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Art & Design Department

The art and design department provides a creative environment for Saint Mary’s students with opportunities to cultivate aesthetic diversify and enrich cultural awareness. The department offers two majors: one in Art Studio for the training of student artists in the processes of the fine arts, and a second in Digital Graphic Design for students who wish to pursue a career in visual design and communications. The department also offers a number of courses which are required for majors in theatre, English, and media communications. Courses are also offered to complement the general education program and the liberal arts commitment of Saint Mary’s University.

General Department Goals

Art and design majors will:

  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of design fundamentals and vocabulary, and incorporate these visual communication skills in their daily lives;
  • Recognize major figures and movements in art history, and draw connections between historic and contemporary trends;
  • Demonstrate and articulate an understanding of issues
  • related to the visual arts;
  • Identify and discuss major uses of the visual arts in our society: communication of information, transmission of religious/spiritual values, social/political action, utilitarian design, personal expression, and environmental enhancement;
  • Think creatively and critically; and
  • Analyze a work of art, using correct terminology and proper art criticism criteria.

The art and design department manages two galleries on campus for the enrichment of all students and the local community. The department presents four professional art exhibits and two student exhibits each year in the Center Gallery, located in the Toner Student Center. The Student Gallery on the second floor of the art and design department is used by various classes for presentation of their work. This gallery is also the site of the sophomore review.

To ensure students possess a basic set of drawing and design skills, they are required to present a sample of their work in an exhibit during their sophomore year, evaluated by faculty of the department. This Mid-Major review session also serves as an opportunity for students to reassess how to best apply their art and design skills as well as chart a strategic course for graduation and beyond.

Before graduation students participate in a senior capstone exhibit in the LDH Gallery. This show is evaluated by the art and design faculty to judge if it is at the professional level required for a Bachelor of Arts with a major in art.

Digital Graphic Design majors have the added responsibility of preparing a traditional printed and digital portfolio.

The department has a thriving Art Club that enhances student involvement in the arts by offering workshops, field trips to museums and galleries, and increases campus awareness of the arts.

Art Departmental Honors

Departmental honors are reserved for students who perform academically and creatively at the top level of all graduates from the department. Minimal criteria are a 3.700 department and major field GPA, a 3.300 cumulative GPA, and the presentation of work in the Senior Exhibition judged to be of superior quality by a committee of departmental faculty.

Majors and Minors


Art Studio
Digital Graphic Design




For more information contact:

Robert McColl, M.F.A.
Chair, Art & Design Department
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
700 Terrace Heights #66
Winona, MN 55987-1399
(800) 635-5987, Ext. 1591