Department of Art

Study Art at UToledo!

When you major in Art Education, Art History, or Studio Art at UToledo, our degrees equip you with skills critical for success as a creator, thinker, maker, teacher, and more. The Department of Art, part of the University of Toledo School of Visual and Performing Arts, is located on the campus of the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) in beautiful facilities designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry. We offer 3 undergraduate art degrees. In addition to a BA in Art History, there are two accredited studio degree options - the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and the Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts (BAVA). Near the end of your freshman year, you may apply to the BFA program with your choice of a concentration in: 2D Studies, 3D Studies, Digital and Photographic Art or New Media Design Practices. You can also pursue art education degrees at the undergraduate and master's level. More...

Exhibits, Program News and More

Engaging Globally to Fight Human Trafficking

UToledo BFA student rose Mansel-Pleydell and her artwork Tainted HandsBFA Student Receives Award of Excellence at Undergraduate Research Symposium

Rose Mansel-Pleydell, a senior in the BFA degree program received an Award of Excellence from the University of Toledo Office of Undergraduate Research at its 2019 symposium for her project Tainted Hands: A Sensory Response to Human Trafficking (the award was presented by the UToledo Chapter of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.) The charcoal work was created as performance art earlier this fall. Collaborating with musicians from the University of Toledo Symphony Orchestra, Rose freely improvised on an initial sketch drawing as the music played and inspired her. Likewise the musicians improvised their music as the charcoal rendering took shape.

Describing her inspiration for Tainted Hands, Rose says, "Charcoal is notorious for its richness and evocative power but also for being one of the dirtiest mediums in art. The fine, black powder works its way into the grooves in one's fingers and the fiber of clothing, sometimes remaining there through several washes. It dirties the margins of the page, the easel, the workspace, and anything that comes into contact with it. In a similar way, human trafficking taints the lives of a huge population: not only survivors or those individuals who instigate trafficking, but friends, family, loved ones , social workers, medical professionals, law enforcement, and so many others." Rose's work is on display through January 2020 in the University of Toledo Carlson Library.


UToledo Department of Art faculty engage students locally and globally. While many projects are  drawn from personal experience, sometimes they address global concerns, like human trafficking. Conceived by Professor Barbara Miner, and photographed by student Robert Cummerow, FACES OF TRAFFICKING: THE PILLARS exhibition featured portraits of members of the greater Toledo community who are either advocates, direct service providers, members of the legal community or victims. The portraits were displayed on the first floor of the Center for the Visual Arts. Additionally, six current and former UToledo Art students had artworks in response to stories and news articles about trafficking displayed on the first floor nearest the TMA Library.

 UToledo Art Students Curate Exhibit at Toledo Museum of Art

Image of the painting Allegory of Spring by Francesco de Mura

An Inspired Age: Selections of 18th-Century European Art From the Collection

November 2, 2019 - January 5, 2020

Department of Art students have curated an exhibit of 18th century artwork that will be on display at the Toledo Museum of Art through January 5, 2020. The students are taking Art Museum Practices Exhibition and New Media Design Practices courses under the direction of Dr. Thor J. Mednick, UToledo associate professor of art history, and Dr. Lawrence W. Nichols, the William Hutton Senior Curator, European and American Painting and Sculpture before 1900 at the Toledo Museum of Art.Image of Henrietta Catharine Cholmley and Son by Sir Joshua Reynolds

An Inspired Age: Selections of 18th-Century European Art from the Collection features 13 paintings and three sculptures.  The exhibition course, which is the last of three classes in the art museum practices curriculum, offers students the opportunity to work with a Toledo Museum of Art curator to develop an exhibition using works of art from the museum’s permanent collection. The purpose is to give students a hands-on understanding of the workings of a fine arts museum and to prepare them for a career in this field.

“The Toledo Museum of Art has a vast collection, and this allows visitors to see some of the art that has been off view while providing students real-life experience in many aspects of curating an exhibition,” Nichols said. “It has been rewarding to see the next generation of museum professionals use their education to develop this exhibition.”

The opportunity has been invaluable for the students, Mednick explained.

