Visual Arts

In the Department of Visual Arts (VISA), education takes place within well-equipped studios and teaching spaces, as well as in our vibrant local arts community. We provide education in two distinct but interconnected streams: Studio Art (STDA) and the History of Art and Visual Culture (HAVC).

Studio Art students take courses in all fine art media, such as painting, photography, drawing, digital media, sculpture, performance art and non-traditional methods of expression. A portfolio is required for applicants to Studio Art. Visit for more information.

As a student, you’ll receive dynamic, personable instruction and mentorship from award-winning faculty, as well as individual guidance. This critical feedback is complemented by unique learning opportunities from internationally acclaimed guest artists to bolster your learning.

Our on-site student gallery gives you opportunities to view art, exhibit your work, and learn the exhibition space’s behind-the-scenes operation. But your learning isn’t confined to the classroom. By studying in the heart of downtown St. Catharines, you will also become part of a community of working artists. You will be given opportunities to create and collaborate during your studies and develop lasting professional connections.

History of Art and Visual Culture courses explore history as it is connected to the present, and we aim to help students develop critical thinking skills necessary to navigate our image-driven world. Courses are innovative and thematic, and explore such topics as the role of imagery in medicine and science, visual representations of disaster and the apocalypse, and how technology and innovation have shaped the arts.

Our professors are exhibiting artists and published scholars who have mastered a wide array of media and topics, and are fluent in emerging discourses. We offer a well-rounded, exciting education. Want to show your work, curate a show or participate in a festival? How about giving a lecture on your research or travelling abroad to see art? All is possible within a degree program in the Department of Visual Arts.

For more information visit

  • BA in Studio Art
  • BA in History of Art and Visual Culture
  • Minors in History of Art and Visual Culture, Studio Art and Interactive Arts and Science
  • Concentration in Curatorial Studies

Expected cut-off: mid 70s

Students interested in the History of Art and Visual Culture (HAVC) program are exempt from submission of a portfolio. Students apply directly to the BA Honours in History of Art and Visual Culture.

Not an Ontario Secondary School applicant? Find your admissions criteria here.

Career outcomes

  • Professional Artist
  • Curatorial work in art galleries, museums, and artist-run centres
  • Law (copyright, repatriation of cultural artifacts, cultural property)
  • Writing and publication
  • Teaching
  • Graphic design and web design
  • Analogue and digital animation
  • Photographer
  • Archivist
  • Arts administration

Prerequisite requirements

Recommended subjects

  • One from 4U history, 4U philosophy, 4U classical studies, or 4U international language.