Northern Illinois University’s painting program provides students with a thorough understanding of the theory and practice of painting. It asks that students approach this process with an open mind, a sense of inquiry, experimentation across media, and the willingness to take creative risks in the pursuit of originality and artistic freedom. Artistic independence is achieved through an understanding of the constantly shifting balance between form, content, and subject matter in the pluralistic realm of painting.
Classroom work, individual and group critiques, field trips, and assigned reading develop critical thinking, the ability to challenge commonly held beliefs and advance new ideas, and a sense of belonging to the greater community. Our purpose is to give students a combined emphasis on the mastery of formal/visual language, knowledge of past and current painting issues, social and cultural awareness, and a deep attention to the role of creativity and imagination in art. We enable students to integrate theory with practice and to unify their artistic vision with varied professional goals.