Quick Facts

  • The Art Department is housed on two floors of the Zurn Arts and Science Building. The facilities include studios for ceramics, drawing, painting, printmaking, photography and sculpture.
  • Because of the small class sizes, students have ample access to work in the studios outside of class time.
  • Student work is regularly exhibited in extensive display areas on the first floor of Zurn Hall.
  • The Graphic Design lab is housed in the neighboring Hirt building where students have key card access to the modern graphics dedicated computer lab.
  • Dynamic faculty members are working and exhibiting artists themselves.
  • Hands-on, studio approach to learning art through artistic processes; methods of creative problem solving; the diversity of art materials, media and approaches; the importance of design; and the role of art history.
  • Special scholarship available: Sister Angelica High School Art Scholarship, awarded to high school seniors accepted as art majors at Mercyhurst, based on 8-10 images of the student’s high school work. For information, contact the department chair.
  • Our alumni are respected at many local, regional and national firms and businesses, including: Disney Interactive, Altman Hall Advertising, fh group, CyberInk-lp, Scott Enterprises and the Washington Post.
  • Graphic design majors have competed at the annual American Advertising Federation awards; have membership in the American Institute of Graphic Arts; and have worked with real nonprofits, including the Erie Small Business Development Center, the Liberian People’s Initiative Against Poverty and the Sisters of Mercy.
  • Art education majors have more than 100 hours of observing and teaching art as part of their coursework before student teaching.
  • Art therapy majors conceptualize problems and solutions with actual clients by creating art, utilizing story and narrative, creating research journals, and role playing and game integration to promote the value of non-verbal expression.
  • Studio Art majors present their work at a senior exhibition held in the Cummings Art Gallery on campus and will graduate with a fully-prepared portfolio to use in graduate school interviews.


Our Core Values:

  • Artful Discipline: Students of Art will realize true progress in their artistic lives when their art becomes part of their daily lives. Students are encouraged to use journals and/or sketchbooks to document their work. We have found that through this activity concepts will arise for exploration; progress will be documented; research stored; and media and designs can be explored, tested, nurtured and developed.
  • Creativity: Students within the Art Department are concept, process, and product oriented. They learn about creativity and develop ways to investigate challenging problems or areas of interest through the use and practice of a variety of approaches including mind-mapping, CPS (creative problem solving method), brainstorming, matrix systems, analogy, listing methods, free-expression, etc.
  • Design: Using the full spectrum of study from “nature as builder” through math as system, art students learn to organize, form, plan and create art through the use of the elements, processes, and principles of design.
  • History of Art: Understanding the past is necessary to the future. Art students study, apply, and explore social, cultural, aesthetic, and historical perspectives of Western and Non-western Art including artists, movements, artifacts, and styles.
  • Social Responsibility: Art students are trained in the powerful tools of visual communication and service. With training in design, communication theory, and media selection, students are challenged to create responsible Art, reflect on its impact, and to make ethically sound decisions that benefit local and global communities. We participate and sponsor numerous art exhibitions, voluntary art projects, and political and social action efforts.
  • Professional Practice: Integral to the discipline of Art, students are trained in the standards and practices of their chosen field. They are called upon to uphold the integrity of the profession.


Civil War photo exhibit
Photographs of the American Civil War

Dates: Jun 12-Aug 1, 2014

Location: Cummings Gallery

MU Course Catalog