Visual Arts Class

School of Arts & Sciences

Visual Arts

The Visual Arts program at Northwestern Oklahoma State University provides students with hands-on art making experience within a variety of media and methods. Students develop an understanding of the language of visual arts and develop a personal approach to its unique expressive capabilities. Instruction and intensive studio practice equip students with the ability to express their ideas with skill and conviction. Study of art history and an engagement with contemporary art and artists, by way of the NWOSU Artist-in-Residence program, encourage and challenge students to think both critically and imaginatively about their work in a greater context.

The principal component of the Visual Arts program is rigorous studio activity within a supportive, critical environment. Visual Arts students are granted access to professional art studios and equipment that facilitate ambitious creative endeavors. Daily discussions and regular critiques foster the development of a critical vocabulary and visual analysis. Skills cultivated as a Visual Arts minor prepare students for advanced study in the visual arts and for entry into professional artistic employment. 

Artist-in-Residence Program

Graceful Arts Center


Lars Roeder
Assistant Professor of Art
Director of Visual Arts
Jesse Dunn Art Annex, Office 326B
(580) 327-8108

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NWOSU Art Society

Visual Arts Minor

The Visual Arts Program provides courses to complete the 21 credits needed to earn a minor in Visual Arts.

ART 1103  Fundamentals of Two-Dimensional Art: 3 cr.
ART 2013  Art History Survey: 3 cr.
ART 2213  Life Drawing: 3 cr.
ART 3143  Beginning Painting: 3 cr.

ART 3163  Natural History Drawing: 3 cr.
ART 3173  Digital Illustration: 3 cr.

ART 4103  Intermediate Painting: 3 cr.
ART 4123  Advanced Studio: 3 cr.

Total: 21 Credit Hours

*Art in Life, HUM 2433  - Must be taken as a directed elective under “Human Heritage & Culture” of the general education requirements. Although the course is required, it may not be counted in the minimum total for a minor.

For a detailed look at the course requirements and descriptions for the Visual Arts minor, please see the Undergraduate Catalog.


Lars Roeder
Assistant Professor of Art, Director of Visual Arts

MFA | Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi
BS | University of Wisconsin- La Crosse

Courses Taught
Beginning and Intermediate Painting, Fundamentals of Two-Dimensional Art, Life Drawing, Digital Illustration/Graphic Design, Art in Life, Natural History Drawing, and Advanced Studio.



Ken Kelsey

Instructor of History and Fine Arts

MA | University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee
MA | Oklahoma State University
BA | Oklahoma State University

Courses Taught
Art in Life, Art History Survey





Alva Incentive Scholarship

The Alva Incentive Scholarship* is available to incoming freshmen and transfer students, and provides students with up to $1,000 when they declare an Art Minor. Students must enroll in at least one Visual Arts course each semester during their first year at NWOSU. 

* Alva Incentive Scholarship is available only to new incoming students. Students must be living in the city limits of Alva at time of enrollment.

Visual Arts Foundation Scholarships

The Northwestern Oklahoma  State University Foundation administers several awards in visual arts.  Applicants for  these  awards  must  meet  specific  criteria  and  should  request  an  application  form  from  the  chairman  of  the department. Applications must be completed by February 15th of each year.  

  1. The Bobette Buchanan Pfeifer Visual Arts Scholarship was established by the family of Bobette Buchanan Pfeifer, an accomplished photographer, to allow Northwestern students to pursue their mutual love of the visual arts. Candidates must be accepted as a full-time continuing student at Northwestern and have at least a 3.0 CGPA in the art minor. Candidates must also have completed two or more art classes in order to receive the scholarship. The scholarship may be applied toward university-related expenses, including tuition, fees, books, room and board.

  2. The Case Family Scholarship was established in honor of James Case and the Case family. The Case Family Scholarship will be awarded to a student either in the Department of Fine Arts (Visual Arts-even-numbered years) or the Mass Communication program (odd-numbered years). The recipient must be a full-time student at Northwestern with at least a 3.5 overall GPA and remain active in the respective departments' campus organizations and major or minor in art or mass communication. First preference will be given to students from Waynoka, OK. Second preference will be given to students from Woods County, OK. Third preference will be given to students from northwest Oklahoma. The scholarship may be applied toward university-related expenses, including tuition, fees, books, room and board.

