Visual imagination, creative invention.

In the Studio Art program at Mercyhurst University, we emphasize hands-on learning, craftsmanship, and design, and strive for excellence in the production of art. Faculty provide the environment and guidance to for students to develop a disciplined approach to the making of art. The Studio Art major is one of four programs of study in the Art Department including Art Education, Art Therapy, and Graphic Design. All first-year students are enrolled in the same foundation year art classes and have the flexibility to explore these four programs.

Fast Facts

  • Studio Art majors can choose to customize their studio courses to focus on areas of study such as ceramics, digital imagery, painting or photography, or they can generalize and take a wide range of media courses

  • Studio Art majors take the Senior Art Thesis course to develop a portfolio of work that is shown in the annual Senior Art Thesis Exhibition in the regionally renowned Sister Angelica Cummings Art Gallery

  • With the flexible curriculum, Studio Art majors are able to try courses in other art major areas such as Graphic Design, Art Education or Art Therapy

In The Classroom

The Mercyhurst University Department of Art teamed up with the Erie Zoo for an “ExZOOberant Paint Party” in our art studio. The Jungle Crayon Fence surrounds the children’s play area as a memorable and fun piece of personality in the nearby Erie Zoo. Students and faculty from the Department of Art led the initiative to host a painting party to give new life to this iconic fence in the zoo area. The entire Mercyhurst community was invited to join in the fun, with students, faculty, and staff helping paint more than 85 crayons with unique designs and names that all adhered to an animal theme. Mercyhurst’s Department of Art students love opportunities to be creative in the Erie community, especially the chance to work on unique displays like the Jungle Crayon Fence!

paint party
studio art students


Studio Art students are required to take ART 102: Ceramics I, which develops their skills in coil pot creation, as well as providing a foundation for the technical and aesthetic aspects of ceramic art and its techniques.

studio art students 2


Our Studio Art program allows students to hone their coil pot building skills through multiple form challenges for 3-dimensional artwork. Coursework also includes hand building, glazing, and firing gas and electric kilns.

studio art students 3


Senior Studio Art students complete a thesis project, which is an intensive capstone course where students develop their own collection of works and portfolio, as well as strong friendships and faculty connections!

students drawing


Studio space is always available for our students, unlike at large schools where space may be limited. All Studio Art majors graduate with a fully prepared portfolio to use in graduate school interviews.

student drawing


Hands-on instruction and experience prepares our students to pursue careers in design, publication, and gallery and museum work. Artwork created by our alumni can be seen in galleries throughout the world.

studio art students


Students are challenged to develop their creative potential through the varied experiences and disciplines of the art field, including department field trips, art education, Art Therapy Club, and workshops.

Contact Us

Gary Cardot, MFA
Assistant Professor
Office: Zurn 135A
Phone: 814-824-2529