From Lost World Caverns to Huntington Museum of Art (HMOA), The Mountain State is home to some of the top attractions in the region, if not the U.S. Other things to see include the New River Gorge Bridge, Snowshoe Mountain, and Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine. Artists and art lovers alike will also enjoy exploring The Art Museum of West Virginia University, or taking in a performance at Carnegie Hall—one of only four in the world. West Virginia is also comfortably close to several bustling cities that lie just beyond the border. These include Pittsburgh PA, Columbus OH, Baltimore MD, and Greensboro NC.
In addition to spectacular attractions and a lively art and culture scene, West Virginia is home to a variety of academic institutions that offer a multitude of programs for aspiring artists and designers. The state’s 46 Title IV schools offer everything from fine art to animation to web design. More than 100,000 students are enrolled in the state’s 46 Title IVs, with hundreds attending the state’s top art schools alone. Just a few of the best include Concord University (Athens), University of Charleston, and West Virginia University (Morgantown). Continue reading to find out which West Virginia schools offer the best programs for aspiring fine artists.
West Virginia Fine Arts Schools
West Virginia is home to several colleges that offer fine arts degree programs. They feature Bachelor of Fine Arts (B. F. A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees in Fine Art. Scroll through the list below to learn more about West Virginia’s fine art schools and what they have to offer.
Fairmont State University - Degrees Offered: B. A. Studio Art with Cross-Media Track, B. S. Contemporary Fine Arts Technology, Graphics Engineering Technology, M.Ed. Digital Media; Minor in Art, Studio Art
Marshall University - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Fine Art, Visual Arts with Graphic Design, Photography Emphasis; B.S. Computer and Information technology with Web Application, Game Development Emphasis, Regents Bachelor of Arts (RBA) Web Application Development; M. A. Art with Concentration in Graphic Design
West Virginia Fine Arts Schools – Other Options
Many art programs and studio art programs offer some of the same courses as a fine arts program. If you are interested in a fine arts program, but are torn between a school that you “really like,” that offers only art and studio art, and a school that you “like,” but it has a fine arts degree program, speak with the department heads at each school to see if they can make it work for you! The following West Virginia schools offer competitive art and studio art degree programs.
Concord University - Degrees Offered: B. A. Advertising &Graphic Design, Studio Art
West Virginia Wesleyan College - Degrees Offered: B. A. Art with Concentration in Graphics Design, Painting + Drawing, Intermedia
University of Charleston - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Art with Graphic Design, Studio Art Concentration; Minor in Art
Glenville State College - Degrees Offered: B. A. Art with Concentration in Graphic and Digital Design, Studio Art
West Virginia University - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Art and Design, Studio Arts with Graphic Design, Intermedia, Printmaking; M.A. Studio Arts; M.F.A. Studio Arts, Design/Technology, Art and Design; Minor in Electronic Media, Photography, Studio Art
Shepherd University - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Art with Graphic Design, Photography/Computer Digital Media, Printmaking Concentration; Minor in Art, Photography/Computer Digital Media
More West Virginia Fine Art related programs to consider:
- San Francisco & Online
- Winter Park, FL & Online
Employment and Salary Trends for West Virginia Fine Artists
West Virginia is home to 5,530 salaried artists, down slightly from 5,570 in 2002. Fortunately, the industry as a whole is growing. The U.S. is home to more than 1.7 million artists and designers, up from around 1.5 million in 2002. West Virginia is home to 5,530 salaried artists In the state of West Virginia, salaried artists and designers averaged $31,270 in 2002. Today, the average salary is $37,190.
Fine artists work in a variety of fields from animation to web design. According to Indiana University Southeast, the list of possible job titles for fine artists is endless. IU Southeast offers the following detailed list of job titles for fine artists.
Architectural Model Builder
Art Exhibition Coordinator
Art Graphic Assistant
Audio Visual Artist/Designer
Bank Note Designer
Book Jacket Designer
Car and Bus Card Artist
CD/Record Cover Designer
Costume and Mask Designer
Direct Mail Artist
Direct Mail Layout Designer
Graphic Arts Technician
Greeting Card Artist
Internet Homepage Designer
Magazine Cover Artist
Mechanical & Production Artist
Motion Picture Animator
Motion Picture Artist
Motion Picture Scenic Designer
Municipal Graphic Designer
Newspaper Layout Artist
Printing Layout Artist
Quick Sketch Artist
Stained Glass Artist
Upholstery Fabric Designer
One final note: West Virginia is home to a variety of scenic cities, but some offer more opportunities than others. When you're ready to begin your job search, consider Charleston (the state’s largest city), Huntington (second largest), Parkersburg (third), and Morgantown (number four). Other cities worth looking into include Wheeling (pop. 28,803), Fairmont (19,031), Weirton (18,578), Martinsburg (17,112), Beckley (16,758), and Clarksburg (16,408).