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students painting a mural

Painting Concentration

Develop your technical and expressive abilities through intensive studio work in the painting concentration (art major). With a broad understanding of observational and figurative painting, you’ll study alternative materials, advanced anatomy and abstraction—and have an opportunity to practice liturgical and landscape painting in an ancient Italian hill town through our Gordon IN Orvieto program. As you prepare your senior thesis exhibit for Gordon’s professional gallery, you will work with a faculty mentor in our private, natural-light studios.

Why study art at Gordon?

Gordon prepares artists not only to make valuable contributions, but to help restore a Christian aesthetic and moral vision in today’s culture. Intensive studio practice, professional exhibition work, internships, and liberal arts exposure will prepare you to thrive as an artist and a Christian. Because we value learning by doing, our faculty are all professional artists who teach the media they practice. Plus, Gordon’s location on Boston’s picturesque North Shore offers you exposure to nearby galleries, art colonies and museums (including free access to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston).

What careers can I pursue with a painting concentration (art major)?

Art students are creative problem solvers who can think broadly and adapt well—valuable skills for any vocation. You will be prepared for graduate programs, professional programs and diverse careers that apply both your practical and artistic skills, including:

  • Teacher
  • Gallery artist
  • Art curator
  • Set painter and designer
  • Art administrator 

Learn more about jobs and internships ➔


Katie Nellis

Katie Nellis ’13

Professional Artist

I’m thankful that I studied art at Gordon, where disciplines mingle. Looking back, I realize how rare and wonderful it was to study painting while taking classes in literature and psychology, or to gather around the dinner table with friends studying business, nutrition and medieval history. My years at Gordon and my semester abroad in Orvieto, Italy, gifted me with close-knit creative communities, but the wider community of Gordon kept me both grounded and engaged. Hear from others ➔


Outside of your painting concentration requirements, you may choose to pursue an internship at a local gallery, museum or studio. In the past, students have gained professional experience at places like Cape Ann Art Haven or the Studio of Makoto Fujimura in Dillon Gallery. Our monthly Professional Artist Workshop Series gives you a chance to interact with art-industry professionals on subjects like portfolio creation, marketing, business planning and networking.

Global Opportunities

Gordon’s signature program in the ancient Umbrian countryside draws students from a range of majors and other colleges:

Related Programs

We embrace the liberal arts vision—studying the humanities and sciences and theology alongside art to broaden your vision. To that end, you are encouraged to draw inspiration from a second major or minor. Common pairs for the painting concentration include psychology, sociology, public history and museum studies, and business administration.


For more information, contact:

David West
Department Chair


Portfolio Requirements ➔