Tennessee is a large state with extensive options for higher education. Aspiring art students will be pleased to know that there are numerous art schools in Tennessee. Whether one is looking for design schools in Tennessee or possibly animation or photography schools in Tennessee, there are a number of accredited colleges and universities with art departments that offer course work to prepare a student for one of these exciting creative careers.

All art schools in Tennessee provide a core curriculum of general education classes which include writing, languages, science, mathematics, and social sciences. These classes provide a well-rounded education that employers desire in applicants. No matter what position a graduate seeks, critical thinking and communication skills are necessary to succeed in a demanding creative career field, and this is why artists must complete general academic courses as well as those related to their specific fields. Students majoring in digital art fields, such as computer animation, game design, and graphic and web design, will have a very different concentration of core classes than a fine arts major. Digital media requires training in technical aspects, such as programming and image manipulation, using the current industry standard computer software. Students will also take basic drawing and design courses that are required of traditional artists. Those who choose a fine arts major will fulfill a curriculum that concentrates more on studio skills. Drawing, painting, sculpting, and illustrating classes are examples of these types of classes.

Tennessee art programs also include classes that will help the student prepare a portfolio of his or her strongest work. The purpose of the portfolio is to demonstrate the artist’s range of artistic skill to clients, future employers, and graduate school administrators. A traditional portfolio may be a collection of drawings or paintings as well as photographs and slides of sculptures or sizable works. In today’s art field, a digital portfolio is preferable. Most artists prepare a website with dynamic presentations of their best work. Many digital artists and web designers graduating from the art schools in Tennessee will be required to prepare a web-based portfolio or a DVD, CD, or flash drive for this purpose.

The career opportunities for graduates from art schools in Tennessee are many. Artists can find work in numerous creative fields, such as graphic design, fashion design and merchandising, interior design, computer animation, game design, and illustration. Even though the computer art field is immense, there is still a great deal of demand for artists who prefer traditional media. Prints and posters can never replace fine paintings and drawings. No computer software will ever truly mimic the texture and delicate beauty of water color or pastel. Only human hands can create a masterful sculpture or exquisite tapestry.

Regardless of one’s major or preferred medium, he or she can begin the journey into a creative career with a degree from one of the fine art schools in Tennessee. Depending on the student’s career goals, he or she can start with basic art or design programs from any Tennessee college or university. One may be fortunate to attend the illustrious Memphis College of Art or Watkins College of Art, Design and Film in Nashville. Most importantly, the student must choose the program that fits his or her career goals and needs.


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