Program Director: Sheena Carey

The fine arts minor represents a unique program created in collaboration with the nearby Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (MIAD). The collaboration offers students the opportunity to enhance creative skills, increase knowledge of the arts and fulfill artistic desires by choosing one of the two 18-credit minors: Fine Arts-Graphic Design or Fine Arts-Studio Art. Each minor offers a unique blend of creative conceptualizing, execution, theory and technology. MIAD is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

Students who wish to pursue a FIAR minor must apply for admission to the program. Space is limited and applications are only accepted from Freshmen and Sophomores. Applications are due by October 1 (for admission in spring term) or February 15 (for admission in fall term). Applicants will be notified of their status by October 15 (for spring term) or March 1 (for fall term). All program applications should be emailed to the program director, Sheena Carey, at No late applications are accepted. Students must provide an artist statement, a portfolio with up to 10 creative samples and one letter of reference.

  • The artist statement should be a 500- to 750-word statement describing the history of the student’s interests and experiences in art, the student’s goals and what motivates the student to achieve those goals. The student statement should also include the following: name, college, rank (freshman or sophomore), major and desired FIAR minor.
  • Up to 10 samples of creative work should be uploaded into an online portfolio and the link to it should be included at the conclusion of the artistic statement, along with the name of the student’s reference.
  • Reference letters should come from someone who knows of the student’s creative passion and may be a high school teacher. Letters should be sent directly to the program director:

Only full-time Marquette students, accepted into the FIAR program as declared FIAR minors, may registrar for classes. Normally FIAR minors complete one course per term. However, under some circumstances students may be allowed to register for a second class. Any declared minor who has not taken a FIAR class by junior year, may be dropped from the minor. Students may not exceed 18 FIAR credits overall. Students must meet any prerequisites before registering for a course. Placement is subject to availability. Students should consult the Schedule of Classes at the time of registration. Registration forms must be filed by November 15 (for spring term) and April 15 (for fall term). The MIAD Registration form is located on the Marquette Central academic forms website. The tuition cost of enrolling in MIAD courses is included in the Marquette full-time student tuition rate. However, other course material fees may apply, and students need to pay them directly to MIAD before the start of classes. Additionally, MIAD requires a laptop computer for all Graphic Design minors. A 15" Apple MacBook Pro is strongly recommended. Finally, do not contact MIAD teachers or the registrar regarding scheduling, substitutions and/or waivers.  All of these must be approved by Sheena Carey, Marquette FIAR Program Director.

Students registered for FIAR courses receive notification from MIAD shortly before classes begin. This notification includes information about supplies, class location, course website, parking options, as well as any specific instructions from individual MIAD instructors. Student lockers are available at MIAD. Transportation to MIAD is not provided; however public transportation is readily available and many students car pool. Finally, all FIAR courses are offered at MIAD unless otherwise noted. MIAD is located at 273 East Erie Street.

Further information can be obtained from Sheena Carey, Program Director, 404 Johnston Hall, 414-288-87026 or at


Minor in Graphic Design

The graphic design minor is designed for students who wish to pursue work in graphic design across print and digital media.

Required courses - must be completed before enrolling in electives:
FIAR 1100Visual and Color Dynamics3
FIAR 2030Typography 13
FIAR 2900Communication Design 13
FIAR 2910Communication Design 23
Required course - choose one of the following:3
Computer Studio 1
Communication Design Toolbox
Elective course - choose one of the following:3
Typography 2
Computer Studio 2
Information Graphics
Packaging Design
Advertising Design
Total Credit Hours18


  • Only courses listed under FIAR in Marquette’s Snapshot and the Schedule of Classes are available for registration, as only these courses have been approved by the FIAR Program Director. Not all courses offered at MIAD are available to Marquette Fine Art minors. Any questions should be directed to the FIAR Program Director: Sheena Carey.



Minor in Studio Art

The studio art minor is designed for students who wish to create a minor that focuses on artistic development. Studio Art courses take an interdisciplinary approach, reflecting today’s art world. The curriculum, which takes a holistic approach, often integrates thematic topics within various courses. This allows students the option of exploring a new medium or discipline, or focusing on one medium or development within a singular artistic discipline.

