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Painting & Drawing


The mission of Painting and Drawing emphasizes contemporary practices in painting and drawing within an intellectual and physical environment conducive to art making.  The Painting and Drawing program is committed to engaging the cultural diversity found on the university campus by working with students to define their approach to artistic and cultural production through course offerings that range from the beginning through graduate levels in drawing and painting.

Beginning students receive core knowledge of visual communication and material competence that covers wide range of traditional painting techniques.  Intermediate-level courses target various pictorial strategies and students are encouraged to start building a cohesive body of work.  At the advanced level, students work on individual studio projects, conducting research on artists and interdisciplinary thinkers, both contemporary and historical, whose work resides in a domain similar to their own.  This program’s aim is to prepare its undergraduate majors for admission into competitive graduate art programs and give them tools to begin and sustain their professional studio practice.

Graduate study in painting and drawing selectively admits students whose work demonstrates a high degree of intellectual and material competence.  The graduate curriculum includes studio courses in which graduate students work closely with members of CWU’s studio art faculty. The central aims of the program are to place the practice of drawing and painting in a critical context and to provide space and resources for graduate students to develop a body of work that will function as an initial contribution to the practice of contemporary painting and drawing.


Instruction occurs in one of four studios, each equipped with easel-and-workbench painting stations for students at all levels to have a dedicated workspace. Studios have raised ceilings with vaulted skylights and large, north-facing windows. A modern ventilation system monitors airflow.

Studio description:

  • Oil painting: two large studios, each with over 2,000 sq. ft. of floor space.
  • Watercolor: a 1,500 sq. ft. studio.
  • Drawing: an 1,800 sq. ft. studio. Over twenty drafting tables and numerous portable drawing chairs.
  • Graduate students: 400-500 sq. ft. individual studios and / or access to an 1,800 square foot shared studio.
  • 400 sq. ft. storage facility for temporary storage of completed work.
  • Prop room, equipped with still life objects, life drawing materials, and portable lights.
  • Slide documentation equipment.
  • Access to a Digital imaging lab with a professional-grade scanner and large-format Epson printer.
  • Access to computer lab with 20 Macintosh computers.