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.

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 Gallery

The Gallery in the Viar-Christ Center for the Arts houses one major exhibition each semester of the academic year and supports the educational goals of the Visual Art program, the Fine Arts Department, and Hampden-Sydney College. Exhibitions include work of visiting artists, faculty, and students.

The Gallery

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 or Minor 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. Note: Visual Arts 360 and 361 are courses that may be taken more than once for credit, as the topic rotates.

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. They 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. The Visual Arts Division of the Fine Arts Department must approve Visual Arts courses taken at other institutions and presented for major credit.

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, 201, 202, 204, 205, 208, 210, 360. Studio courses should be chosen from the following: Visual Arts 220, 221, 222, 223, 321, 322, 323, 324, 325, 361.

updated 7/1/19

Fine Arts Courses

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



January 13-February 11
Wall Garden, a work in progress by Emma Steinkraus
Artist's Talk and Reception: Jan. 21, 6-8 pm
The Gallery

February 11, 8-9:30 pm
Film: Metapsychosis: Jesse Mann & Liz luguori with Sally Mann and Ray Kass
in conjunction with LCVA's Rural Avant-Garde: The Mountain Lake Workshop
Brinkley 101

February 25-April 4
Dorothea Lange, Manzanar, Japanese American Relocation: Photographs from the War Relocation Authority, 1942
Opening Celebration: Feb. 25, 4:30-6 pm
The Gallery

March 5, 7:30 pm
Artist's Talk: Neal Rock
Brinkley 101

March 24, 8-9:30 pm
Film: And Then They Came for Us
Introduced by Z. Arthur White ’20
In conjuction with Dorothea Lange, Manzanar exhibit
Brinkley 101

April 23-May 9
Spring Student Exhibition
Opening Celebration: April 23, 4:30-6 pm
Special Hours: May 9, 9 am-4 pm
The Gallery


August 19-September 6
Exhibition: Water, the Second Lens—Videography of Alexandria Searls
The Gallery

September 18-November 8
Exodus HomeA Photographic Installation by Jay Simple
Opening Reception: Sept. 18, 4:30 PM
The Gallery

October 9, 7:30 PM
Artist’s Talk: Jay Simple, in conjunction with Exodus Home
Thompson Commons

November 5, 11:30 AM
Film Screening & Artist's Talk: Water, the Second Lens
Alexandria Searls, Visiting Artist
Thompson Commons

December 4-13
Fall Student Exhibition
Opening Celebration: Dec. 4, 4:30 PM
The Gallery

Visual Arts Event Archive


Home is the Key: Documentary Photographs
H-SC Photography Students with Habitat for Humanity
August 1 - September 5
The Gallery in The Viar-Christ Center for the Arts at Brinkley Hall

Trace: Photographs by Pam Fox
September 19 - October 20
The Gallery in The Viar-Christ Center for the Arts at Brinkley Hall

Josef Albers: Interactions in Color
October 31 - December 7
The Gallery in The Viar-Christ Center for the Arts at Brinkley Hall

The Destruction of Memory, film
November 7
Q&A with Filmmaker, Tim Slade, Vast Productions
Thompson Commons in The Viar-Christ Center for the Arts at Brinkley Hall

Panel: Color! Physics, Psychology, Art with Professors Stanley Cheyne, Daniel Weese, and Mary Prevo
November 15
Thompson Commons in The Viar-Christ Center for the Arts at Brinkley Hall

Lecture: Trent Nicholas, VMFA, What You Always Wanted to Know About Post-Modern Art
January 27, Atkinson Museum
Co-sponsored with the Atkinson Museum and Central Virginia Arts

Emma Steinkraus, Paintings
February 6-March 8
The Gallery in The Viar-Christ Center for the Arts at Brinkley Hall

Camera Not Camera, Roger Sayre Photographic Works
March 21-April 19
The Gallery in The Viar-Christ Center for the Arts at Brinkley Hall

Student Art Exhibit
April 24-May 10
The Gallery in The Viar-Christ Center for the Arts at Brinkley Hall


Fine Arts Events at H-SC

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 10pm to 12 noon and 1 to 5pm. (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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