The studio art major is in high demand, which is why colleges across the U.S. have taken notice. Many schools have expanded existing studio art programs or established new ones. A typical studio art program offers coursework in multiple disciplines, with a focus in up to two disciplines. Studio art majors may choose focus areas such as ceramics, fiber, glass blowing, illustration, painting and drawing, and photography. Many expanded programs now offer a focus in digital art, graphic design, interior design, and more.
The studio art major is similar to the art major, but with one major difference. Studio art students spend most of their time in a studio setting sharpening their skills and creating salable works. If the intention is to become a freelance artist, the studio art program is perfect for you. If the intention is to work for a major studio, the studio art program is perfect for you. In fact, studio art graduates go on to become art directors, printing designers, graphic designers, airbrush artists, cartoonists, ceramic artists, medical illustrators, glass blowers, graphic arts technicians, mural artists, textile designers, graphic designers, art critics, display artists, digital artists, art buyers, art consultants, and more.
Programs for aspiring studio artists are just the beginning and fortunately, they are plentiful in the State of West Virginia. Nationally ranked universities such as West Virginia University (Morgantown), Concord University (Athens), and the University of Charleston are just a few to watch. Continue reading to find out which West Virginia schools offer the best programs for aspiring studio artists and where to find them.
West Virginia Studio Art Schools
According to the most recent report by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), the State of West Virginia is home to 46 Title IV degree-granting institutions. More than 100,000 students attend, with hundreds enrolled in West Virginia’s top art schools alone. Browse through the list below to learn more about West Virginia’s schools for aspiring studio artists and what they have to offer.
Concord University - Degrees Offered: B. A. Advertising &Graphic Design, Studio Art
University of Charleston - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Art with Graphic Design, Studio Art Concentration; Minor in Art
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
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
More West Virginia Studio Art related programs to consider:
- San Francisco & Online
- Winter Park, FL & Online
Employment and Salary Trends for West Virginia Studio Artists
According to the latest report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (March 29, 2012) West Virginia is home to 5,530 salaried artists and designers, down slightly from 5,570 in 2002. Salaries are up from $31,270 in 2002, to $37,190 today. Individual salaries vary by profession, job title, size and type of company, and geographic location, as well as whether you’re freelance or salaried, and more.
For example, according to the Bureau, “More companies contract with freelancers rather than hire their own photographers,” and “Solo designers who freelanced or worked under contract reported median earnings of $57,000. Design directors, the creative heads of design firms or in-house corporate design departments,” earn $95,000. “Graphic designers with ownership or partnership interests in a firm or who are principals of the firm in some other capacity” average $95,000 per year. The Bureau also reports that independent artists overall average $82,870 per year, especially in the film and video industry.
The following information will give you an idea of what to expect in several popular fields for studio artists. Again, these are only average salaries for “salaried” workers. Salaries may be more or less based on the factors listed above and for independent workers.
Art Directors: West Virginia had a population of 40 salaried art directors in 2002. In 2008, the state was home to 60 salaried art directors. In 2002, West Virginia-based art directors averaged $46,550. In 2008, the average salary was $66,950.
Craft Artists: Craft artists averaged $23,690 as of March 2012.
Graphic Designers: West Virginia had a population of 310 salaried graphic designers in 2002. Today, the state is home to 590. Salaries are on the rise as well. In 2002, West Virginia-based graphic designers averaged $31,790. Today, the average salary is $37,690.
Interior Designers: West Virginia-based interior designers averaged $34,210 in 2002. Today, they average $31,110. The state is home to 60 salaried interior designers, down from 80 in 2002.
Multimedia Artist & Animator: West Virginia was home to 50 salaried multimedia artists & animators in 2002. The population has remained unchanged since then. However, salaries are up from $32,260 in 2002 to $43,060 today.
Photographers: West Virginia was home to 260 salaried photographers in 2002. Today, the state is home to 320. They average $25,860, down from $32,470 in 2002.
West Virginia studio artists may work locally or just across the border in places such as Pittsburgh PA, Baltimore MD, or Greensboro NC. However, most prefer to live and work in major WV cities such as Charleston, Huntington, Parkersburg, and Morgantown. Other places to consider include Wheeling, Clarksburg, Weirton, Martinsburg, Fairmont, and Beckley.