Visual and Performing Arts

The Major

Visual and Performing Arts offers six different programs of study. Students may choose to major in:

  • Art History and Visual Culture (30 credits)
  • Film, Television, and Media Arts (33 credits)
  • Music (30 credits)
  • Studio Art (30 credits)
  • Theatre (33 credits)

The Minor

A minor in Visual and Performing Arts can be obtained upon completion of 18 credits in one of the five areas of concentration: Art History and Visual Culture; Film, Television, and Media Arts; Studio Art; Music; or Theatre. The minor in Graphic Design is an interdisciplinary 18-credit minor. For further information about the curriculum and areas of concentration, consult the program directors:

Art History and Visual Culture: M. Rose
Film, Television, and Media Arts: L. Nash
Graphic Design: L. Porter
Music:  L. Nash
Studio Art: M. Rose
Theatre: M LoMonaco

Department Mission and Goals

The arts are an integral part of human existence, and study of the arts is a hallmark of a liberal education. Students in the Visual and Performing Arts Department acquire knowledge of the history, context, and theory of the interaction of art, society, and the self. They learn to communicate, produce, collaborate, meet deadlines, think critically, creatively problem solve, manage time, and be responsible to others, all while participating in life’s ongoing cultural conversation.

University Core Course Requirement

Beginning with the Class of 2023, all undergraduate students will be required to complete the Magis Core Curriculum. Please refer to the Curricula section of this undergraduate catalog for a detailed explanation of the Magis Core.

Students in the Class of 2022 and earlier must complete two semesters of coursework in Visual and Performing Arts to fulfill their core requirements. Our courses are divided between those that cover material from an historical/theoretical point of view, and those that involve the use of applied skills with which students actually make or perform works of art. The core curriculum requires that at least one of the two courses in this department be a history/theory course.

Additional Fees

All Studio Art courses and some Film, Television, and Media courses require a materials/lab fee. There are also additional charges for private music lessons. Students enrolling in these courses will be billed an additional fee per course on their term bill. See the Tuition and Fees page for details.

Facilities and Resources

  • The Fairfield University Art Museum (FUAM) encompasses galleries for the permanent collection and rotating exhibitions in Bellarmine Hall, and the Walsh Gallery for larger special exhibitions in the Quick Center for the Arts. It is an essential academic and cultural resource that brings original works of art to the Fairfield University community, and to the residents of Fairfield County and beyond. The small but choice permanent collection features European and American paintings, drawings, prints and photographs, as well as a group of Asian, African, and Pre-Columbian objects. This is augmented by antiquities and medieval objects on long-term loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Worcester Art Museum, the Yale University Art Gallery, and the American Numismatic Society, Asian art on loan from the Columbia University Collection, and European paintings and objects borrowed from private collections. Exhibitions showcase works of art in all media from a broad swathe of time periods and world cultures. The Lukacs and Experimental Art Galleries feature exhibitions by student artists, studio art classes, and contemporary artists.
  • The Studio Art Program has five Studio classrooms: a Sculpture studio, Painting Studio, Printmaking Studio with Digital Lab, Darkroom, Mixed Media and Drawing Studio, and a studio used for student capstone and independent projects. 
  • Our historic plaster cast collection began in 1991 and it is comprised of long-term loans and gifts from a variety of sources, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Acropolis Museum, Yale University Art Gallery, the Slater Museum, as well as generous individual donors. Our collection consists of one hundred casts representing masterpieces from ancient Greece, Rome, and Renaissance Italy, with particular depth for the Parthenon sculptural program. The collection provides students exceptional opportunities to study the history and process of cast making, as well as involvement with new solutions to the original polychromatic appearance of these sculptures. Students in the programs of Art History and Visual Culture, Studio Arts, and Classical Studies often work first hand on the plaster cast collection. The casts are part of the Fairfield University Art Museum and can be seen in Bellarmine Hall, Loyola Hall (by appointment), the DiMenna-Nyselius Library, the Quick Center lobby, and the Jesuit Community Center (by appointment).
  • A Digital Audio Workstation lab in Canisius Hall
  • A recording studio in Canisius Hall
  • Music practice rooms in Gonzaga Hall
  • The Aloysius P. Kelley proscenium theatre and the Wien Experimental Black Box theatre in the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts host frequent student performances presented by the theatre program.
  • The Film, Television, and Media Arts program has a new production studio, new computer labs with state-of-the-art digital design and editing technology, and cameras and other production equipment available for student assignments and projects.
  • The Lawrence A. Wien Black Box Experimental Theatre at the Quick Center for the Arts is the new home of Theatre Fairfield, the production wing of the Theatre Program.

  • The new Canisius 15 Theatre Lab is the central campus home of the Theatre Program where rehearsals, classes, and workshops are held.

  • The new Costume Shop and Construction Lab, and Scene Shop are in the Quick Center for the Arts.

Internships

Visual and Performing Arts majors are eligible for internship programs in New York City and the local art communities. Students may receive credit for gaining valuable practical experience in a variety of activities. Students have interned at Sotheby’s, Atlantic Records, Viacom, and many other sites in both New York City and Connecticut. There are also internships at the Fairfield University Art Museum, local galleries, museums, historical societies, television and radio stations, art studios, professional theatres, and production companies.

Class Trips

Students in Visual and Performing Arts courses have access to the rich offerings of New York City and Connecticut, and class trips to music and theatre performances, film festivals, museums, and behind-the-scenes tours are regular parts of our courses. If the trip is not scheduled during regular class time, it is not mandatory. However the instructor may require that the student attend a similar event or experience, to be arranged by the student on their own time, at a time when the student’s schedule allows.  

Performance Opportunities

In addition to its regular courses, the Music Program sponsors a number of student performing groups including the Fairfield University Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble. Members of these performing groups who are music majors and minors receive one credit for each semester provided they are not taking more than 20 credits of coursework. Music majors and minors may apply up to six of these credits toward a major or minor in music. The Fairfield University Glee Club, Chamber Singers, and Pep Band are non-credit performing organizations sponsored by Student Affairs.

Theatre Fairfield is the academic production wing of the Theatre Program. The annual season includes professionally directed and designed productions; performances that feature the work of advanced directing, acting and design students; and independent projects created by junior and senior majors. Participation in Theatre Fairfield productions is open to all members of the University community. Theatre majors and minors may receive one credit for each semester of performance or technical work on a production, provided they are not taking more than 20 credits of coursework. These credits count toward the major but do not count towards the 38 three-credit courses required for graduation.