Art Major Returning to Northwestern; Classes Set for Fall

February 17, 2023

Visual Arts Major 2023

After 36 years, Northwestern Oklahoma State University again will be offering courses leading to a major in visual arts.

Classes for the Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts degree will begin in Fall 2023. The degree program falls within the School of Arts and Sciences in the Reichenberger Department of Fine Arts, which houses the Visual Arts program.

“We are excited to move forward with our visual arts major,” Dr. Bo Hannaford, university president, said. “We are thankful for the donor that was able to support Northwestern and our endeavor to elevate the visual arts program. The major gives us the ability to prepare students to enter the workforce within the creative realm and bring a higher emphasis to art in northwest Oklahoma.”  

The approval of the new visual arts major is the result of the hard work of many people and the continued support of the Wisdom Family Foundation, which was instrumental in revitalizing the minor 12 years ago.

The art program at Northwestern was suspended in 1987 when its instructor, Don Bellah, retired.

Requirements for the art major have been established, an additional full-time visual arts faculty member will be hired, and several new classes have been developed.

“Northwestern and the community continue to demonstrate a commitment to making Alva a place where the arts thrive, and this program will allow us to further realize that commitment,” said Dr. James Bell, vice president for academic affairs. “We already have a number of minors who are eager to start the major, and I am confident that the program will thrive under the leadership of Professor Lars Roeder.”

Enrollment for fall semester classes opens on March 21. Students may enroll in the following classes for the art major:

Visual Arts Major Seminar             W            11:00 AM-11:50 AM

Fundamentals of 2-D Art                W            6:55 PM-9:45 PM

Fundamentals of 3-D Art                T              2:00 PM-4:55 PM

Fundamentals of Drawing             TH           2:00 PM-4:55 PM

Photography I                    T              6:55 PM-9:45 PM

Painting I                              TH           6:55 PM-9:45 PM

Graphic Design I                 W            2:00 PM-4:55 PM

Painting II                            TH           6:55 PM-9:45 PM

Graphic Design II               M            6:55 PM-9:45 PM

Figure Drawing                  M            2:00 PM-4:55 PM

Advanced Studio/Senior Exhibition            T              6:55 PM-9:45 PM

The visual arts seminar is a one-credit course for majors only. All other classes on the fall schedule carry three credit hours and will take place in either Jesse Dunn Annex 326 or 327.

Lars Roeder, assistant professor of visual art, started at Northwestern in the summer of 2022 and was tasked to finish the major proposal started by previous faculty and administration. He also needed to design a curriculum to encapsulate a versatile program that would allow students to develop an art practice in their preferred medium.

“The biggest change is that we will now offer classes in sculpture, photography, and printmaking while expanding the offerings in painting, drawing, and digital art,” Roeder said. “The challenge of a small department is how to create a program that allows students to experience all these different media and then focus on the pursuit of a specific discipline. I believe we’ve done that.”

Roeder said students will be able to earn a visual arts degree in studio art that can apply to a career as a studio artist, commercial photographer, graphic designer, art teacher, etc. Additionally, the added courses for the new degree will also expand the offerings available to the art minor.

“We hope this expansion will advance art in the community and the region,” Roeder said. “There have been students at Northwestern wanting to pursue an art degree for years, and they’ve either had to pivot to another field or transfer. This is going to keep talented students in Alva and allow them to develop their skills even further than they have been able to with the art minor.”

To learn more about the art major, contact Roeder at (580) 327-8108 or


Erin Davis, University Relations Specialist 580-327-8480

Northwestern Oklahoma State University

709 Oklahoma Blvd., Alva, OK 73717
Phone: (580) 327-1700

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