Course Offerings

To view Visual Arts course rotations, click on the following link: Visual Arts Course Rotations

ART 1103 - Fundamentals of Two-Dimensional Art: A foundations class with emphasis on the development of a fundamental drawing skill set and visual vocabulary. Students will be introduced to various mediums, such as collage, charcoal, chalk pastel, watercolor, acrylics, and mixed-media.

ART 2213 - Life Drawing: An intermediate course in observational drawing focusing on the study of the anatomical structure and interpretive representation of the human figure. Students work from live models.

ART 2013 - Art History Survey: Introductory survey of Western art. Special focus on developments in painting and drawing.

ART 3143 - Beginning Painting: An exploration of the medium of oil paint, and an introduction to various techniques and approaches in painting primarily through the practice of still-life, landscape and figure. Emphasis will be on direct observation and use of color to make form.

ART 3173 - Digital Illustration/Graphic Design: An introductory course to the world of digital illustration and design. The class is held in the Visual Arts department's Mac lab. Focus on the development of a diverse skill set and the use of Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign to create digital art and publications for print and the web.

ART 3163 - Natural History Drawing: Students will create drawings from both specimen in the collection of the NWOSU Museum of Natural History and other gathered references. Emphasis on accurate description of animal bodies and natural environments. Discussion of historical animaliers and of contemporary illustrators of natural subjects.

ART 4103 - Intermediate Painting: This course is a continuation of the pictorial problems and material techniques of painting introduced in ART 3143 - Beginning Painting, focusing on more complex and varied subject matter, media, and concepts. Greater emphasis placed on the development of individualized approaches to materials and content.

ART 4123 - Advanced Studio: This course is required of graduating art minors. Emphasis on exploration of individual interests in painting and drawing. Lecture, studio and critique sessions will include preparing the artist statement, preparation of a portfolio and promotional material, and developing work for a representative final show.

HUM 2433 - Art in Life: This course analyzes the evolution of cultures as they developed  and  were  expressed  in  art starting with ancient and medieval societies, the Renaissance period  until  concluding  with an assessment  of  the post-modernist aesthetics of today.

Artist-in-Residence Program

The NWOSU Artist-in-Residency Program brings emerging and established artists from diverse backgrounds and practices to live and create artwork at NWOSU. The AIRs work alongside students, provide lectures and workshops on campus and in the community, and exhibit artwork in a culminating show. Students see firsthand what it takes to be a professional artist and receive invaluable feedback on their work.

For more information on the NWOSU Artist-in-Residence Program, go to: NWOSU Artist-in-Residence

Student Opportunities

Student Exhibition Opportunities
NWOSU Visual Arts Students are provided with opportunities to exhibit artwork on campus, at the Graceful Arts Gallery and Studio, the historic Runnymede, and other supportive businesses in the heart of Alva’s downtown. Alva’s First Friday Artwalk is a monthly arts festival full of artwork, music and food.

Career Opportunities
Skills cultivated as a visual arts minor prepare students for advanced study in the visual arts and for entry into professional artistic employment. Possible career paths and advanced study in the visual arts include: visual artist, art education (grade school/high school art teacher), art therapy, graphic design, illustration/digital illustration, arts administration, gallery assistant/curator, and more. 

Student Learning Outcomes

Visual Arts Student Learning Outcomes

SLO 1 | Refinement of Observational Skills
Students will learn to see and respond to complexity with sensitivity and nuance.

SLO 2 | Cultivation of Ideas
Students will be able to analyze and synthesize visual information and research from a variety of sources for use as subject matter and inspiration in their art practice.

SLO 3 | Development of Skill and Process
Students will gain hands-on experience in a variety of media and methodologies, and will have sufficient mastery of one or more media to complete the technical, formal, and conceptual challenges involved in the cultivation of a sustained, focused studio practice. Students will develop a personal approach and fluidity in their practice, and will create an original body of work.  

SLO 4 | Communication of Ideas and Context
Students will be able to communicate the content and context of their work visually, orally and in writing.

SLO 5 | Development of Work Ethic
Students will cultivate a strong work ethic through rigorous studio practice and research. Fostering behaviors such as curiosity, initiative, and persistence will help students engage with the world in productive and dynamic ways. Students will be able to work independently or collaboratively to achieve stated goals.

SLO 6 | Engagement with Art History and Contemporary Art
Students will gain a foundational understanding of art history and will engage with contemporary art and artists, by way of frequent trips to galleries and museums, and the NWOSU Artist-in-Residence program. Students will learn to think critically and imaginatively about their work in a greater context.


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

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