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Visual Arts Studies

The Visual Arts Program prepares students for future careers in the arts with an interdisciplinary spirit and a global perspective. Uniquely located within a community of architects, preservationists and historians, the Visual Arts Program plays an active role in bridging the disciplines of the School.  The Visual Arts Faculty consists of active artists who share their experiences with students through lively and challenging discussions and critiques. Media explorations are encouraged throughout the program and culminate in the creation of a body of work that reflects the individual students' interests.  Balancing craft and conceptual agility, new and traditional media, the Visual Arts program positions graduates to engage in an increasingly interdisciplinary world.

To fit the students educational and career goals, Roger Williams University offers two degree tracks for visual artists—the Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Fine Arts. The interdisciplinary nature of the program situated within a strong liberal arts curriculum provides a model of study that allows students to explore multiple areas of interest that then informs their creative work.  Our strength is the amount of attention given to each individual student-artist as they develop through the program, preparing them for a future in the arts by cultivating technical proficiency in a number of media, conceptual understanding through ongoing criticism, dialogue and understanding of the cultural context in which they are working.

Visual Arts Concentrations Available

  • Film, Animation and Video
  • Painting, Drawing and Printmaking
  • Photography and Digital Media
  • Sculpture

Distinctive Features of the Visual Arts Program

  • A dynamic student and faculty community with diverse interests
  • Visiting Artists who deliver lectures, have exhibitions on campus and work directly with VARTS students each semester
  • Internship program in partnership with the RWU Career Center
  • Innovative course design featuring the Intersections Program
  • Close Affiliation with the RWU Architecture, Art and Architectural History and Historic Preservation Programs
  • Frequent trips to Museums and Galleries in New York, Boston and beyond
  • Study abroad to our flagship program in Florence, Italy as well as other global venues
  • Facilities that include the Franklin St Warehouse, an open and industrial studio space for Visual Art Seniors

To Apply

A portfolio of two and/or three-dimensional work demonstrating evidence of an applicants creative potential is required for admission to the Visual Arts program.  The intent of the portfolio is to allow the program to begin to assess your emerging potential at this earliest stage in your Arts education.  Consistent with the mission of our School, Roger Williams University is interested in and celebrates the variety of expression that applicants demonstrate.  Applicants come from a variety of backgrounds, and we appreciate this variety as the basis for beginning the study of Visual Art at the college level.

For details, please see the Special Requirements for Undergraduate Admissions web page, or contact the SAAHP Office at (401) 254-3681, or saahp@rwu.edu.

Anne Tait, M.F.A.
Associate Professor of Art
B.A. Bowling Green State University, B.F.A. Rhode Island School of Design, M.F.A. American University
View Curriculum Vitae »
Contact Information
x3768
AR 253
Areas of Expertise: 
Visual Arts Studies/Printmaking/Painting

Anne Tait

Anne
Tait
M.F.A.
Associate Professor of Art
B.A. Bowling Green State University, B.F.A. Rhode Island School of Design, M.F.A. American University
sites/default/files/faculty-staff/cv/tait_cv_2011.pdf
Contact Information
x3768
AR 253
Areas of Expertise: 
Visual Arts Studies/Printmaking/Painting

Anne TaitAnne Tait teaches printmaking and painting in the Visual Art Studies Program. She has a BA from Bowling Green State University in literature and art history, a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design in printmaking and a MFA from the American University in Washington in painting.

Her work, from earlier oil paintings done in layers of oil glazes of translucent color on tondi (round paintings), expose a sinewy eccentric world of floating forms that push the picture plane in an intentionally disorientating setting, intending the purposeful subterfuge to be both mysterious and comedic. Her more recent work, prints, glass pieces and the accompanying images from the research the question her work ask look at death and the ways we that live contend with this question.

