Painting + Drawing

About Painting & Drawing

Informed by the deep roots of history, painters continue to play a significant role in contemporary culture.

The LSU School of Art offers tracks in painting & drawing for both the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Studio Art and the Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art. An undergraduate minor is also available.

The painting & drawing program offers an intellectual and creative environment that addresses an awareness of traditional conventions in the context of current forms, methods, and issues. The curriculum stresses both breadth and depth and covers a wide array of artistic experiences from figure and landscape painting to abstract painting, water media, and performance and installation art. Faculty members represent a diverse range of approaches and areas of expertise. Each member shares a commitment to building a strong awareness of the power and transcendence of visual images and their ability to communicate ideas and understanding across cultural boundaries.


For undergraduates the first step to successful work in painting & drawing is a firm basis in the fundamentals of drawing and design (2D and 3D)—essential components of first-year foundations courses. After exploring other disciplines, students interested in painting & drawing continue through intermediate and advanced drawing and painting courses that build technical proficiency and a contextual understanding of artistic practice.

Class time is divided between in-class projects, either assigned or independent—where instructors address practical and technical issues in individual and group critiques. Interaction with visiting artists and critics provides alternative perspectives and reinforces a sense of professionalism. During the fourth year, undergraduate students are provided with individual studios. The culmination of the undergraduate curriculum is the senior project, for which students develop an individual aesthetic direction and body of work that is exhibited to the public in the Bachelor of Fine Art Show at Foster Gallery.


The Master of Fine Arts painting & drawing curriculum is dedicated to students whose goal is a career in art. MFA candidates receive a private studio with 24-hour access. The school also offers extremely competitive graduate stipends to qualified candidates, and all MFA students have the opportunity to teach as an instructor of record after successful completion of the teaching seminar.

MFA students are expected to work as maturing artists motivated by independent ideas. Regular critiques are offered by a faculty of actively exhibiting professional artists, and students are encouraged to invite faculty from other disciplines for studio visits. We encourage students to explore a wide range of issues and media reflected in the contemporary curriculum, but painting remains the core focus.

The LSU School of Art prides itself on the quality of the Visiting Artists & Scholars Program, where individual studio critiques and group discussions are the norm. Recent visitors include Julie Heffernan, Mario Naves, Walton Ford, Kara Walker, Peter Schjeldahl, Nari Ward, Ben Davis, Lesley Dill, Robert Storr, and many others.

Painting + Drawing Faculty

Denyce Celentano, Associate Professor
Kelli Kelley, Professor & Area Coordinator
Ed Smith, Professor

View all School of Art faculty.

Beyond the Studio

The College of Art & Design’s Lecture Series and the School of Art’s visiting artists program bring a dynamic spectrum of visiting artists and critics to campus. Exhibitions, fieldtrips, and study abroad opportunities, including Art in Ireland and Art in Florence, offer a broad range of practical and inspiring experience, bringing both the art world and larger world perspectives to the learning environment.

lsu painters' league

Painters' League

Members of the Painters’ League attend gallery and museum exhibitions, sponsor artist presentations, conduct group critiques among their peers, and more.

Visiting Artists and Scholars Program logo

Visiting Artists & Scholars

Visiting artists, scholars, and guest lecturers provide further opportunities for students to extend their creative interests and establish connections with artists from a variety of disciplines.

Why Louisiana? graphic with plantation in background

Art & Design in Louisiana

The high ground above the Mississippi River is an environment where landscape, climate, history, and culture allow for a lifestyle that is uniquely suited to the artistic temperament.


Painting & drawing classes are held in Foster Hall, and the Barnes Ogden Art & Design Complex (formerly called the Studio Arts Building). Foster Hall contains three large, well-equipped painting studios with storage racks, taborets, and easels and three drawing studios with model stands, easels, and drawing benches. The Barnes Ogden Art & Design complex has one large room, approximately 7,000 square feet, often used for senior projects and the advanced drawing workshop; the MFA studios are where students have access to studio spaces around the clock, seven days a week.

3 D Printer creating small table

College Facilities

Students have access to a traditional wood-working shop; digital fabrication, photography, and lighting equipment; large-scale printers and scanners; an arboretum; a foundry; a motion capture studio; high-end work stations; and more.

A man and woman observe art hanging in gallery


The School of Art hosts exhibitions throughout the year at its on- and off-campus galleries. Students have abundant opportunities to see and experience innovative work form a wide range of perspectives and social themes.

Barnes Ogden Art & Design Complex

New Arts Building

Renovations to the Studio Arts Building are complete. The new Barnes Ogden Art & Design Complex is the gateway to the historic part of campus and will promote arts to the community and provide state-of-the-art facilities and studios for studio arts.


Courtney Barr

Courtney Barr

Associate Director for
the School of Art


Kristine Thompson

Kristine Thompson

Graduate Coordinator for LSU
School of Art