Providing our students with an intellectual and creative foundation for a life-long involvement with the Arts

We believe the arts are not merely an entertaining distraction from an over-compartmentalized modern life, but an integral, unifying, and fundamentally humanizing part of life itself. Theatre, music, and visual arts deserve study as distinct entities, much as chemistry, biology, and physics do in the natural sciences, but just as there is biochemistry, there is musical theatre, and the arts, while distinct, work together, complementing one another and occasionally overlapping, in serving the common goal of human expression. College may teach us to measure and calculate, to explain and justify, to organize and prioritize, but to be fully human, we must also know how to feel and express. Jean-Bernard Bucky, the William Dwight Whitney Professor of Theatre at Williams College, contends "the arts provide direct and forceful means for expressing fantasy and irony, extravagance and eccentricity, irrationality and hope, frustration and anguish, and, indeed, failure - qualities not often embraced by other academic disciplines." In this way, all the areas of the liberal arts work together to form a complete person.

Degree Offerings

At Hampden-Sydney I felt the strong bonds of community, and I felt really free to explore my creativity. It was the great center of my learning that helped to influence everything else going forward.

Scott Cooper ’92, writer and director


Learn. Our music course offerings start at a basic level and work up to advanced courses in theory, composition, and performance, and the option of a music minor.

Create. Make music by joining the HSC Chorus, the Chamber Music Ensemble, The Acousticals, or taking private lessons.

Listen. The Hampden Sydney Music Series presents and hosts free public concerts throughout the academic year.



Learn. A cross-disciplinary program, the Theatre Department offers classes and independent studies ranging from beginning to advanced acting, set and light design, stagecraft, playwriting, and directing.

Create. The Theatre Department produces two main-stage productions a year. Be part of a theatre production each semester!


Visual Arts

Create. 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,  painting, and beginning and intermediate photography. 

Learn. Classes in art history buttress the Fine Arts, as well as Classics, Religon, and History programs. 

Observe. The Gallery in the Viar-Christ Center for the Arts and the Esther Atkinson Museum on campus features work of visiting artists, faculty, students and professionals throughout the year.

Visual Arts

Viar-Christ Center for the Arts

The Viar-Christ Center for the Arts, renovated in 2017 to provide facilities for Music and Visual Arts, has newly designed classrooms and studios, a rehearsal hall, art gallery, and a completely new heating and ventilation system, acoustically-treated spaces, restrooms, and an elevator. Facilities for the Fine Arts Theatre Program are housed across Via Sacra in Johns Auditorium.

Brinkley Hall

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


Fine Arts Events on the Calendar

All Hampden-Sydney College music, theatre, and visual arts events are FREE and open to the public. We look forward to resuming in-person concerts, plays, and gallery exhibits when possible. Stay tuned!

Fine Arts Events

Fine Arts Events

Due to the COVID-19 virus and the uncertainty of travel and gatherings, Hampden-Sydney’s Department of Fine Arts will not publish a fall 2020 calendar of events. We look forward to resuming in-person concerts, plays, and gallery exhibits when possible. Stay tuned!

Jason Hill '22

With COVID-19 came changes to Hampden-Sydney’s academic and social structure, but Resident Advisor Jason Hill ’22 tells us how the fabric that holds the Hampden-Sydney brotherhood together remained strong. 

Jason Hill ’22

Fine Arts Department

Pamela P. Fox, Chair
Elliott Professor of Fine Arts
Brinkley Hall, 200 | Box 135
Hampden-Sydney College | Hampden-Sydney, VA 23943
(434) 223-6389

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