Required FIAR classes must be completed before taking electives.
FIAR 1000Observational Drawing3
FIAR 1100Visual and Color Dynamics3
ITAL 3200Italian Culture and Civilization (Art, Fashion and Nation topic only)3
or THEO 3340 Theology and the Visual Arts
Electives: 19
Research, Process and Connection
Studio Principles
Approaches to Making
Open Studio
Total Credit Hours18


  • Research, Practice and Methods - Foundation level courses generally focused on a specific medium or discipline, while building on FIAR 1000 Observational Drawing and FIAR 1100 Visual and Color Dynamics.

  • Studio Principles - Slightly more advanced than foundation level courses, these courses focus on one medium while introducing themes.

  • Approaches to Making - Designed around themes, allowing students to select their preferred medium.

  • Open Studio - Advanced level courses that require a commitment to artistic inquiry and are thematically driven, allowing students to select their preferred medium.

  • Only courses listed under FIAR in Marquette’s Snapshot and the Schedule of Classes are available for registration, as only these courses have been approved by the FIAR program director. Not all courses offered at MIAD are available to Marquette Fine Art minors. Any questions should be directed to the FIAR program director: Sheena Carey.



FIAR 1000. Systems of Drawing. 3 cr. hrs.

A one-term course in which students meet twice weekly and will be introduced to the visual language of drawing. How the parts of the drawing relate to each other and to the composition as a whole is explored while each student strives to develop skills using traditional black-and-white media. One-half of the course places primary emphasis on depicting the human form; the other half places emphasis on depicting objects in space. Prereq: Cons. of dept. Fee paid to MIAD. MIAD # [FYE100].

FIAR 1100. Visual Language. 3 cr. hrs.

Dynamics is a problem-solving course in which the student investigates the dynamic visual forces involved in composing on a two-dimensional plane. Explores the interrelationships of composition, process, perception, and intention. Color and light are also explored as a visual phenomenon, as a perceptual occurrence, as pigment with specific mixing properties, and as an element with powerful expressive and symbolic potential. Time, the fourth dimension, is investigated through problems dealing with simultaneity and sequentiality. The range of tools includes traditional materials/mediums and digital imaging. The course broadens the student’s skill level in idea development,research strategies, and technique through the exploration of the visual language in both a historical and contemporary context. Approximately one-half of the semester is spent working in a digital environment. Prereq: Cons. of dept. Fee paid to MIAD. MIAD # [FYE110].

FIAR 1210. Research, Process and Connection. 3 cr. hrs.

A theme-based introductory course in which students conduct research and engage in a creative process that leads to a body of visual work. Each section of RPC is devoted to a particular idea, process, or approach. Students develop concepts, translate ideas, and apply methods as they make their work. Students explore their work and thinking within a historical, cultural, and personal context. This is reinforced through critical dialogue during stages of ideation, production, completion, and evaluation. At the end of the semester, students are required to present their final research in a digital presentation. These presentations should demonstrate visual evidence of work completed throughout the semester as well as the ability to analyze their progress and learning in a public format. Prereq: Cons. of Director of Marquette Fine Arts Program and FIAR 1000 and FIAR 1100.

FIAR 1501. Digital 2D. 3 cr. hrs.

Introduction to image/content creation, manipulation, editing and management through Adobe Suite programs. Learn proper file management and workflow techniques, along with proper digital documentation and presentation of work. Students employ digital terminology across a wide range of disciplines and practices while also recognizing the cultural implications of digital creation, appropriation and distribution. MIAD # [FYE150].

FIAR 2030. Typography 1. 3 cr. hrs.

Typography courses provide the students with an understanding of the integral use of typography in the overall design concept. Type as a communicative and creative element is explored. Students become familiar with the organizational skills necessary for clear communication as well as the formative aspects of typographic symbols and arrangement. Typography I is an introductory course that focuses on the history and practice of using typography in design. This course will familiarize students with several methods for structuring type so that they might gain an understanding of how typographic variables and the principles of legibility and readability affect visual communication. Each student will be encouraged to develop their own personal awareness of and appreciation for typography; so that they will become equipped with the terminology, theory and practice necessary for making design decisions that facilitate understanding among their intended audience. Prereq: Soph. stndg. and FIAR 1100. MIAD # [DS202].

FIAR 2040. Typography 2. 3 cr. hrs.

