University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

Art & Design BFA - Painting & Drawing

BFA - Painting and Drawing

The Painting and Drawing faculty represent a spectrum of traditional and contemporary techniques and concepts. With this diverse range of approaches and philosophies, the Painting and Drawing program provides students with an intensive opportunity for developing formal and technical skills, balanced with conceptual, and material exploration. Students are encouraged to search for answers to questions about the relevance and position painting holds in contemporary art practice, its relation to global visual culture, and today's information-age and multi-cultural environments. Therefore, in keeping painting current, students are welcome to fully concentrate on painting or drawing as unique and direct mediums in themselves, or to explore more personal integrations with other disciplines, such as printmaking, sculpture, fibers, digital technology, and time-based processes. All students in the program are encouraged and required to participate in student painting groups, organized and course-related exhibitions and events. These opportunities may include exhibiting in galleries, alternative and public spaces, community art centers, and museums. The Painting and Drawing area also offers a number of valuable resources including area specific scholarships, student group field trips to museums and artist studios, and study abroad opportunities (recent trips have included Italy, China, Peru, and England), and open critiques and class visits with visiting artists, which at times is connected to our international visiting artist program entitled the Artists Now! Visiting Lecture Series. Advanced students in the area are provided assigned individual work spaces. There are no technology requirements, but students have access to a free artist documentation lab, and department and campus compute output labs.

Our students draw ideas and inspiration from the full range of experiences that a university can offer. The Painting and Drawing area also values the diverse exhibitions and events programming sponsored by our own nationally recognized contemporary art center Inova (Institute of Visual Art) exhibitions, and possible collaborations that can happen across campus, with other departments and campus organizations, such as Architecture, The Multi-Cultural Student Center, The Water Institute, Special Collections and the American Geographical Society at the UWM Golda Meir Library. Ultimately, the Painting and Drawing faculty are dedicated to challenging and developing each student’s own perception and definition of painting and drawing, allowing the students to discover for themselves, the boundaries that define their own creative practice into new subjective territories. The Painting and Drawing Program aims at assisting students in discovering and developing their own content, visual language, and research skills. Through this mentoring process students will excel as full-time practicing artists, or as artist/educators, and build strong portfolios and resumes for competitive graduate applications, exhibition or grant opportunities, and artist residencies. Graduates of our program have gone on to work as illustrators, designers, curatorial museum and gallery assistants, preparators, archivists, and display managers/staff for public collections, in community based media projects and art centers, curators, art writers, in publishing, as not for profit staff, and in the motion picture industry.


For a list of current faculty and staff with contact information and biographies please visit the Art & Design Faculty & Staff page.


Undergraduate Facilities

Painting and drawing studio facilities include a life-drawing theater style studio, introductory and intermediate level painting studios, multiple purpose drawing studios, ongoing and secure display cases, slide and visual resource digital projection room, and assigned individual workspaces for students at the Advanced Painting level.

Graduate Facilities

There are well-equipped studio facilities that offer access to a wide range of tools and equipment in each disciplinary area. These studios and labs are housed within our campus buildings, as well as within our new Kenilworth facility. In 2006, the new Kenilworth Building became home to all graduate studios. This is a stand-alone renovated factory building on Milwaukee's East Side, less than a mile from the UWM campus. Kenilworth contains studios for all of the arts, including dance, film, music and theatre, and will also contain gallery space, a screening room, various installation sites and studio facilities. It is in a thriving neighborhood of coffee-shops, bars, restaurants and movie houses, and is next door to a graduate housing facility. All graduate students will have working studio space and 24 hour access to this state of the art facility.

For a list of all facilities offered within the Peck School of the Arts - Art & Design departments please visit the Art & Design Facilities page.

Admission Requirements

For a list of Peck School of the Arts admission requirements please visit the UWM Undergraduate Catalog

Course Descriptions

For a complete list of current offered courses please visit the UWM Peck School of the Arts Undergraduate Catalog


For updated curriculum please visit the curriculum section of the UWM Peck School of the Arts Undergraduate Catalog


For more information:
Leslie Vansen