painting student working on a project

Challenge the notion of painting through experimentation & critical dialogue.

Who We Are


Painting is a historic art field, yet with a strong presence in our contemporary culture. In our program, we study and challenge painting’s traditions and conventions to understand its historical value along with its relevance and potential in the context of contemporary cultural dialogues and dynamics. As a student in the Painting concentration, you will be given opportunities to explore, develop, and gain personal understanding of the visual language and technical aspects of the painting medium. You will engage with painting’s long history, versatility, and physicality through exposure to art history and contemporary artmaking practices.

You will be encouraged to challenge the notion of what painting is by experimentation with materials, tools, and surfaces. You will also explore conceptual thinking to develop a unique voice by opening yourself to dialog with new technologies, interdisciplinary practices, and current issues and concerns related to environmental, social, and economic challenges of contemporary life.

Student Work


In addition to intimate class sizes and ample class time to paint, our students enjoy trips to Front Range museums, galleries, and artists’ studios to gain an understanding of professional art practices and to engage with the local and regional art community. The department hosts a robust visiting artist and guest critic program allowing our students to hear from a variety of experts in the field.



Classes in the painting concentration emphasize technical prowess such as the understanding of tools, techniques and medium, alongside conceptual and historical understanding. Beginning by working from observation, you will develop skills and proficiency in oils. As you gain ability with oil paint, you will be encouraged to challenge the very notion of what painting is by exploring alternative tools, methods, and surfaces. In your senior year, you will work closely with the painting faculty to develop a capstone project and portfolio. This culminating project includes a body of artwork, an artist statement and a resume that will provide you with the foundational materials to develop an art practice.

As with each of our concentrations, your coursework will be supported by our Foundations Program, giving you a visual language, a critical eye, and the technical skills to find your voice.

You will be encouraged to exhibit work throughout your studies. The department has several galleries that cater to this, in addition to the many galleries and exhibition spaces found throughout campus. Each year, there are formal juried exhibitions alongside solo and group capstone exhibitions. K102A Office, gallery founded by painting professor Aitor Lajarin-Encina, is also housed in the painting area.

You will leave the painting program with critical and creative thinking skills, discipline, work ethic, the ability to execute and communicate complex narratives visually, verbally and in writing. Equipped with a robust skill set and a strong portfolio of work, you will go out into the world with a thoughtful and considered creative practice.

Our Facilities


The painting area is comprised of two large studio rooms along with a critique space & storage area. Each studio room is equipped with ample track lighting & controllable natural light for painting from observation. The spaces are well ventilated & large, with enough easels & palette tables to accommodate the larger courses in the program. The advanced painting room is divided into individual studio spaces. Seniors can stay in an assigned space for the semester or year. These spaces are equipped with lockable taborets & any equipment necessary for the students to accomplish their goals.


In addition to the painting area, you will have access to much of the department's state-of-the-art facilities, including several exhibition galleries, a digital fabrication lab, & computer labs. Additional resources can be found in the Richardson Design Center, the Morgan Library, the College of Liberal Arts, & other spaces on campus

Our Faculty

With diverse backgrounds, our painting faculty will help you marry your love for the medium with technical skill sets and conceptual prowess.