Art and Art History



The Art History major provides a dynamic and diverse pathway for studying the Arts and the historical contexts in which they were produced. Art History is a truly multidisciplinary major, one where students learn and work within the tenets of History, Philosophy, Sociology, Psychology, and Anthropology, among others. A major in Art History develops critical and analytical thinking, enhances oral and written communication skills, develops a broadened world view and historical perspective, and more. Majors will discover that a wide variety of career options are available to them thanks to the skill set with which they will leave UNCW.

Ancient Art

The study of ancient art at UNCW focuses on the origins of the western artistic tradition. Regular course offerings on ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome and specialized seminar topics on ancient art (ARH 495) offer students the opportunity to explore the foundational cultures of the western world.

Regular course offerings include:
ARH 201 Ancient to Medieval Art
ARH 300 Egyptian Art
ARH 301 Greek Art
ARH 302 Roman Art
ARH 381 Myth in Western Art

Medieval & Renaissance Art

Medieval and renaissance courses focus on the artistic production from the 4th through the 16th centuries through the exploration of form, function and context of objects and buildings. In addition, we offer specialized seminars (ARH 495) such as Pilgrimage Arts, the Gothic Cathedral and the Art of the Book.

Regular course offerings include:
ARH 303 Medieval Art
ARH 304 Northern Renaissance Art
ARH 305 Italian Renaissance Art
ARH 306 Baroque and Rococo
ARH 325 Islamic Art

Modern Art

In the modern art area of art history, we emphasize formal interpretation, critical theory and how art can be studied in a political, historical and social context. Cultural issues are discussed in relation to current issues artists face in our society.

Regular course offerings include:
ARH 307 19th Century European Art
ARH 308 20th Century (art to 1960)
ARH 310 American Art (1865 to present)
ARH 311 Contemporary Art
ARH 495 Seminar in Contemporary African Art

Study Abroad

The Department of Art and Art History offers students exciting opportunities to study abroad, ranging from short-term (10 day) spring break programs to longer (3-plus week) summer programs geared toward both artists and students of art history. In our programs, students are encouraged to explore important international archaeological sites, major monuments and world-renowned museum collections. It is our conviction that students gain invaluable experience in the field through the first-hand study of art and architecture. Some of the study abroad courses we have offered include trips to: Paris, Barcelona, Cordoba and Madrid, Rome, Pompeii, Florence, Japan, Macedonia, Belize, Guatemala and South Africa.


The Studio Art major offers a multidisciplinary view of current art practice. The Department emphasizes exposure to a range of media in small classes with individual attention. Through technical skill and creative thinking, students are encouraged to develop a personal, disciplined direction with an understanding of their place in art history and contemporary art. The curriculum provides studio experiences in drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, photography, printmaking and graphic design. Exhibiting artists in the Cultural Arts Gallery and visiting artists are a regular presence in the department and enhance student learning through lectures, collaborative projects and studio visits.


Ceramics courses explore all different avenues in the discipline: building technical skill thorough investigation into functional work. Advanced classes focus on the expression of ideas, including sculpture and installation. Special topics include clay & glaze techniques and kiln building.

Graphic Design

Graphic design focuses students on the relationship in visual communication between form and content. Introductory level projects are focused on the designer's role in shaping narrative communication. Intermediate projects focus on client and audience in addition to the design process.

The minor promotes interdisciplinary learning in the cross-section of computer science and the arts that can be applied to modern media and communication technologies such as animation, digital filmmaking, interactive applications, visualization and Internet applications. Courses are both technical and artistic in nature. Click here to view requirements for the Digital Arts Minor.

Painting & Drawing

The painting and drawing program challenges students to develop traditional skills and explore creative visual problem solving. Variety is the hallmark of 2-D design, life drawing, intermediate and advanced painting. Special topic courses such as Contemporary Watercolor, Conceptual Drawing, Collage and Art of Pastel encourage students to broaden their visual arts experiences and build upon traditional foundations.


Photography is approached as a creative art form. Film-based, black and white darkroom and digital-based color photography are taught at introductory and intermediate levels. Introductory classes familiarize the student with a range of photographic techniques while intermediate students build upon those techniques to develop a personal aesthetic through a cohesive body of work.


The printmaking program introduces students to the possibilities of printing by hand. Methods range from historic techniques such as mezzotint and stone lithography to contemporary processes like photopolymer.


Sculpture focuses on techniques and materials used to express ideas in 3D form: metal fabrication, wood construction, carving, casting. The introductory classes concentrate on formal design and construction. Upper level courses investigate balance of form and content as applied to objects, installations and large-scale public work.

Senior Exhibit

The Senior Exhibit requires students to craft a resume and artist statement, design publicity, and install a professional exhibition in an art gallery
including curatorial decisions and installation.