Visual Arts

What to expect from a career in the field of Visual Arts

There are many visual arts programs at Ontario colleges – some that cover a broad spectrum of art forms and others that focus on one specific type of art. Students in these programs hone their skills and develop unique artistic styles that can be applied to diverse opportunities in this field.

If you’re artistic and want to sharpen your technique and gain the skills you need to enter the world of visual arts, here’s what you need to know.

Visual Arts Courses

Whether you choose a visual arts program that encompasses multiple art forms or one that specializes in one type of art, you’ll get the theory and hands-on training needed to work in this growing cultural sector.

Most programs incorporate art history, colour theory and self-promotion courses, as well as practical lessons in traditional and modern techniques, style and visual language. Depending on the program, you may take courses focused on a variety of art forms, including (but not limited to):

Plenty of studio time will be integrated into these programs, during which students will apply their theory and design knowledge into creating their own pieces. At the end of the program, students will have a strong portfolio to help them find jobs or further their education in the field.

General Visual Arts Program Requirements

Ontario college visual arts programs typically require an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, including a grade 12 English credit. Visual and fine arts courses are often recommended to prepare students for the program.

Visual Arts Jobs and Salaries

Graduates of visual arts programs have a wide range of career opportunities to choose from, including (but not limited to):

  • Independent Artist
  • Gallery Operator
  • Graphic Designer / Illustrator
  • Art Instructor
  • Artist Representative

It’s difficult to predict an average starting salary for careers in visual arts because of the numerous positions available. Artists in this field may make as much as their pieces sell for, which may be a lot or very little until they establish themselves. In contrast, those who choose to go into graphic design, illustration and animation could make around $30,000 per year to start.

Ontario Colleges Offering Visual Arts Programs

Use the left-column navigation to refine your search by College, Program Availability, Program Start Date and more, or see the table below for a complete list of visual arts programs at Ontario colleges.

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