Fine Art

Fine Art

NCC’s Fine Art program helps develop a student’s artistic interests and strengths. As students build their portfolio, they will be encouraged to develop creativity through discovery.

Career Opportunities / Transfer Options / FAQ / Program Courses

Educating Tomorrow’s
Studio Artists & Educators

Exposure to career opportunities and educational options is an integral part of the program. By the end of the fourth semester, the disciplined and self-motivated student will draw from examples of all coursework for transfer to a college, university or art school. The successful student will also develop the skills in the presentation needed to pursue a career in the visual arts.

Drawings, paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and photography will showcase a deeper understanding of the student’s own ideas. The Individual Studio/Professional Practices course gives students the opportunity to gain a greater knowledge of the art world through visits to museums, galleries and art centers in New York City, Philadelphia and the Lehigh Valley. In addition, students will speak with curators, gallery directors, art museum personnel and a visiting professional artist from New York who will help guide and critique their work.

Learning from Professional
Studio Artists

NCC’s Fowler Family Southside Center plays host to multiple exhibits throughout the year that showcases the paintings, sculptures, drawings, installations, photography, mixed media, conceptual art, film, and computer-generated new media by artists from NCC.

The Art faculty at NCC holds exhibitions in Communications Hall with open receptions to give students a chance to see their work and to talk to them about it.

Career Opportunities in Fine Art

A career in art is not limited to being a painter of canvases that get framed and sold in a gallery. Behind every piece of art in a newspaper, magazine, book, posture, brochure, website or display piece, there’s usually a commercial artist or a team of artists. Those interested in truly trying to make a career in one of the fine arts fields know that art is everywhere – from computer animation to film and TV stage sets. If art students truly apply themselves, they can pursue their passion not just in work created to hang in museums, but also in teaching art, art history or photography.

Studio Artist
Art Educators
Visual Art-Related careers

According to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (, the employment of craft and fine artists is projected to grow by 5 percent by 2020. Employment growth of artists depends, in large part, on the overall state of the economy, because purchases of art are usually optional.

Our Students Successfully Transfer

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of courses do you offer?

First-year art offerings include Drawing I, Drawing II, Principles of 2-D Design & Color, and Principles of 3-D Design. These courses emphasize essential skills for studying all of the visual arts. You will also take introductory courses in Art History, Computer Graphics, and Painting. Advanced Drawing and Painting follow, along with additional choices in 2-D and 3-D media such as Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture, and Ceramics. In the final semester, Media Art features a synthesis of traditional art techniques and experimental digital technology.

During the final capstone course, Individual Studio/Professional Practices, you have the opportunity and personal challenge of synthesizing their accumulated experience and knowledge into a highly individualized series of artworks for a final group exhibition. You may also maintain an extensive sketchbook/journal and use this resource for writing assignments and studio work.

What kind of experiences do you offer?

The program also expands your knowledge of the professional fine art world through visits to museums, galleries, and art centers in New York City, Philadelphia, and the Lehigh Valley. There, you will speak with artists, curators, gallery directors, and art museum personnel who will share their wealth of experience.

What are the application requirements?

Applicants to the program are required to submit a portfolio or pass an art test as part of the admission requirements.

Applicants to the program should contact the Admissions Office at 610-861-5500 for general information on applying to the College.

Who should apply for this program?

  • High school graduates.
  • College students.
  • Studio artists seeking an opportunity to upgrade current skills and knowledge.
  • Individuals considering a career change.

What will I learn in the program?

  • You will learn to use basic art media (materials) and create artworks demonstrating acquired core techniques and their applications with proficient craftsmanship.
  • You will understand and utilize design (elements of art and principles of organization) in the creation of successful artworks.
  • You will show creativity (the process of synthesizing understanding and imagination) in design solutions on issues of form, style, and content.
  • You will recognize and use the technical and aesthetic terminology of the fine arts.
  • You will develop and use critical thinking skills to analyze artworks, both verbally and in writing.
  • You will Understand the essential workings of the professional art world and be prepared to transfer to four-year colleges/universities/art schools offering the B.A. or B.F.A. degree.

Fine Art Courses

First Semester

This course covers major trends and influences in western and world art from prehistoric to the present; emphasis on style and form. Also available through Online Learning.

This course covers basic concepts, theories, media and techniques of drawing explored through still life, landscape, the figure, portraiture, and perspective studies. Emphasis will be on the development of observational drawing skills, composition, and an understanding of drawing as a primary form of visual communication and personal expression.

This course provides an introduction to the theory and application of two-dimensional design for the creation of pictorial space. The formal elements of art and principles of organization will be covered in depth with a special focus on the nature and properties of color. Students will be guided through a series of projects using a variety of dry, wet, digital and mixed media. Development of technical, perceptual, and analytical skills will be emphasized along with an understanding of historical and contemporary art and design practice.