This course provides students with the continued use of typography within more specific design assignments. Type as a volume of text and the collaboration between text and image in print and digital media is explored. Coursework will enable the student to participate in an advanced study of typographic design. Concentration will be placed on exercises in and the analysis of the perceptual aspects of communication, the ways in which we derive meaning from and contribute meaning to our cultural environment through type. In other words, to explore and clarify the relationships between the spoken word and the published visual language of print and digital words. The continuum of Typography I and Typography II offers an advanced understanding of how typographic variables (placement, order of chronology, size, weight, leading, column width, alignment, style, orientation, and choice of typeface) and principles of legibility and readability affect visual communication. Logistical issues of planning and organizing paginated systems, information systems, and type in motion will also be presented. Each student will continue to develop the personal awareness necessary for making design decisions that facilitate understanding amongst their intended audience. Prereq: FIAR 1100 and FIAR 2030. MIAD # [DS203].

FIAR 2067. Studio Principles. 3 cr. hrs.

This course provides students with the foundational knowledge and skills within a specific area or discipline of focus. Emphasis on tools, materials, techniques and formal visual principles structure a sequence of assignments and exercises. Students will engage in a process of creation, construction and experimentation. Awareness of traditional and contemporary precedents promotes development of skills, personal vision and distinct expression. Through analysis and critique of their own and each other’s work, the class will establish the language of analytic and intuitive problem-solving. MIAD # [NSP206/NSP207] Prereq: Cons. of Director of Marquette Fine Arts Program and FIAR 1000 and FIAR 1100.

FIAR 2073. Studio Principles: New Genre. 3 cr. hrs.

Studio Principles of New Genres embraces the ‘new’ in artmaking since the reproducible photograph – exploring performance art, video, audio, social practice, digital practices, timebased forms and more. The emphasis is on creating experiences between artist and audience. We’ll look at the history of New Genre while making a case for creating new histories. Various methods, techniques and demos will provide students with skills to create work that lives in the spaces between traditional boundaries, makes new spaces outside those boundaries, or sidesteps boundaries altogether. This is a studio class with occasional readings, discussions, in-class activities and critiques. Fee paid to MIAD. MIAD # [NSP207C] Prereq: FIAR 1000 and FIAR 1100.

FIAR 2200. Approaches to Making. 3 cr. hrs.

Sections of this course are intended to delve deeply into how a specific subject or mode has been addressed by artists over time. Each thematic subsection will address manifestations of these subjects (see examples below) in multiple media, in subsequent eras, and towards different purposes, studied in the context of students’ continuing engagement with their individuated studio practices. All subsections are meant to be expansive in approach, and to consider all modes and media as represented in historical and current art as equally valid subjects of inquiry and examples for studio practice. Instructors will lead research into the chosen subject areas and prompt students with studio projects designed for direct, hands-on exploration of thematic subjects. Students will employ media familiar to them, and be encouraged to experiment with new media, to expand their artistic exploration and to build manual and oral/written vocabulary for operating within a multidisciplinary environment. Fee paid to MIAD. MIAD # [NSP220/NSP221] Prereq: Cons. of Director of Marquette Fine Arts Program and FIAR 1000 and FIAR 1100.

FIAR 2221. Approaches to Making: Appropriation. 3 cr. hrs.

This course will topically engage appropriation as defined by a range of artistic practices and critical interventions. We will establish a range of current tendencies, then trace them back to their historical lineages. Recognizing the complicated history within appropriation and questions of authorship, students will engage relationships between past and present. Through lecture, discussion, and critique, these relationships will become central in the art making process. Although this is a studio class, students will encounter a number of critical texts. By way of reading and class dialogue, students will become aware of the role theory and history can play in the art making process. This in turn will allow students to develop a discerning way in which to approach their respective practices. Approaches to Appropriation engages an expanded notion of appropriation by acknowledging a range of artistic approaches. Students will be encouraged to conceive of their projects via media best suited to effectively communicate their artistic pursuits. Fee paid to MIAD. MIAD #[NSP221B]. Prereq: FIAR 1000 and FIAR 1100.

FIAR 2400. Computer Studio 1. 3 cr. hrs.

This course introduces students to the general structure of the Macintosh computing platform and engages them in an intensive tool- and function-based experience with the current versions of QuarkXPress and Adobe Illustrator. Digital pre-press fundamentals are also introduced. Prereq: Jr. stndg; and FIAR 1100. Fee paid to MIAD. MIAD # [DS230].

FIAR 2410. Computer Studio 2. 3 cr. hrs.

An introduction to the fundamental workings of the tools and functions inherent in the current version of Adobe Photoshop. Additional challenges include interfacing between QuarkXPress, Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop to create more complex documents, and advanced aspects of the digital pre-press. Prereq: Jr. stndg. , FIAR 1100 and FIAR 2400;. Fee paid to MIAD. MIAD # [DS231].