“Working with a world-class, private museum is a rare opportunity in museum studies courses,” Mednick said. “And to have the thoughtful and generous help of a senior curator is extraordinary.” More...


Photo of Dr. Jason Cox, assistant professor of art education at the University of ToledoUToledo Art Faculty to Receive Top Art Education Award

Dr. Jason Cox, assistant professor of art education at the University of Toledo, is the 2019 recipient of the Higher Education Division Award, presented by The Ohio Art Education Association.

In announcing the award, the OAEA stated, "he has demonstrated a long-term commitment to supporting the visual arts and has impacted arts education in Ohio in a positive way. Dr. Cox was nominated for this distinction from the membership of almost 2000 art educators statewide. Dr. Cox is an excellent example of consistent commitment to students, while promoting art and art education to the school and the greater community. This award honors his professionalism, dedication, and creativity, displayed daily in his work. He continually meets the needs and interests of students, bringing about learning, growth, and development in all areas. Dr. Cox creates innovative and developmentally appropriate activities to stretch the imagination of students and further develop their visual skills."

Dr. Cox will receive the award in November at the association's annual development conference.

The UToledo Advantage

Engaged faculty, Museum Access, Unique Opportunities, Leading-edge Labs and Studios

art tee shirtFundamental Focus

When you major in Art Education, Art History, or Studio Art at UToledo, our degrees equip you with skills critical for success as a creator, thinker, maker, teacher, and more.

World-class faculty members bring exciting, real-world experiences into the classroom by continuing to pursue their own research and creative work.

Award-winning advisors help you smoothly navigate your degree path.


students with visiting artist

Career-Minded experiences

You'll learn to market yourself as a professional through hands-on exercises designed to elevate your career opportunities.

We encourage you to build your resume and portfolio by participating in exhibitions and community events and by pursuing internships as an undergraduate student.

Our engaged faculty members take time to get to know you and support your career goals long after graduation.

students in courtyard

Unique Offerings

Inventive, meaningful programs provide you lots of opportunities to create, experiment and collaborate. 

The Department of Art is located on the campus of the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) in beautiful facilities designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry.

Our museum and gallery practices courses allow you to curate and present exhibits in our galleries and at TMA.

We are a community-minded University and we and our students partner and collaborate with key local organizations such as the Toledo Symphony and the Arts Commission.

Location of opportunities

Strategically located in Northwest Ohio, the University of Toledo’s Department to Art is physically adjacent to the internationally recognized Toledo Museum of Art. Museum exhibitions and programming are right next door and are a value-added bonus for you as a student of the Department of Art.  Our students and their professors have made trips to Chicago, Detroit, Columbus, Cleveland, Washington, D.C. and New York. We highly encourage you to take advantage of the many study abroad opportunities available through the University.

Campus of possibilities

The UToledo Department of Art museum campus includes two state of the art buildings which house studio and lecture classrooms, digital labs, photo labs, a newly created large format print center, 3D printers, a laser lab, a complete wood shop and a foundry. Additionally, you can use the Gehry Building courtyard and the sculpture building’s green space for temporary artistic interventions and explorations!

Reliable and portable skill set

When you graduate with an art degree, you haven’t just improved your drawing skills (although that happens too!) you have actually acquired a whole new set of skills that make you a much more versatile job candidate:

  • Great communication skills through oral and written presentation experience
  • Critical, analytical and divergent thinking ability
  • Problem finding as well as problem solving skills
  • Increased self-awareness and maturity
  • Appreciation for other cultures
  • Flexibility and ability to anticipate “next steps”
  • Team project experience
  • Time and work-flow management skills
  • Research skills
  • Familiarity with a wide variety of tools and technology from table saws to laser etchers, from traditional wet-based enlargers to large format archival printers

Culture of support and excellence

The University offers a variety of services and programs designed to help you find ways to meet your educational expenses. The Department of Art offers generous scholarships for incoming freshmen who qualify, and, once you have declared Art Education, Art History, or Studio Art as your major, you can apply for even more departmental scholarships throughout your program.

NASAD logo National Association of Schools of Art and Design

The UT Department of Art is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. 

Last Updated: 12/16/19