What can I you do with a studio art degree? Plenty—especially if you live in the state of Tennessee! Studio art students spend most of their time working in their respective concentration areas, so when any given program is complete, new graduates are prepared to dive right in, whether its at a renowned studio or if they decide to start their own.
Studio art graduates work in many fields. Just a few include animation, illustration, crafts, set design, consulting, graphic design, curating, photojournalism, web design, mural art, courtroom sketch art, cover art, cartoons, display painting, and more. In the state of Tennessee these and many other careers are realistic options for studio artists thanks to a stellar reputation in the world of music and the arts.
Visitors to the state will have no shortage of venues to explore from the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville to The Canon Center of the Performing Arts in Memphis. Other art venues include the Brooks Museum of Art and Dixon Gallery and Gardens in Memphis, The Parthenon, Cheekwood Art & Gardens, and the Fine Arts Gallery at Vanderbilt University in Nashville and the Knoxville Museum of Art and Bijou Theater Center in Knoxville.
Besides an amazing art and culture scene, Tennessee has a large collection of edgy art and design schools to choose from. Just a few top schools for aspiring artists include Watkins College of Art, Design & Film, O’More College of Design, and the University of Tennessee Knoxville. Continue reading to learn more about Tennessee’s top picks for aspiring studio artists.
Tennessee Studio Art Schools
According to the most recent report by the National Center for Education Sciences Institute of Education Sciences (NCES IES), the state of Tennessee is home to 109 Title IV colleges and universities. More than 330,000 students attend, with more than 8,600 enrolled in the states top art schools alone. Scroll through the list below to find out which Tennessee schools are tops for aspiring studio artists and what they have to offer.
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Studio Art with Graphic Design and Photography and Media Art Concentrations
Austin Peay State University - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Art with Concentration in Illustration, Visual Communications, Studio Arts with Concentration in Digital Media
University of Tennessee at Knoxville - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Graphic Design;
M. F. A. Studio Art with Concentration in Graphic Design
University of Tennessee at Martin - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Studio Art Option with Graphic Design Emphasis
Tennessee State University - Degrees Offered: B. S. Studio Art with Concentration in Graphic Design
More Tennessee Studio Art related programs to consider:
- San Francisco & Online
- Winter Park, FL & Online
Employment and Salary Trends for Tennessee Studio Artists
According to the latest report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (March 27, 2012), the state of Tennessee is home 25,390 artists and designers. The population has increased since 2002, when the state was home to 24,780. Salaries are up as well. The average salary for Tennessee artists and designers is $45,380 per year, up from $36,200 in 2002.
It is important to note that salaries for artists and designers (including studio artists) vary by field. For example, a Tennessee-based studio artist working as an art director may earn more than $80,000 per year, while studio artists working in the arts and crafts industry may average less than $35,000 per year.
In addition to art director and craft artist, other popular occupations for studio artists include illustrator, painter, and sculptor (fine artist). In 2002, Tennessee was home to 100 salaried fine artists. In 2008, the state was home to 60 salaried fine artists. The good news is, salaries are on the rise. In 2002, Tennessee’s fine artists averaged $40,160. Today, the average salary is $53,480. This is only $370 less than the national average for salaried artists and designers.
Specific figures for art directors and craft artists are as follows:
Art Directors: Tennessee is home to 280 art directors down from 370 in 2002. The good news is Tennessee reported a loss of only 20 salaried art directors between 2002 and March 2012. Salaries have increased significantly since 2002 when the average was $45,030. Today, Tennessee-based art directors average $86,570.
Craft Artists: Tennessee was home to 220 craft artists in 2008. They averaged $34,370. It is important to note that many artists, including craft artists, work independently. This means salaries may be more or less based on a variety of factors such as number of clients, industry, size of company or entity, experience, and even geographic location.
While studio artists of all kinds can find work just about anywhere in The Volunteer State, some of the most happening scenes are in Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Clarksville, Murfreesboro, Jackson, Johnson City, Franklin, and Bartlett. Also worth looking into include Brentwood, Collierville, Cleveland, Germantown, Smyrna, and Spring Hill.