FIAR 2900. Communication Design 1. 3 cr. hrs.

Fundamentals of communication design are introduced to the student with theoretical and applied studies in design, problem solving, communication, and verbal and visual presentation. Prereq: FIAR 1100; cons. of dept. Fee paid to MIAD. MIAD # [DS200].

FIAR 2910. Communication Design 2. 3 cr. hrs.

Fundamentals of communication design are introduced to the student with theoretical and applied studies in design, problem solving, communication, and verbal and visual presentation. Prereq: FIAR 1100 and FIAR 2900; Fee paid to MIAD. MIAD # [DS201].

FIAR 2931. Topics in Fine Art 1. 1-3 cr. hrs.

Elective topics in Fine Arts. Prereq: FIAR 1100 or FIAR 1120 and FIAR 2810, or cons. of dir. of Marquette Fine Arts Program.

FIAR 3020. Information Graphics. 3 cr. hrs.

Information Design is communication design. It focuses on conveying clear messages to an intended audience. This objective can be applied to many forms of communication from charts and graphs to instructions, from maps and way-finding to interface problems. Information Design solutions should integrate previously acquired skills in design, typography, and image making. To be effective, they must use carefully considered elements, rather than complex gratuitous ones. Students develop a strong design process. Students will effectively and efficiently research and assimilate information in order to understand and ultimately interpret what they have gathered. They will explore several ideas during the sketching phase that follows. They will edit content, create appropriate imagery and combine the two in harmonious compositions that are simple, effective and engaging. Students are expected to think critically about the content, their work, and the work of their classmates. They will participate in a dialogue about design in order to improve their work and their ability to talk professionally about the big ideas addressed through the class assignments. Prereq: FIAR 2030 and FIAR 2910. MIAD # [DS302].

FIAR 3040. Packaging Design. 3 cr. hrs.

Students are introduced to the process of designing three-dimensional containers, individually or as systems for the mutual benefit of the end user and the manufacturer. Emphasis is placed on the graphics application of symbols, shape, color, illustration and typography and how they relate to three-dimensional packaging structures as well as the point of sale application of the packaging. Prereq: FIAR 1100, FIAR 2030, FIAR 2900 and FIAR 2910 (may be taken concurrently) or consent of Director of Marquette Fine Arts Program. MIAD # [DS303).

FIAR 3050. Advertising Design. 3 cr. hrs.

This course is designed to familiarize the student with art direction within an advertising agency. Students learn the fundamentals of advertising, from a history of advertising, to lectures and seminars on marketing, research, account service, copyrighting, illustration, photography and self promotion. The focus will be the role of an art director or designer within an agency environment. Prereq: FIAR 1100, FIAR 2030, FIAR 2900 and FIAR 2910 (may be taken concurrently) or consent of Director of Marquette Fine Arts Program. MIAD # [DS305].

FIAR 3060. Open Studio. 3 cr. hrs.

This course is an introduction to self-directed learning designed to further one’s growth as an artist. Individual artistic investigations will center on self-determined modes of making. Students may choose to concentrate on one discipline or they may work across several disciplines. That choice will be guided by the instructor and by advanced student mentors in the class. Guidance will also be offered as the student defines broad themes for artistic inquiry. Successful self-determined inquiry requires the students to reflect on the trajectory of their work and it further requires them to nurture a dialog with their work. Artistic inquiry will be guided through readings, critiques, visits to exhibitions and through frequent consultation with the instructor and with other students. Development of an ePortfolio provides further opportunities for reflection on the student’s artistic evolution and it provides a convenient means for sharing work beyond the class. Because this course focuses on studio practice, students are expected to be working during class. Gathering materials, doing Internet research, texting, etc., should be done outside of class. To the extent possible, class time will be devoted to studio work and to critique, but expect to start every class with a discussion. Discussions provide an opportunity to explore common ideas, to seek advice, to share discoveries and to provide support for the class community. Prereq: Cons. of Director of Marquette Fine Arts Program and FIAR 1000 and FIAR 1100.

FIAR 3931. Topics in Fine Art 2. 1-3 cr. hrs.

Elective topics in Fine Arts. Prereq: FIAR 1120, FIAR 2810 or cons. of dir. of Marquette Fine Arts Program.

FIAR 4995. Independent Study in Fine Arts. 1-3 cr. hrs.

Research on a selected topic under the direction of a faculty member. Prereq: Cons. of dir. of Marquette Fine Arts Program.