If you prefer more hands-on training and less classroom instruction, a studio art program may be exactly what you’re looking for. Studio art programs are designed based on the idea that the best way to learn is by “doing.” This means, students spend most of their time in a studio setting working on everything from experimental art to illustrations to sculptures. Some programs may also offer a focus in computer-based art forms such as graphic design and digital art, or other areas of design such as interior design. However, some of the most common studio art concentrations are drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, ceramics, fibers, glass, and sculpture.
In today’s competitive world of art and design, having multiple talents may open the door to more lucrative employment opportunities. Fortunately, many of today’s studio art programs allow students to study multiple focus areas. A number of them can be found in the State of Wisconsin. Before we discuss which Wisconsin schools have the best programs for aspiring studio artists, the following is a list of career options for studio art graduates.
- Airbrush Artist
- Art Director
- Ceramic Artist
- Digital Artist
- Display Artist
- Glass Blower
- Graphic Designer
- Mural Artist
- Printing Designer
- Textile Designer
A studio art degree can also prepare you for a career as a medical illustrator, art critic, art buyer, art consultant, and art instructor. Continue reading to find out which Wisconsin schools offer the best programs for aspiring studio artists and what they have to offer.
Wisconsin Studio Art Schools
According to the most recent report by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), Wisconsin is home to 84 Title IV degree-granting institutions. More than 300,000 students are enrolled with thousands attending the state’s top art and design schools alone. Just a few of the state’s top schools for aspiring artists and designers include Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD), the University of Wisconsin system, Carroll University (Waukesha), and Viterbo University (La Crosse). Browse through the list below to review the best schools for aspiring studio artists and where to find them.
Fon du Lac
Marian University – B.A. Art with Concentration in Fine Art Studio; B.A. Graphic Design, Photography; Minor in Art, Graphic Design, Photography
University of Wisconsin Green Bay – B.A. Communication with Electronic Media or Photography Emphasis; B.A. Design Arts, Studio Arts; Minor in Art
Carthage College - Degrees Offered: B. A. Art, Studio Art, Communications with Graphic Design Major; Minor in Art
University of Wisconsin Parkside - Degrees Offered: B. A. General Arts, Digital Arts with Concentration in Animation, Graphic Design, Illustration or Web Design; B.A. Design & Technology, Studio Arts with Concentration in Drawing, Printmaking, Crafts; Certificate in Film Studies, World Wide Web Publishing
Viterbo University - Degrees Offered: B. A. Visual Communications, Digital Media, Graphic Design, Studio Art; B. F. A. Studio Art with Concentration in Design & Technical Production, Drawing, Graphic Arts and New Media, Interdisciplinary Studies, Photography, Printmaking; B. S. Communication Studies with Visual Communication Focus; Minor Art
Lakeland College – B.A. Art with Graphic Arts, Studio Arts Emphasis; Minor in Art
University of Wisconsin Madison - Degrees Offered: B. S., B. F. A. Art with Emphasis in Digital Modeling, Graphic Design and Typography, Life Drawing, Multimedia, New Genres, Painting + Drawing, Photography, Printmaking, Video and Performance; M. A., M. F. A. Art with Graphics Specialization
University of Wisconsin Stout - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Animation, Art, Comic and Sequential Art, Digital Cinema, Entertainment Design, Graphic Design and Interactive Media, Studio Art with Drawing, Printmaking Emphasis; B. S. Game Design and Development, Graphic Communication Management, Professional Communication and Emerging Media; M. F. A. Design; Minor Art, Applied Photography
Alverno College - Degrees Offered: B. A. Art with Studio Art Focus, Interactive Media Design; B.S. Computing and Information Technology with Interactive Media Design (IMD) Focus; Minor in Creative Arts
Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) – B. F. A. Art, Communication Design, Drawing, Illustration, Integrated Studio Arts, Photography, Printmaking, Time-Based Media (Video & Animation); Minor in Animation, Video
University of Wisconsin Milwaukee - Degrees Offered: B.A. Studio Art; B. F. A. Design & Visual Communications, Digital Studio Practice, Film, New Genres, Photography, Painting + Drawing, Print and Narrative Forms, Video; M.A. Studio Art; M.F.A. Film, New Genres, Studio Art, Video; Minor in Art
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh - Degrees Offered: B.A. Radio-TV-Film, Studio Art; B. F. A. Art with Graphic Design Emphasis; B. F. A. Design & Technology, B. F. A. Fine Arts with 2D Studio (Drawing, Photography, Printmaking), 3D Studio (Art metals, Ceramics, Fibers, Functional Design), Design; B.A., B.S. Art; Minor Studio Art
University of Wisconsin Whitewater - Degrees Offered: B. A. Art, Electronic Media, Graphic Design, Multimedia Digital Arts; B. F. A. Art, Design & Technology, Graphic Design; B.S. Media Arts & Game Development (MAGD) with Visual Design Emphasis; B.A. Media Arts & Game Development (MAGD) with Visual Design Emphasis; B.A or B.S. Media Arts & Game Development (MAGD) Communication/Gaming; B.A. or B.S. Media Arts & Game Development (MAGD) Technology Emphasis; Minor in Art, Art Studio, Arts Management, Media Arts & Game Development (MAGD) with Visual Design, Communication/Gaming Emphasis, Multimedia Design, Multimedia
More Wisconsin Studio Art related programs to consider:
- Winter Park, FL & Online
- San Francisco & Online
Employment and Salary Trends for Wisconsin Studio Artists
According to the latest report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (March 29, 2012) Wisconsin is home to 32,900 salaried artists and designers, up from 31,040 in 2002. They average $42,470 per year, up from $34,740 in 2002. The “artists and designers” group consists of studio artists and fine artists (illustrators, painters, sculptors), art directors, photographers, craft artists, animators, and more.
Average salaries may vary greatly based job title, education and experience, company, geographic location, and more. The following information will give you an idea of what the employment and salary growth picture looks like for a variety of careers for studio artists.
Art Directors: Wisconsin is home to 520 art directors up from 340 in 2002. They average $68,850 per year, up from $56,540 in 2002.
Art Teachers (Postsecondary): Wisconsin is home to 1,750 art teachers, up from 1,300 in 2002. They average $52,730 per year, up from $43,270 in 2002.
Craft Artists: Wisconsin is home to 70 salaried craft artists. They average $27,410 per year. The Bureau does not offer 2002 employment and salary information for craft artists.
Fine Artists (Painters, Sculptors, Illustrators): Wisconsin was home to 190 salaried fine artists in 2002. They averaged $33,500 that year. Today the state is home 150 salaried fine artists, averaging $39,500 per year.
Graphic Designers: In 2002, Wisconsin was home to 3,450 graphic designers with an average salary of $37,290. Today, the state is home to 4,320 salaried graphic designers with an average salary of $42,320.
Interior Designers: In 2002, Wisconsin was home to 1,110 interior designers averaging $34,390 per year. Today, the state is home to 810 salaried interior designers with an average salary of $45,050 per year.
Photographers: Wisconsin was home to a whopping 1,170 salaried photographers in 2002. Today the state is home to 1,030. They average $34,300 per year, up from $29,230 in 2002.
It is important to note that the art and design industry has a higher population of independent workers than salaried workers. Salary and employment growth for these individuals varies greatly.
Whether you’re interested in finding a salaried position or starting your own business, consider starting your search in a big city. Milwaukee is the state’s largest city, followed by Madison, then Green Bay. Although smaller than the top three cities, Kenosha and Racine are also principal cities, as well as Appleton, Eau Claire, Janesville, Waukesha, Oshkosh, and West Allis.