Art Emphasis Areas

Emphasis Areas

Students pursuing a B.A. or BFA undergraduate degree can choose an emphasis area. With the broadest course offerings in the state, including the only furniture design program, our unique arts programs are taught by faculty with vast experience in their field. Our location in the capital city allows you to have incomparable experiences, internships and opportunities.


Instruction in Ceramics includes a variety of approaches, both functional and sculptural, exploring all avenues of historic and contemporary methods and ideas, from fine art to traditional craft.

The 2,000 square foot studio is fully equipped with potters wheels, slab roller, extruder, glaze studio, vacuum pug mill & Bluebird clay mixers, test kilns, digital and manual electric kilns, gas-fired Bailey car kiln, downdraft soda kiln, fast fire wood kiln, and Raku/Sagger firing facilities. Personal work spaces are available for advanced and graduate level students.


Drawing courses provide foundation level study for all students who pursue a studio art degree. The first two courses in drawing, ARST 1310: Basic Drawing and ARST 2310: Figure Drawing, are perception based and introduce students to methods of seeing and translating what is seen through a variety of traditional media and processes. The complete drawing program encourages student experimentation with materials, and to recognize the value of the hand drawn image as a remarkable means of communication.

Furniture & Woodworking

The Furniture Design and Woodworking emphasis places a focus on both the ability to design, and the hand and machine skills necessary to build furniture, functional objects and sculptural wood forms. The program promotes innovative and experimental solutions and individual expression as well as traditional wood-working hand skills. Furniture Design students enjoy a well-equipped wood shop, including digital fabrication equipment and a metal fabrication shop.

Graphic Design

Students pursuing an emphasis in Graphic Design become fluent in visual communication through idea creation and processes in fundamentals of design, typography, mulit-format page and editorial design, branding and identity, conceptual layout, print production, package design, and web design. Using both traditional graphic design methods and computer design techniques in the process of idea making, classes stress creativity and the technical aspects of the profession. Upon completion of the graphic design emphasis students are armed with a professional portfolio and the tools needed to flourish in an industry that is integral to all businesses and organizations.


The Illustration emphasis stresses the development of technical skills, concept and personal expression for the professional illustrator. Students are trained in traditional and computer-based media in“real world” situations. Projects include illustration for book, advertising, concept, and editorial uses. A close tie with the graphic design curriculum creates a well-rounded commercial artist ready for employment in a variety of commercial art fields.

Metalsmithing & Jewelry

The Metalsmithing and Jewelry program presents techniques involved in jewelry making and metalsmithing. Basic fabrication, forging, forming, connections (hot and cold), surface embellishment treatments, casting, and finishing methods are explored. Through research, technical exercises, finished projects, discussion, and critiques, students will practice the skills of concept development, design, craftsmanship, and critical evaluation for utilitarian and non-utilitarian works.


Painting courses begin with the fundamentals of still life and landscape (creating the illusions of volume and depth), progress with experimentation of various painting concepts, and then focus on establishment of the student’s personal direction in painting. Personal direction can encompass anything from traditional portraiture through contemporary concepts. Transition through the painting courses is accomplished in a seamless manner by emphasis on an individualized approach. UA Little Rock painting students are active in the local art community, and work by our painting students is regularly accepted in local, state and regional competitive exhibitions and displayed in local galleries. A BFA degree emphasis in painting will provide a solid foundation for students who wish to pursue M.A. or MFA programs in painting and careers in art and university teaching.


Photography classes explore the technical and conceptual challenges of creating interesting and well-crafted photographs. Students are taught the digital skills to be competitive in today’s constantly evolving market, while also being given the option of exploring traditional darkroom, historical and mixed-media solutions.


Through theory and practice students explore traditional and innovative Printmaking processes. Basic and immediate printmaking include woodcut, linoleum cut, intaglio-etching, and aluminum plate lithography. The advance student enroll in the Printmaking Atelier course for instructions in multiple-color relief, intaglio, and lithographic processes. Independent Study in printmaking include wood engraving, mezzotint, metal engraving, and stone lithography. Students who have a general interest in printmaking, but pursue other studio areas as a primary discipline may enroll in monotype and monoprint classes.