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 Register Historic District, 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 Events

visual arts events and exhibits

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.

Find out what is happening at The Gallery...

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, 423, 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, 423.

updated 8/30/22

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 Professors

The Visual Arts Department is part of the Fine Arts Department at Hampden-Sydney.

Fine Arts Department Professors


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.

Esther Atkinson Museum

Izac Olatunji ’23

Izac Olatunji ’23 traveled to a remote corner of Alaska and gained new insights on home and heritage as a research assistant to Hampden-Sydney College Associate Professor of Rhetoric Sean Gleason.

Izac Olatunji ’23