Visual Arts

A Fine Arts major with a concentration in Art focuses on creating art, and pursues understanding of the history and theory of art, and its importance in society. Graduates may use their skills and ideas to become practicing artists, to attend graduate school, to work in galleries or museums, or other professional art careers. The degree offers a good balance between the study of art and liberal education. In this major, you will be introduced to a variety of disciplines and ideas. The progam strongly emphasizes studio arts in a supportive and nurturing environment to help you develop your artistic skills.

All Fine Arts majors who concentrate in Art complete courses in the history of art, dance, music and theatre, and introductory and advanced courses in drawing, design and painting.

The studio-art program at Rider is focused intensively on drawing and painting. Among the courses available in the curriculum are Drawing and Painting the Figure, which gives students extensive experience with the live model; Special Topics in Studio, including Abstraction; Printmaking, an introduction to various printmaking techniques and the use of the press; and various levels of classes in drawing, painting in oil or acrylic, and opportunities to do sculpture and independent work in studio. Senior Honors Thesis affords majors with a high level of achievement the possibility of mounting a show of their work in the University Gallery, accompanied by a written thesis on their work.

Studio art introduces students, as well, to the great museums of the tri-state area, from the Princeton University Museum to the Philadelphia Museum to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, all of which welcome students with their professors to draw and look and discuss works of art in the collections.

View examples of student work. 

A program of visiting artists brings professional painters and critics to campus to lecture and to work with students. Guests within recent years include Lance Esplund, chief art critic for the Wall Street Journal; Ruth Fine, curator at the National Gallery of Art; Karen Wilkin, critic and art historian; Judith K. Brodsky, founder of the Rutgers University Brodsky Center for Innovative Editions and former President of the College Arts Associaition; Jed Perl, art critic for The New Republic; Lois Dodd, Thornton Willis, Audrey Flack, Stephen Westfall, the internationally recognized sculptor Isaac Witkin, Simon Carr, Mel Leipzig, Mari Lyons, Michael Graves, and John Dubrow, among other painters who have shown their work or spoken to students and the public about it.

The Rider University Art Gallery offers gallery concerts, artist lectures, and opportunities for students to show their work. The Gallery is open to the public.

Rider University is also home to the Isaac Witkin Sculpture Park.