Department of Fine Arts

Discover your artistic voice and share your passion for creating with others in the University of Maryland Eastern Shore’s Department of Fine Arts

Welcome to the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore—where traditional art and new technologies come together to foster individual artistic expression in various media. Our innovative curriculum, passionate faculty, and focus on hands-on learning help to make us one of the most respected art schools in Maryland.

When you join the Department of Fine Arts at UMES, you can choose one of our four specialized degree programs to hone your craft and excel in your field. We are proud to be the only art school in Maryland to offer a degree in Sequential Arts—which include comic book art and computer graphics. We also offer Commercial Photography, Graphic Illustration, and Art Education programs.

With just over 120 students, the Department of Fine Arts offers small class sizes and individualized attention from our highly credentialed faculty mentors—who are also internationally respected artists. In addition to large, well-equipped studios, students have a wide range of opportunities outside the classroom, including trips to New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, DC, and annual international travel to destinations such as Italy, China, Jamaica, and France. Expand your imagination, collaborate with other artists, and advance your skills in a top college for arts at an HBCU.

Explore Programs in the Department of Fine Arts at UMES

What medium speaks to you? Do you see yourself as a comic book writer? If so, our Sequential Arts program can inspire you to create the next superhero or manga sensation. Do you have an eye to capture the natural beauty of the world around you? We are the only college for arts to offer a degree in Commercial Photography at an HBCU. Earning a degree in Commercial Photography here can prepare you for a wide range of careers in the fashion industry, journalism, or travel.

Or maybe you want to illustrate books and magazines, or see your paintings displayed in art galleries? Our Graphic Illustration degree will help you combine illustration with graphic design to maximize your career potential. If you’re interested in sharing your love of art with students in elementary or secondary school, join our Art Education program, where we teach artists to plan curricula and manage their own classes.

We offer state-of-the-art classrooms and studios with the latest equipment and technology used by professionals throughout the industry. You’ll also have many opportunities for hands-on learning, both in your classes and in internships and professional opportunities with local art organizations.

Undergraduate programs:

Student Life in the Department of Fine Arts at UMES

Whether you’re collaborating with others in a complex medium like comic books or sharing your work in an exhibition, art is about community. Our close-knit family of engaged faculty, peers, and alumni is one of the many reasons we remain among the top art schools in Maryland. We offer many exciting clubs and events in which students can make personal and professional connections while sharing their passion with others.

Our Envision Art Club provides a fun, inviting atmosphere for students to interact with faculty and each other. It’s a great opportunity for students from programs as different as Sequential Arts and Photography to come together and find ways to bridge their media together to create unique art.

Other activities offered by the Department of Fine Arts include:

  • Museum/gallery field trips
  • 3rd Fridays in Salisbury, MD—a monthly arts and entertainment event
  • Comic-Con trips
  • External exhibitions within the local art community
  • Student shows
  • Senior shows
  • Movie nights
  • Public art projects

Learn More about Paying for UMES

Whether you’re studying art education to teach future generations the benefits of artistic creation and appreciation or earning a degree in Commercial Photography to document the world and inform others of current events, joining our department is a major investment in yourself and the communities around you.

In return, the department and UMES invest in you and your academic success by offering affordable tuition rates and fees compared to other art schools in Maryland. We also offer generous funding through programs such as the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the United Negro College Fund. We encourage you to fill out the FAFSA to see whether you qualify for federal, state, or institutional grants. We are invested in making sure that finding aid to pay for school never gets in the way of your dream to attend a college for arts.

Available Careers for Fine Arts Students

Graduates from the Department of Fine Arts go on to find successful careers as artists, business owners, educators, art therapists, marketers, and so much more. Many others continue their education in prestigious graduate art schools in Maryland and throughout the country to build on the strong foundation they’ve built at UMES.

In recent history, every student who has graduated from our Art Education program has found a job after earning their degree. Recent graduates who studied graphic illustration have founded their own graphic design firms or started comic book studios. And our Commercial Photography graduates have worked as staff photographers in the House of Representatives, been published in national publications, and run their own photography businesses.

Thanks to our focus on hands-on learning, collaboration, and creating a well-rounded basis in the liberal arts, you’ll be prepared to pursue a broad range of careers both in art and in related fields, including:

  • Advertiser or marketer
  • Graphic designer
  • Art teacher
  • Curator
  • Journalist
  • Illustrator

Take the Next Step

Soar above and beyond creatively and professionally when you join one of the innovative degree programs in the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Join one of the most respected art schools in Maryland and turn your passion for art into a rewarding career.

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