Jeffrey Silverthorne, M.A.T.
Associate Professor of Art
B.F.A., M.F.A., M.A.T. Rhode Island School of Design
Contact Information
Areas of Expertise: 
Visual Arts Studies/Photography

Jeffrey Silverthorne

Jeffrey
Silverthorne
M.A.T.
Associate Professor of Art
B.F.A., M.F.A., M.A.T. Rhode Island School of Design
Contact Information
Areas of Expertise: 
Visual Arts Studies/Photography

Jeffrey SilverthornePhotographer Jeffrey Silverthorne has been making pictures for over 40 years, with his work included in over 35 one-person exhibitions, 40 group exhibitions, 36 publications including 3 monographs. Silverthorne’s work is in the permanent collections of the Biblioteque Nationale, Paris; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Los Angeles County Museum; Yale University Art Gallery; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House, Rochester; Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland; RISD Museum, Providence; Museum for Photography, Antwerp; State Gallery of the Czech Republic; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Musee de l’Elysee Lausanne Switzerland; Lars Swander, Copenhagen; Christian Caujolle, Paris and other collections.

Michael Rich, M.F.A.
Professor of Art
B.F.A. Rhode Island School of Design, M.F.A. Savannah College of Art and Design
View Curriculum Vitae »
Contact Information
x3769
Visual Arts Building Room 105
Areas of Expertise: 
Visual Arts Studies/Painting/Drawing

Michael Rich

Michael
Rich
M.F.A.
Professor of Art
B.F.A. Rhode Island School of Design, M.F.A. Savannah College of Art and Design
sites/default/files/faculty-staff/cv/rich_cv_2011.pdf
Contact Information
x3769
Visual Arts Building Room 105
Areas of Expertise: 
Visual Arts Studies/Painting/Drawing

Michael Richwww.michael-rich.com

Michael Rich teaches painting and drawing in the Visual Art Studies Program. He has received a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design, and a MFA from The Savannah College of Art and Design.

Michael Rich exhibits nationally and internationally through regular gallery and museum exhibits. Rich’s work has recently been the subject of a retrospective exhibit at the Walton Art Center, Fayetteville Arkansas and was featured in a one-person exhibition at the Newport Art Museum, RI. He is the 1996 recipient of the Basil H. Alkazzi Award (USA) and his work is featured in private and public collections nationally including, The Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, LA and the Springfield Museum of Art, Springfield, OH.

Murray McMillan, M.F.A.
Associate Professor of Art
B.F.A. Kansas City Art Institute, M.F.A. University of Texas at Austin
Contact Information
x3454
AR 215
Areas of Expertise: 
Visual Arts: Digital Media, Video, Installation

Murray McMillan

Murray
McMillan
M.F.A.
Associate Professor of Art
B.F.A. Kansas City Art Institute, M.F.A. University of Texas at Austin
Contact Information
x3454
AR 215
Areas of Expertise: 
Visual Arts: Digital Media, Video, Installation

www.meganandmurraymcmillan.com

Murry McMillanMurray McMillan, and his collaborator Megan McMillan are video, photography and installation artists. They have exhibited at the Casa Masaccio Center for Contemporary Art in San Giovanni Valdarno, Italy, the Kunsthallen Brandts in Odense, Denmark, the State Museum of Contemporary Art in Thessaloniki, Greece, and the National Museum of Art in La Paz, Bolivia. The McMillan’s latest works were featured in the 2012 DeCordova Biennial at the deCordova Museum and in a solo exhibition at Brown University’s Cohen Gallery. These exhibitions were funded through an Artist Resource Trust Fund from the Berkshire Taconic Foundation and project grants from Brown University and the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts.

Elizabeth Duffy
Associate Professor of Art
B.A. Rutgers University, M.F.A. Brooklyn College
View Curriculum Vitae »
Contact Information
x3893
AR 219
Areas of Expertise: 
Visual Arts Studies/Sculpture/Mixed Media

Elizabeth Duffy

Elizabeth
Duffy
Associate Professor of Art
B.A. Rutgers University, M.F.A. Brooklyn College
sites/default/files/faculty-staff/cv/duffy_cv_2011.pdf
Contact Information
x3893
AR 219
Areas of Expertise: 
Visual Arts Studies/Sculpture/Mixed Media

Elizabeth Duffywww.elizabethduffy.net

Elizabeth Duffy teaches sculpture and drawing in the Visual Art Studies Program. She studied art at Rutgers College, The New York Studio School, Hunter and has a MFA from Brooklyn College. She has taught at Dartmouth College, The Delaware College of Art and Design and Purchase College/SUNY.