Introduction to computer graphics and basic design principles. Utilizing Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator software, students will learn the fundamentals of digital design, image editing/scanning and printing. Assignments, both in and outside of the classroom, will be contextually based, providing real world applications with each lesson. Also available through Online Learning.

Third Semester

Ceramics: A basic introduction to the clay medium: earth, water, and fire. The techniques of hand building (pinch, coil, slab) wheel thrown forms, and clay/glaze technology will be covered. An awareness of traditional and contemporary approaches to ceramics will be emphasized. Additional course fees: $40.00.

Sculpture: Course provides a hands-on introduction to methods, techniques and aesthetics of sculpture.  Students will be guided through a series of projects using a variety of traditional sculptural media such as wood, plaster, stone, metal, plastic, etc.  Development of technical, perceptual, and analytical skills will be emphasized along with an understanding of historical and contemporary sculpture practices. Additional course fees: $30.00.

This course advances concepts, theories, media and techniques developed in Drawing II, while continuing to explore classic themes. Emphasis is on continuing development of core drawing and design skills, technique and content research, more advanced work with the figure, and the creative challenges to work inventively with various drawing media. Prereq.- ARTA124.

This advanced course focuses on interface design, web usability, standards-based design, optimization, and cutting-edge interactivity. Students will be exposed to theories of information architecture and content management, which aid in creating more functional, dynamic websites. Students will build on the skills presented in ARTA130 Introduction to Web Site Design to create functional, compliant, and aesthetically pleasing websites. Prereq.- ARTA130.

Second Semester

This course introduces the theory and application of three-dimensional design with an emphasis on the elements of art and principles of organization as the foundation of successful visual problem solving and creativity. Projects cover a variety of media and techniques; technical, perceptual, and analytical skill development; and contemporary and historical art and design practices.

This course builds on concepts, theories, media and techniques introduced in Drawing I; and continues exploration of still life, landscape, and perspective studies with additional focus on the figure and portraiture. Emphasis is on the continuing development of observational drawing skills, composition, and an understanding of drawing as a primary form of visual communication and personal expression. Prereq.- ARTA107 and ARTA111.

This course covers basic concepts, theories, and techniques of painting, through the exploration of still life, portraiture, photographs, and mixed media experimentation. Emphasis is on the development of observational painting skills, composition, color mixing, and an understanding of painting as a primary form of visual communication and personal expression. Prereq. – ARTA107 and ARTA111.

Fourth Semester

Black and White Photography: Introduction to 35mm camera work, black and white film and print processing; basic techniques of exposure, lighting and laboratory work; emphasis on technical/creative/aesthetic aspects of photography. Students must furnish their own manually adjustable 35mm cameras, bxw film and paper, matboard, and miscellaneous supplies. Formerly ARTA251. Additional course fees: $20.00.

Printmaking: This course is an introduction to the basic principles of printmaking and applies concepts of image making and editioning within the fine arts. Multiple techniques will be covered including collagraph, monoprint, linocut, drypoint, solarplate (relief, intaglio, protogravure), digital media, and non-adhesive book binding/folio creation. Foundation Design concepts, research methods and critiques will also be emphasized.

Combination of elements, approaches and techniques from fine art and applied art with cutting-edge digital technology; theory, methodology and professional practices covered through lectures, in-class hands-on practice and outside assignments; students approach projects conceptually, synthesizing original integrative solutions, which hopefully expand existing conventions; concepts include collaboration, iteration, metaphor, art as commodity, making vs. finding, perfection vs. perfectionism, and creativity and transcendence. Formerly ARTA257. Prereq. – ARTA170.

This capstone course in the Fine Art Program offers an intensive studio experience for personal development and growth, culminating in a final, semester-end exhibition. The critique, a detailed analysis of artwork, will be the core process where aesthetic awareness and creative issues unfold. Students gain knowledge of professional practices by visiting galleries, museums, and artists’ studios; speaking with artists, art dealers, art critics, and museum staff; and researching and writing about these experiences. Prereq. – Complete two (2) from among ARTA164, ARTA204, ARTA226, ARTA251, ARTA282; Pre or Co-requisite: ARTA220

**63 total credit hours which includes 6 General Education electives**

Complete a total of three (3) Studio Electives from among:
ARTA164 Printmaking; ARTA204 Drawing III; ARTA226 Painting II;
ARTA151 Black & White Photography; ARTA282 Digital Photography

** One course should be designated as Diversity and Global Awareness (D). Students must take two Social Science Elective (SIT, SSHB, or SCI) in a Writing Intensive (WI) section. MATH 120 The Nature of Mathematics is recommended for completing the Math requirement. Computer competencies are included in various courses in this program, specifically ARTA 111, 170, and 220. Thus, completing the program automatically satisfies the computing requirement. **

This program requires the attendance of day classes and can not be completed taking only evening classes.

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Northampton Community College

3835 Green Pond Road
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18020