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Animation. Graphic Design. Game Art.

Interactive Arts Schools in Illinois

Written by ACR StaffMarch 21, 2012
Arts Schools in Illinois
Did You Know.....Full Sail University offers online degree programs in computer animation, game art, and game design? Learn more about Full Sail University's online programs.
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Interactive arts is one of the world’s most unique art forms as it allows the audience to explore the work not just by looking at it, but also by walking around it, through it or even on it. In some cases, the viewer may become part of the work! This art form involves the use of all materials from paint to plaster to plastic, but the tools that set it apart from other art forms are computers and sensors that are used to make the installation “work.”

Interactive arts is popular in just about every large, progressive city. However, interactive arts has become so popular over the years that you can find examples of it in small towns as well. Interactive art can be found in museums and on city streets. It can be found in classrooms and coffee shops. Interactive art can also be found in public places such as subways and even at airports—especially in the city of Chicago.

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Chicago is the largest city in the state of Illinois. The state is the fifth largest and the city is the third largest. While the art scene stretches across the state, just about everything that happens in Illinois happens in the Chicago metropolitan area. In fact, the city of Chicago is home to nearly 75 percent of the state’s salaried artists, along with most of the state’s best art museums, art galleries, and art schools.

Just a few of the state’s top art museums include the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, which includes the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; The Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, and The David & Alfred Smart Museum of Art. Although most of the state’s major art schools are in Chicago, a number of excellent art schools (that are part of a larger university), can be found in downstate Illinois.

Illinois Interactive Arts Schools

The state of Illinois is home more than 692,000 students, attending 181 accredited colleges and universities. More than 16,000 students are enrolled in the state’s art schools and programs. Browse through our list below to review the state’s best options for aspiring interactive artists and what they have to offer.

Columbia College - Degrees Offered: B. A. Art and Design; B. A. Film and Video with Animation (Traditional or Computer) Concentration; B. A. Game Design with Concentration in Game Art, Game Development, Programming or Game Sound; B. F. A. Graphic Design, Illustration; B. A., B. F. A. Interactive Arts and Media

Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy
Degrees Offered: A. A. S. Animation and Visual Effects, Game and Interactive Media

Bradley University - Degrees Offered:  B. A., B. S., B. F. A. Art with Concentration in Graphic Design; B. A., B. S. Interactive Media with Concentration in Animation and Visual Effects, Game Design or Web and Application Design; M. A., M. F. A. Drawing/Illustration, Visual Communications and Design

More Illinois Schools with Interactive Arts related programs:  

Employment and Salary Trends for Illinois Interactive Artists

The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not report individual salary information for interactive artists. This group is included in the broad category of "Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media Occupations." However, several salary-reporting sites such as and report average salary ranges for most occupations based on information gathered from employees currently working in the field. According to sites such as these, interactive artists average between $54,000 and $86,000 per year, and Chicago-area interactive artists average between $56,000 and $73,000 per year based.

Illinois is home to nearly 70,000 salaried artists. They work in all fields from animation to crafts to visual effects. Although the number of salaried artists has increased only slightly since 2002, any increase today is a good increase! The population increased from 69,900 in 2002 to 69,980 by 2010. Salaries have increased as well. The state’s salaried artist population averaged $39,250 in 2002. By 2010, the average salary increased to $49,240. In 2010, the mean annual wage for artists nationwide was $52,290. In 2002, the average salary was $41,660.

It is important to note that thousands of artists work independently. These individuals may make more or less depending on a variety of factors such as the industry, geographic location, experience, etc. According to, an interactive artist working as an independent contractor in Chicago may earn somewhere $72-$78 an hour.