Nov 30, 2023  
2019-2020 Shepherd University Catalog 
2019-2020 Shepherd University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Contemporary Art and Theater

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In order to maintain a quality learning environment, the Department of Contemporary Art and Theater requires an application/portfolio for prospective students. For information procedures, please see the department Web site at

The Department of Contemporary Art and Theater has energetic programs designed to provide students with a diversified and interdisciplinary experience in visual art. The Department of Contemporary Art and Theater links two dynamic programs under one heading. Shepherd is the home of the Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF) dedicated to producing and developing new American theater. CATF and the visual arts are focusing on new work while encouraging an adventurous spirit of self-discovery.

Art (Contemporary)

The Contemporary Art Program offers two degree options:

  • The Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) is the professional degree for students who aspire to become professional visual artists. B.F.A. candidates may concentrate in graphic design, painting, photography/computer imagery, printmaking, or sculpture.
  • The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in art education is available for students interested in the teaching profession with K-12 certification.

In the Department of Contemporary Art, students are challenged and encouraged to grow creatively and professionally progressing through a carefully designed series of courses which mix the development of technical skills, language, and theories of the visual arts with a broad-based knowledge of the liberal arts. The freshman year is one of discovery as students transition toward professional identities as artists, designers, photographers, or educators. The sophomore year is one of practice, application, and beginning professionalism. The junior year is one of synthesis—students build and expand concepts and skills. The senior year is one of refinement and transition to professions. This energetic contemporary art department is continuously revitalized because of opportunities and resources that reach beyond the classroom including:

  • Annual travel opportunities to Washington, D.C., Baltimore, New York City, and other metropolitan areas; two-week or longer travel opportunities to destinations worldwide.
  • Professional experiences for students including collaborations with the National Park Service, Contemporary American Theater Festival, and regional businesses.
  • Internships, co-ops, and portfolio reviews
  • Exposure to visiting artist exhibitions and lecture series
  • Opportunities for students to exhibit their work both on and off campus

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