National Visual Arts Standards and the National Association of Schools of Art & Design to develop the kinesthetic and visual thinking skills of all people of the Augustana community who are seeking art for personal wholeness, professional development in the studio, vocations in the creative industries, and as teachers. The Department believes that visual awareness increases human awareness, which in turn contributes indispensably to the development of a reasoning and imaginative human being. Through studying the history of art and the art of other cultures, manipulating structures of design while working in the various studios, and critically analyzing works of art, students become more aware of how art functions in the greater community. The department stresses a strong foundation in drawing and design as a basis for all visual art processes.
Augustana's art programs offer a number of scholarships based on discipline and many other factors. Learn about scholarships in music, theatre and visual art.
June 4 - Oct. 31, 2021 - Washington Pavilion
Advanced Drawing students exhibited their proposals for the Sioux Falls Design Center’s GO DESIGN bus stop and shelter design competition. This competition encouraged visions of what sustainable, functional and creative bus shelters and stops could look like for the Sioux Falls community. This program was funded by the NEA and each student received a design honorarium. Featured students included:
- Ailin Montgomery '24
- Skylar Ross '21
- Marcus Naess '23
- Haley Hoffer '23
- Stacey Evangelista '24
- Camryn Bird '23
- Brady Umberger '24
- Autumn Hilton '21
- Alexa Lammers '22
- Lauryn Van Regenmorter '22
- Jenna Siganos '21
- Rachel Bachman '22
- Victoria Tatsumi '21
Sept. 10, 2021 - Feb. 13, 2020 - Washington Pavilion
The following art students exhibited at the Young Artists Gallery in the Visual Arts Center
- Allison Altwine
- Camryn Bird
- Angie Cagle
- Brynn Collinsworth
- Grace Dixon
- Treigh Falcon
- Haley Hoffer
- Alexa Lammers
- Mearah Miedema
- Hanna Morin
- Gracie Rothering
- Yushi Schieffer
- Blake Schumacher
- Elaine Taggatz
- Lauryn Van Regenmorter
Oct. 1 - 29, 2021 - Fresh Produce in Sioux Falls
Professor John Peters (Sculpture) exhibited more than 100 works in the Ipso Gallery.