Art and Art History

The Department of Art and Art History gives students, regardless of experience or major, the opportunity to develop sensitivity to visual language through studio work and the study of the history of art. The department requires a balanced program in studio and art history that may be augmented to suit students’ particular interests and needs.

The offerings in the history of art are designed to help the student develop the skills of analytical thinking about art; to understand the processes by which art is made, the ideas guiding its production, and the patterns of its consumption within both its historical and subsequent contexts; to develop visual literacy through the recognition of various languages of world art; and to respond critically to their ideological implications. Specialized topics in the history of art may be undertaken by means of directed inquiries.

Studio courses are designed to train students in the conception and production of art; to master fundamental skills necessary for the successful execution of work in various media (including drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, and architectural design); and to investigate, through studio practice, processes, themes, and materials in light of their historical and contemporary connotations.

a colorful painting of a torso

The Department of Art & Art History is proud to present the 2021 Senior Thesis Exhibition, representing the culmination of four years of creative activity for each of our five art majors. The show exhibits original artworks that range from painting and sculpture to animation and installation, and features work by Bec Heyman, Rubie Loman, Krista Lebovitz, Gunner Smith, and Nathalie Tamez-Guerrero. 

Art & Art History students at Rhodes are provided:

  • Close working relationships with nationally recognized faculty in Studio and Art History
  • A professional campus gallery featuring regional, national and student artists
  • Regional and national internships with galleries, museums, nonprofit arts organizations, as well as artists and architects
  • Access to art and art history research guides and databases through Paul Barret, Jr. Library
  • Research opportunities to present or exhibit original work locally or nationally
  • Excellent track record for placing students in graduate programs
  • A burgeoning independent art scene in Memphis that supports young artists