Art and Design

Student Opportunities

Beyond our art studios, you can find many exciting ways to extend their experiences and prepare for the work they will do after graduation.

Two Scholarships Available for Visual Artists

Two visual arts scholarships available through the Department of Art & Design, for which a portfolio of artwork is required. As an art student at Alma College, it is possible for you to receive a scholarship based on your artwork. To apply for one of these scholarships, follow the procedures described in this document. 

1. Distinguished Performance Scholarships in Art 

Each year, incoming students who have already submitted a portfolio may be recommended for the Distinguished Scholarship in Art and may receive a supplemental scholarship to raise their tuition up to a full scholarship as prescribed by the financial aid office. This scholarship is renewable for four years as long as the requirements listed below are fulfilled 

  • Maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 and a GPA in art courses of 3.5. 
  • If your award is $15,000 or greater you are required to pursue a BFA in Art & Design that can be combined with another major (except music) and/or minor. 
  • Students who receive this scholarship for $14,999 or less have the same requirements but do not have to pursue a BFA program. They must, however, get a BA in Art & Design. 

2. Performance Scholarships in Art ($1,500 renewable) 

  • Each year several incoming students may receive a performance scholarship that is renewable yearly when the recipient follows the yearly requirements found on p. 2 of the PDF file. 
  • Each student receiving this scholarship must obtain a minimum of an Art Studio minor or Art History Minor along with any other major/minor of their choice.
Procedures for Submitting a portfolio — Due by March 1 each year
  • All letters and images are submitted via e-mail to Nick Wracan at
  • Please include a typed letter of intent explaining your interest in Art and your intentions to continue studying Art at Alma College.
  • 10-12 images of your strongest pieces of artwork. Identify each piece with the title, medium, size, and the year the work was completed.
  • Please place the letter of intent and the images on one PDF document for our review.

Employment In The Art Department

During the academic year, 8-10 Student Assistants are hired by the department to assist with studio maintenance and supervision, gallery installations, and other projects that support the work in Clack Art Center. While there may be positions available for first-year students, many of these positions require the specialized skills of more experienced students. For information regarding Studio Assistant openings, speak with your advisor or the faculty member in charge of the area in which you are interested.


Art students are strongly advised to include an internship in their academic plans, and for
students in Graphic Design, this can be an especially important opportunity. Students, with the help of their advisors, can research internship sites closer to home, or they can participate in the internship programs offered by the Philadelphia Center, the Urban Life Center (Chicago), or the Great Lakes Colleges Association’s Arts in New York program. Some recent internships undertaken by our students include.

Exhibitions and Publications

Art students are encouraged to exhibit their work in exhibitions and publications on campus as well as in professional juried shows around Michigan - and beyond. Here are a few of the exhibition/publication opportunities that regularly feature works by Alma students: 

The Annual Juried Student Show

At the end of each term, artworks exhibited for the Art Department’s End-of-Term Review are viewed by the art faculty and elected student representatives, and the strongest pieces are selected for the Student Show, exhibited at the beginning of the school year each September.

The Pine River Anthology is a literary magazine created by students from the Departments of Art and Design, English, and New Media Studies. The PRA showcases student work from each of these departments. Graphic Design students from Art and Design are responsible for this yearly publication that is presented on Honor’s Day each April. 

Spring Term Travel Courses in Art and Art History

Over the years, many Alma students have participated in travel courses in Art and Art History that take advantage of the unique format of the Spring Term term. Recently students have traveled to Paris, Argentina, New York City and Southern Spain.

Kappa Pi International Art Honorary

The Alma College chapter of Kappa Pi accepts new members each Fall and organizes a number of art-related events through the year. Twice a year, Kappa Pi members mount an exhibit of students’ artwork in the Kerhl Library. Students eligible for membership are those who:

  • Have declared a major or minor in Art or Art History
  • Have taken at least four art courses, including at least one in studio art
  • Have a 3.0 overall CPA and a 3.25 GPA in Art courses

To continue as a member, students will:

  • Continue to work toward a major or minor in Art or Art History
  • Maintain the required grade point averages
  • For more information, contact Kappa Pi’s faculty advisor, Jillian Dickson

Life Drawing Co-Op

Art students run the Department’s life drawing co-op, which provides members with opportunities to work with models outside of class times on a weekly basis. Each member contributes $15 per term which helps to pay the models’ fees.  Students may also sign up to pose as models in the co-op.