Art department

Do you dream of gallery shows of your work? Do you envision inspiring future generations of artists or helping others find their way through art? Are you looking for a way to incorporate your visual creativity with another major? You can do that at Bluffton!

Learn more about studying Art, Art Education, Graphic Design, Art and Writing, Pre-art Therapy or Photography at Bluffton.


Our diverse intellectual, social and faith-based environment serves as an important piece in educating developing artists, designers, teachers, therapists and scholars. We believe art is a vital and fundamental cultural force necessary for the functioning of our society, to the awakening of spiritual awareness and to the education of its citizens. We commit to individualized attention, public opportunity, diversity and civic engagement.


  • Experience a professional and engaging faculty who are also working artists with published pieces.
  • Create in large studios for drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics and sculpture.
  • Use cutting edge technology including large-format printers and scanners, 3D printers and scanners, laser etching and cutting, computerized routers, DSLR camera and iMac workstations.
  • Travel to and learn about the culture of art in large cities like New York and Chicago through Art Now Seminars.
  • Attend monthly artist receptions and exhibitions in Grace Albrecht Gallery, Bluffton University’s own gallery.






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Select an image above to view works created by Bluffton students.

BLUFFTON'S ART MAJOR is designed to help you develop your creative vision and skills by giving you the tools and teaching you the methods necessary to become a successful artist. Take courses in watercolor, graphic design, figure drawing, sculpture, ceramics and more. 

As a first year student, you will take fundamental courses in design and drawing. As a senior, special courses will prepare you for life after graduation. You will create a professional web portfolio, develop an artist statement, build an impressive resume and mount an exhibition of personal work.

Ceramics students

Our students

Students who took ceramics in fall 2016 not only created bowls, plates and vases during the semester, they built a kiln to fire their pieces in. The project was based on plans originally drawn up by Gregg Luginbuhl, a professor of art at Bluffton before his retirement in 2014. Luginbuhl passed away in 2016.

“I think it is part of Gregg’s legacy here at Bluffton. Gregg started that kiln; he just wasn’t able to complete it. So we completed it for him.” >>> More about the process

The art major can be completed in three years by dedicated and ambitious students.

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THE ART MAJOR WITH TEACHING LICENSURE (art education) major prepares you to teach art in grades K-12. It is a comprehensive major, requiring accurate scheduling and careful time management. Art education students have the opportunity to experience real-world classroom situations and contexts in both traditional and therapeutic environments.

Upon graduation, you will be prepared to test for all necessary state certifications and licensure for teaching in public and private school systems.

Megan (Moreo '14) Etzkorn

Our alumni 
Megan (Moreo '14) Etzkorn's departmental honors project, "Zero Dollar Art Department: Creating Something out of Nothing," included art project ideas and lesson plans.  >>> Megan's story

Megan now teaches art at Lima Central Catholic High School.

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Major in art with teaching licensure



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Graphic design students develop skills using the latest software programs and apply learned knowledge through real world projects and assignments. Our program provides internship opportunities and professional portfolio-building support to prepare students for vocation. 

Best Graphic Design Schools '17The graphic design program includes a strong foundation in design elements and principles,  color theory and typography, and a focus on industry-specific knowledge and conceptual  problem solving through study of digital imaging and visual communication with attention to  technical and aesthetic aspects.

The latest tools, such as large volume 3D printers, 3D scanners, digital laser etchers and  engravers and digitized routers, along with large format printers, DSLR cameras and full  studio photography equipment, allow for cutting-edge design approaches.

Seniors fulfill an internship program, networking with design and publishing businesses. Semester-long internship opportunities are available through our partnership with Washington Community Scholars’ Center.

Hannah Brown

Our students 

Hannah Brown ‘20, a graphic design major, traveled more than 1,000 miles away from home with the help of a little pixie dust to take part in an extraordinary internship experience. 

“Working for Disney has always been a dream of mine. Walt Disney was 100 percent right when he said, ‘If you can dream it, you can do it!’"

>>> Hannah's story



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The art and writing major is an interdisciplinary major combining strengths from the art department and the English department for students interested in both visual and written arts. Students will develop and fine tune skills related to this blended major. A senior-level seminar invites students to consider how visual art and creative writing can together feed artistic creativity.

Brista Drake


Our students

"I’m going to be doing an independent study, so I’m going to be working on [a fantasy children's] book while working on a black and white storyboard for the first draft of an animated movie."  >>> Brista's story


 Becky Boban


“I’m really glad I took a summer to focus on what I think is important, determine what my passions are and advance in my craft.” 
>>>Becky's story

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    What will students do with an art and writing major?

    Graphic design is an obvious emphasis for the writer/artist. The major would also prepare one for study through a masters of fine arts program, work for publishing companies or entrepreneurship.

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     is designed for students interested in pursuing a career in art with a focus in psychology. Students will learn to use the process of art-making to investigate, improve and enhance the physical, mental and emotional well-being of individuals of all ages.  

    • This program fulfills all the requirements necessary for graduate program entry in art therapy, and will open doors into other professional areas such as counseling, psychology and nonprofit art education programs. Local internship opportunities allow students to become involved with organizations related to this field of study.

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    A minor in photography will support students who want to enhance skills in photography and digital media to complement their work in other majors.

    Demand for the photography minor reflects the widespread use of digital media in our society, and the increasing application of photography and digital media across academic disciplines and vocational settings. Students will be exposed to the latest digital camera and studio lighting equipment, while gaining skills in the traditional darkroom environment. A semester-long independent study allows students to expand on their conceptual projects in original ways.

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Sauder Virtual Tour


Want to learn more about Bluffton?

Gallery exhibition  The Grace Albrecht Art Gallery

During the academic year, works by visiting artists, faculty and students are featured in the Grace Albrecht Art Gallery.
>>> Gallery exhibition information

Art Scholarship


Bluffton offers three $1,000 art scholarships to promising and talented first-year students. A portfolio of artwork is required for art scholarship consideration. DEADLINE FOR PORTFOLIO SUBMISSION IS FEB. 28, 2017.


The Hester Graphic Arts Studio

The Bluffton art department is located on an attractive site overlooking Riley Creek in the Sauder Visual Arts Center, a facility that provides state-of-the-art studios for drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics and sculpture.