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

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, 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 Events


Ray Kleinlein—a Painting Exhibition
October 18-December 2, 2022 | 9 AM-4:30 PM
Professor Ray Kleinlein is currently teaching art at Hampden-Sydney College. His award-winning paintings are in hundreds of corporate and private collections throughout the world and in several museum collections in the United States. His work has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the country and at art fairs such as Art Chicago and Art Miami.


Glimpses—Photographic Processes and Techniques
February 17 - April 1, 2022
The show coincides with American Photography, a course taught by Pam Fox. It includes examples of photograms, cyanotypes, daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes, albumen prints, silver prints, lanternslides, cameras, halftones, and photogravures. Artists include Edward Steichen, Alfred Stieglitz, Frank Gohlke, Willie Anne Wright, Pam Fox, alumni, and students.

Fall Student Art Exhibit
December 6-11, 2021 | 8:30 AM-5 PM
Student research talk: Joseph Kelly ’22: Queer Art in the Contemporary World | 6 pm
With works from Art and Ecology, Seeing with the Camera, and Digital Photography classes

Brian Grogan: Documenting the Cultural Landscape
October 14 – November 23 | M-F, 8:30 AM – 5 PM
For more than thirty years, Brian Grogan has engaged in photographic documentation of historic sites and landscapes independently and for the National Parks Service. He shares a representative sample of his work at The Gallery in Brinkley Hall this semester, including views of Hampden-Sydney College, of which he is a 1973 graduate.

The Gallery Events

Visual Arts Event Archive


Asterisks in the Grand Narrative of History
January 15 - April 4
A collaborative exhibit with the LCVA, H-SC, and eight artists, diverse strategies are used to address questions of how artists interrogate history, and resist and remake historical narratives in pursuit of a more just world.
Zoom symposiums: February 18, February 25, and March 11, 7 PM

Student Art Pop-up Exhibit
May 5-8, 9AM-5 PM
The work includes Blake Page’s proposals for outdoor teaching spaces on campus, Miles Lowman’s tintypes of his football teammates, Charlee Fore’s photographs about the issue of domestic abuse, and Cade Davidson’s mapping of the many different birds that share campus with us.


January 13-February 11
Wall Garden, a work in progress by Emma Steinkraus
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
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
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
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
The Gallery


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

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

Joey Kelly '22

Senior Joey Kelly is uniquely himself and, with the help of his transformative and well-rounded academic experience at Hampden-Sydney, is not afraid to challenge his own or others' perspectives.

Joey Kelly '22