Studio Art

Taught with an eye to developing an appreciation for the fine arts as well as to developing individual skills, studio courses include beginning and intermediate drawing, color and 2D design, portraiture, direct and indirect painting, and beginning and intermediate photography. Advanced students may set up special courses. Student publications, especially the yearbook, newspaper, and literary magazine, welcome creative energy. In addition, the College's Publications Office, which produces the alumni magazine, admissions recruiting materials, and publicity for campus events, actively encourages student talent and provides informal instruction in production and design, with particular emphasis on advertising. On-campus exhibitions feature both student and professional work.

Art History

Classes in art history buttress the Fine Arts, as well as Classics, Religon, and History programs.  You may enroll in survey courses that cover prehistoric Europe to the present.  These are followed by courses in ancient, medieval, and 19th and 20th century art and architecture. The upper-level, special topics course, American Domestic Architecture, uses the College campus, which is a National Historic Preservation Zone, as a laboratory so that you are encouraged to apply to the world around you what you learn from course research and classroom discussion.

The Architectural Society of Hampden-Sydney College is for students and community members who are interested in architecture, architectural history, land use, and building trades. For more about preparing to study architecture after H-SC, see Tiger Track for Architecture.

The whole atmosphere at Hampden-Sydney was about humanism and what makes people. That’s what I paint about, so I can say that a lot of inspiration came from the college.

Louis Briel ’66, acclaimed portrait artist

The Viar-Christ Center for the Arts

Newly Renovated Facilities for Visual Arts

  • Painting Studio
  • Design Studio
  • Drawing Studio
  • Gallery
  • Mac Lab with Photoshop CC,Epson printers, and scanners
  • "Wet" photography darkroom with multiple format Beseler enlargers, film changing rooms, and film development room
  • Photography classroom and studio with hot lights and strobes
  • Seminar and print and drawing storage and study

Brinkley Hall

Major in Visual Arts

The requirement for a major in Visual Arts is a minimum of 34 hours, to include: Visual Arts 200, 202, 220, 498, 499. Five classes from the following: Visual Arts 221, 222, 223, 321, 322, 323, 324, 325, 361, Theatre 401. Two additional classes from the following: Visual Arts 201, 204, 205, 208, 210, 360, Philosophy 218. Students who wish to major are strongly encouraged to complete VISU 220 before the end of their sophomore year and VISU 200 and VISU 202 before the end of their junior year.

Students interested in majoring in the Visual Arts should meet with the Visual Arts faculty before or during their sophomore year to devise a course of study. The Visual Arts Division of the Fine Arts Department must approve Visual Arts courses taken at other institutions and presented for major credit. 

updated 7/25/17

Minor in Visual Arts

The requirements for a minor in the Visual Arts are 15 credit hours from the Visual Arts courses listed below, including at least one studio, one lecture, and two 300-level courses. Lecture courses should be chosen from the following: Visual Arts 200 (Art in the Contemporary World), Visual Arts 201 (The History of Western Art I), Visual Arts 202 (The History of Western Art II), Visual Arts 204 (Greek and Roman Art and Architecture), Visual Arts 205 (Medieval Art and Architecture), Visual Arts 208 (Western Art of 19th and 20th Centuries), Visual Arts 210 (American Photography), Visual Arts 360 (Topics in Art History). Studio courses should be chosen from the following: fine arts fine arts 72 Visual Arts 220 (Color and Two-Dimensional Design), Visual Arts 221 (Drawing I), Visual Arts 222 (Painting I), Visual Arts 223 (Photography I), Visual Arts 321 (Drawing II), Visual Arts 322 (Painting II), Visual Arts 323 (Photography II), Visual Arts 324 (Digital Photography), Visual Arts 325 (Portraiture), Visual Arts 361 (Topics in Studio Art).

updated 7/25/17

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Each semester, all art history classes go to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond.

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Visual Arts Events

September 13, 5:30 PM
Reception: Student and Alumni Work Exhibition
Aug. 22 through Sept. 30 Hours T-F, 10 AM-4:30 PM
Viar-Christ Center for the Arts Gallery in Brinkley Hall

September 26, 4:30 PM
Lecture: Charles Pearson and Brian Haley: Finding Old College: A Geophysical Search for the Original HampdenSydney College Buildings Sponsored by the History Department, Atkinson Museum, and the Architectural Society of the Fine Arts Department
Atkinson Museum

September 27, 5:30 PM
Lecture: Peter Schertz, Ph.D., Curator of Ancient Art, VMFA They Don't Bite: How to Approach Greek Vases
Bortz Library

October 13, 5:30 PM
Reception: Drawing Media and Techniques Exhibition Oct. 13 through Nov. 21 Hours T-F, 10 AM-4:30 PM
Viar-Christ Center for the Arts Gallery in Brinkley Hall

November 8, 7:30 PM
Illustrated Lecture: David Dodge Lewis Drawing Media and Techniques
Viar-Christ Center for the Arts Thompson Commons in Brinkley Hall


Fine Arts Events at Hampden-Sydney College

All Hampden-Sydney College music, theatre, and visual arts events are FREE and open to the public.

Fine Arts Events

Esther Atkinson Museum

Visit Hampden-Sydney College's Esther T. Atkinson Museum on College Road, Tuesday - Friday from 10:00 to 12:00 and 1:00 to 5:00. (434) 223-6134

Esther Atkinson Museum

Visual Arts Department

Viar-Christ Center for the Arts
Hampden-Sydney College | Hampden-Sydney, VA 23943

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