Fine Arts Program

The field of Fine Arts encompasses a diversity of media and expression, but at Paier it is a program dealing primarily with picture making–the drawing and painting of objects and figures, and of portraits and landscapes. Accomplishment of these in a variety of media provides the content of the program. As work progresses, emphasis is placed upon the students' intuitive responses to personal experience, environment, and imagination. Although the students have the opportunity to elect courses that will provide knowledge of art applications, student assignments are not produced to satisfy a commercial need. Students learn to make the fine arts pieces the central experience, and to extend their vision by offering that experience to others. 

Opportunities in Fine Arts have broadened over recent years owing, in part, to a massive world-wide cultural explosion. While painters work alone, they are increasingly the objects of support by growing numbers of galleries and audiences everywhere, and by institutions that allocate monies for the purchase of art toward the building of major collections. Moreover, there is local, state, and federal legislation that provides specific percentages of construction cost to be spent on commissioned art for public structures. 

Beyond self-expression and the presentation of such paintings in galleries, the painter has other opportunities. The painting of portraits is a tradition nearly as old as the history of western art. Artists have also found opportunities as wall decorators and historical muralists. Such commissions emanate from architects; banks; businesses of every description; museums; federal, state, and local programs; competitions; and the like. Moreover, many painters practice the art of printmaking. In recent times the print (e.g., lithograph silkscreen, etching, woodblock, aquatint, etc.) has become an attractive commodity in the art market because selling prices are usually lower than the single painting. 

For Paier Fine Arts graduates, beginning opportunities will depend upon their skill and vocabulary of expression, the nature of their work, and the developing professional contacts that they establish.

Illustration Program

The field of illustration is one of the most demanding occupations of the visual arts. The artist-illustrator must think both of the conceptual nature of the image being presented and of the range of technical possibilities dealing with the reproduction of the art. An understanding of the relationship among the illustrator and the art director, editor, author, and production personnel is an essential element in the cultivation of the complete illustrator.

The illustration student concentrates upon drawing, painting, and design. A high degree of facility in these skills must be achieved before moving on to the consideration of specific illustration problems, and it is encouraged throughout the program. The specialized courses deal with various aspects of the field: general illustration, editorial illustration, book illustration, typography, reproduction, graphics, perspective, with specialties in these categories such as the writing, designing, illustration, and production of children's books. Job opportunities in illustration are varied and substantial. Large greeting card firms, for example, employ illustrators in staff positions and maintain entry-level training programs for the inexperienced graduate with a major in illustration. Other staff positions exist in publishing houses creating books, magazines, and newspapers. Beyond the salaried staff illustrator is the freelancer who markets skills on an individual, contractual-assignment basis creating paperback book covers; institutional advertisements; book jackets; postage stamps and a myriad of philatelic materials; textual illustrations for periodicals, books, and newspapers; corporate reports; TV commercials; and publications of every description including retail catalogs, advertising brochures, and "how-to-do-it" manuals.

The beginning role of Paier Illustration graduates will depend upon the nature and size of the organization that they join, or the nature of their free-lance work. Important also to their advancement will be the professional contacts that they establish in the commercial and fine arts fields.

Interior Design Program

The Interior Design program provides an approach based on the premise that a successful interior designer must be sensitive to both esthetics and practicality, and must be aware of the designer's potential impact upon the total interior environment. Courses dealing with space design, color, lighting structure, furniture design, history of interiors, history of art, business procedures, and other pertinent subjects are all essential to the realization of these expectations.

Interior Design majors may look forward to career opportunities in various sectors, including the industrial, residential, retail, and corporate, and the public and private sectors in general. For example, large department stores, or chains of such stores, employ interior designers in staff positions to deal with all manner of merchandise arrangement and display, including the reorientation of store/floor environments. Interior designers may also establish their own design services and execute commissions ranging from residential room arrangements to restaurant and corporate office design. There are also large corporations that employ staff interior designers to service the adjustment of work environments and of staff relocation. Moreover, architectural firms and independent architects regularly employ interior designers to cope with space planning and other environmental design necessities in structures as diverse as sports stadiums and museums.

In the contemporary world of business, the interior designer, like the graphic designer, plays an integral part in projecting the corporate image to the public. Salaried job opportunities exist in all of these types of business activity and may provide the basis, with increased experience, for individual contracting. The Paier Interior Design graduate will be able to enter supervised roles in these fields and move swiftly to more independent roles if desired.

Foundation year

l Paier students in a four-year degree or diploma program are required to take a group of fundamental courses during their first, or Foundation Year. 

The Foundation Year is a period of discovery and growth during which the student is led to establish a strong foundation of technical skill, craft discipline, studio methodology, and general art knowledge, in preparation for a career in the visual arts. 

Through this preparation, and with the assistance and advice of the faculty, students are able to make more effective judgments regarding the professional direction they wish to follow.

The students are also led to a recognition of the interaction of these growing skills with creativity is an essential element in professional art. They can then approach their major studies with concern for their growth in expression as well as in skill.