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Employment Options for Art Majors

In preparation for life after graduation, Art seniors are offered a professional practices seminar called Senior Portfolio. In this course, students visit galleries, museums and artists’ studios and meet with professionals in all aspects of the field, including artists, curators, arts administrators and art dealers. They learn how to write an effective resume, how to prepare a strong portfolio, and how to present themselves and make contacts in the professional world of art.

Art students are also encouraged to participate one or more internships to enhance their major. Faculty work one-on-one with students to place them within the community and develop individualized experiences that match personal interests and professional goals. Past internship placements include Gallerie Hertz, Swanson Reed Contemporary Gallery, the J.B. Speed Art Museum, the Louisville Visual Arts Association, the Mellwood Art Center, Dan Dry Photography, Warren Lynch Photography, Donna Lawrence Productions, the Video Kitchen, Glassworks, Architectural Glass Art, Kirven Advertising, Kinetic Imaging Corporation, the Kentucky Foundation for Women, the Kentucky Center for the Arts, The Center for Photography at Woodstock, MTV Online, and the Riflemaker Gallery and Handel House Museum, both in London, England.

Bellarmine graduates have built careers in a wide-range of related fields, including graduate work in Studio Art and Art History and professional work as artists, academics, art therapists, art educators and art administrators. Art graduates have also gone on to earn advanced degrees in law, medicine and business, while maintaining a vital interest in art and the art community. Bellarmine’s emphasis on the liberal arts produces well-rounded students who are highly desirable to graduate schools and employers in any field, and the university’s Career Development Center provides free career counseling and job search resources to both students and alumni.

Learn more about the fields and jobs available to Art Majors below.

Museums and Galleries

Positions
  • Education
  • Administration
  • Curatorial
  • Conservation
  • Registrar
  • Collections Management
  • Sales
  • Publications
  • Development
  • Public Relations
  • Exhibit Design/Preparation
  • Archivist
  • Tour Guides/Docent
Employers
  • Large or small museums, government or private
  • Local historical societies
  • Galleries
How to obtain a position in Museums and Galleries
  • Obtain internship or volunteer in an art museum.
  • Develop strength in art history areas.
  • Enhance computer skills.
  • Take a business minor.
  • Acquire strong skills in research, fund-raising, speaking and writing.
  • Earn an advanced degree in an academic discipline or museum studies for greater career opportunities.
  • Each specialty has varying qualifications and required training.

Fine Arts

Employers
  • Self-employed
  • Shared studios
  • Historic sites
  • School/community programs
How to work in Fine Arts
  • Participate in juried shows.
  • Secure guild membership.
  • Develop alternate means of supplementing income as "insurance."
  • Learn to network and make contacts.

Commercial Art

Positions
  • Graphic Art
  • Computer Graphics
  • Illustration
Employers
  • Newspapers
  • Publishing houses
  • Advertising agencies
  • Design firms
  • Large companies–product design
  • Department stores
  • Television and motion picture industry
  • Non-technical and technical books, magazines, trade publications
  • Self-employed (freelance)
How to obtain a position in Commercial Art
  • Prepare a strong portfolio.
  • Gain computer and technical skills.
  • Find internship in design firm.
  • Work on campus publications in design or layout.
  • Get summer or part-time experience at book, magazine or newspaper publishers.
  • Develop attention to detail and ability to meet deadlines.

Education

Courses/Areas to Teach Within
  • Studio Art
  • Fine Arts
  • Art History
Employers
  • Art schools
  • Public/private schools, K-12
  • Colleges and universities
  • Adult and community programs
  • Libraries
  • Museums
How to obtain a position in Education
  • Obtain certification for public school teaching.
  • Graduate degree usually required for postsecondary teaching.
  • Volunteer as tutor, camp counselor, Big Brother/Sister.
  • Become member of art clubs.
  • Work or volunteer in camps or after-school programs.

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