The State of Louisiana can be charming, beautiful, bizarre, and stifling all at the same time, but ask anyone who’s been there they’ll say they had the time of their life. First, the state is home to the biggest Mardi Gras celebration in the country. Next, Louisiana’s largest city—New Orleans, which also hosts Mardi Gras, is filled with street artists, art galleries big and small, production studios, design centers, and museums galore. New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA), Ogden Museum of Southern Art, The Contemporary Arts Center, and New Orleans Center for Creative Arts are just a few. University-affiliated art museums such as LSU Museum of Art of Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge and Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum of the University of Louisiana University, Lafayette are also well known.
While The Pelican State is always great fun for all, it is also serious about hard work and academics. Louisiana is the birthplace of the Southern University System. This innovative university system has a number of standouts for aspiring artists, from LSU in bustling Baton Rouge to Nicholls University in the tiny town of Thibodaux. These schools are among the state’s 74 Title IV Degree-Granting institutions.
The Pelican State is also home to hundreds of community colleges, technical colleges, career schools, and art and design centers that offer art classes for credit or personal enrichment.
Louisiana Art Schools
Besides the LSU system, aspiring artists will find a number of excellent art schools and departments at University of New Orleans (Department of Fine Arts), Loyola University (College of Music + Fine Arts), and Newcomb Art Department at Tulane University. New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts is worth exploring as well. The academy does not offer degree programs, but it offers a variety of art courses and other programs.
Take a look at the list below to review more of state’s best options for aspiring artists and some of the art and design programs they offer.
Louisiana State University - Degrees Offered: BFA Studio Art with a Concentration in Digital Art, Graphic Design; MFA Graphic Design
Southeastern Louisiana University - Degrees Offered: BA Art with a Concentration in New Media and Animation, BA Graphic Design
University of Louisiana at Lafayette - Degrees Offered: BFA Visual Arts with a Concentration in Animation and Computer Arts, Graphic Design, Media Art
University of Louisiana at Monroe - Degrees Offered: BFA Art with a Concentration in Graphic Design, Drawing, Painting
Northwestern State University of Louisiana - Degrees Offered: BFA Studio Art, BFA Fine Arts with a Concentration in Graphic Communications; MA Art
Loyola University New Orleans – Degrees Offered: BA, BFA Studio Arts; Bachelor of Design (BDes); Minor in Visual Arts, Graphic Design
Tulane University – Degrees Offered: BA, BFA, MFA Studio Arts; AA, BA, Minor, Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Digital Design; Minor in Graphic Design
University of New Orleans - Degrees Offered: BA Studio Art with Concentration in Digital Media; MFA Studio Art; Studio Art Minor, Honors in Fine Arts
Nicholls University - Degrees Offered: BFA Art Studio; BA Art with a Concentration in Graphic Design
More Art related programs to consider:
- Atlanta, Georgia; Savannah, Georgia; Lacoste, France; and SCAD eLearning
Employment and Salary Trends for Louisiana Artists
Louisiana is home to 21,350 professionals working in Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media (ADESM) occupations. They average $49,590 annually, up from $44, 370 in 2012 when the state was home to 17,180 professionals working in ADESM occupations. Of the nearly 21,350 salaried ADESM professionals living in Louisiana today, more than 1,800 are graphic designers earning an average salary of $39,170 per year, 420 are craft artists earning $34,980 per year, 240 are multimedia artists and animators averaging $60,490 per year, 200 are art directors averaging $85,890 per year, and 70 are fine artists averaging $55,860 per year.
It is important to note that many artists and designers are self-employed, so it is safe to assume that the population of ADESM professionals in Louisiana is much higher. These individuals typically earn more as well—especially in larger states and major cities. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the “Independent Artists, Writers, and Performers” ‘industry’ has the highest concentration of employment and is one of the highest paying industries for ADESM professionals.
Overall, independent artists average $70,620 per year. Independent artists working in specific industries such as animation average $75,150 per year, and those working as art directors average $91,100 per year. Independent fine artists average $43,390 per year, and independent craft artists average $36,590 per year.
Nationwide, the median annual wage for ADESM occupations was $43,100 in May 2014, which was higher than the median annual wage of $35,540 for all occupations.
Employment of art and design occupations is projected to grow two percent from 2014 to 2024, which is slower than the average for all occupations, adding about 16,700 new jobs. Projected growth, says the BLS, will be due to increased demand for animation and visual effects in video games, movies, television, and on Smartphones. As companies continue to increase their digital presence, more art and design workers will be needed to help create visually appealing and effective layouts of websites and other media platforms.
The top five highest paying states for ADESM professionals are:
- District of Columbia ($89,950)
- New York ($74,100)
- California ($70,440)
- Massachusetts ($58,200)
- Maryland ($57,330)
The industries with the highest employment levels for ADESM professionals are:
- Motion Picture and Video Industries
- Radio and Television Broadcasting
- Newspaper, Periodical, Book, and Directory Publishers
- Advertising, Public Relations, and Related Services
- Elementary and Secondary Schools
The industries with the highest concentration of employment for ADESM professionals are
- Independent Artists, Writers, and Performers
- Radio and Television
- Specialized Design Services
- Performing Arts Companies
The states with the highest employment levels for ADESM professionals are California, New York, Texas, Florida, and Illinois, and the highest paying states are District of Columbia ($85,950), New York ($74,100), California ($70,440), Massachusetts ($58,200), and Maryland ($57,330). However, you don’t have to relocate to secure a lucrative and rewarding position in the creative industry. The New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner Metropolitan Division has the nation’s ninth highest concentration of jobs and location quotients for artists and designers.
Awesome Animation Fact: Mickey Mouse was created in 1928 by Walt Disney and Ubbe Eert "Ub" Iwerks—an American animator, cartoonist, character designer, inventor, and special effects technician, and voiced by Walt Disney. -E2=Educational & Entertainment Hub