School of Art + Art History

Studio Art

PaintingEvery blank canvas is an opportunity. A dream. A vision. A story to tell. Translate your imagination with paintbrush and palette. Fine-tune your technique with every stroke.


The BFA curriculum in painting provides students with basic painting concepts taught in inspiring ways, to expose students to the range and multiplicity of ideas that generate contemporary approaches to painting, to stimulate a full understanding of those concepts and to challenge students to develop a personal vocabulary of painterly forms and create a store of visual ideas relating to their own lives and experiences.

The sequence of courses in painting starts with the 2000-level where color, figure-ground and chiaroscuro are explored in both theory and practice. The students' work is divided between carefully structured assignments and individually contracted projects. At the 3000-level, students go through a broadening experience that includes figure painting from live models, experimental painting, advanced work in 2-D composition and serial exploration of individually defined projects. In this intense two-semester sequence the students gain a wide-ranging understanding of what it means to think like a painter. In the culminating 4000-course, students move into the dedicated senior painting studios to develop the critical and conceptual skills needed to realize a personal painterly vision.

Alumni from our BFA program foster successful careers as professional artists and have built careers at firms such as Disney TV Animation, Rubell Collection and Gallery Protocol. Our Alumni work as artist assistants and project managers for well known artists including James Turrell, Jeff Koons and Takashi Murakami.   They also work as graphic designers, at galleries on the East and West Coasts and as High School Art Teachers. Recent alumni have pursued MFA degrees with scholarships or fellowships at prestigious institutions such as Virginia Commonwealth, Hunter College, University of California, Davis, San Francisco Art Institute, Pratt Institute, University of Georgia and University of the Arts.


The Painting and Drawing Graduate Program at University of Florida fosters the student's art making practice through the development of conceptual, aesthetic and technical skills. The program provides students with access to a variety of courses including: art history and theory, criticism, methods of research and professional practice for the studio artist. Students take courses with Graduate faculty offering topical seminars in Painting and Drawing as well as seminars and studio courses across disciplines. Recent seminars include: The Problematics of Painting, Power, Paradox and Poetry, and Making and Meaning. Painting and Drawing students also receive individual instruction on a tutorial basis, meeting with individuals or small groups regularly. The graduate program is housed in a world-class research institution including libraries, lectures and seminars across the humanities and the sciences. Students have opportunities to participate in the Annual NYC gallery and museum tour, Art Basel Trip and International Study Abroad Programs as well as collaborative opportunities and funding support through programs such as the UF Genetics Institute, SAC (Science and Art Collaboration Program) and Creativity in the Arts and Sciences Program.

Additional Graduate Program Information
  • Graduate Assistantships or Fellowships providing full tuition support, nine-month stipend and health insurance.
  • Rigorous individual and group critiques with faculty, local artists, and visiting artists, curators and critics.
  • Teaching preparation and opportunities to teach undergraduate classes
  • Merit-based Scholarships
  • Individual studio space at a dedicated graduate studio warehouse
  • Travel grants for research or presentation of studio research.
  • Technical resources including a fully staffed wood-shop, digital fabrication lab and the Painting and Drawing Print Lab.
  • Internship opportunities at the Harn Museum of Art, University Galleries as well as collections and museums in Miami.
  • Professional develop opportunities include solo or group shows at Focus Gallery, the gallery at Reitz Union and art galleries in Gainesville and the surrounding area.
  • Application Deadline February 1 - see Graduate Admissions for more info.

MFA Painting and Drawing Alumni pursue successful careers as independent studio artists, museum, gallery and design professionals as well as in academic positions. MFA Alumni have found success in professional practice including securing public art commissions and being awarded prestigious residencies and fellowships in the US and abroad.  Our graduates work at firms such as Electronic Arts, museums including the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Miami Dade College Museum of Art + Design and teach at University of South Florida, Sam Houston State University, Bucknell University, Appalachian State University, Ball State University, Valdosta State University and University of Florida.

Painting and Drawing Association
PDA is a student organiziation geared towards students in the School of Art + Art History, yet welcomes all. PDA organizes trips to see regional shows and galleries, curates exhibition and and brings in professors to talk about issues in the arts.

Connect with the School of Art + Art History

Keep up with the latest news about faculty, alumni, friends and current students.