Visual Art and Art History

Artmaking is a defining expression of social, cultural, political, historical and personal experience.

With its unique interdisciplinary approach that bridges studio production, art history and curatorial practice, AMPD’s Department of Visual Art and Art History offers students the opportunity to become well-rounded professionals in the field, able to lead in the creation, exhibition, critical understanding and communication of visual culture in diverse environments.



Through intensive studio training supported by studies in the history and theory of art, students receive a thorough grounding in the production of art works and comparative cultural analysis across a wide range of traditional and contemporary media. In the initial foundation year, students take courses in all artistic media – painting, sculpture, print media, drawing, photography and interdisciplinary art – and then choose to specialize in one or more areas. At all levels, students are mentored by faculty members who are highly regarded artists with an active professional practice.


The Art History program emphasizes the relationships between visual art and its social contexts, including global cultural exchange. The curriculum focuses on Canadian art, Asian art, Indigenous art of the Americas, western art and architecture, art criticism, and curatorial studies. Students have hands-on access to original works of art to explore practical applications of museum and gallery studies.


The School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design (AMPD) is pleased to announce a new Specialized Honours Bachelor of Fine Arts in Intermedia, offered collaboratively by the Departments of Computational Arts and Visual Art and Art History.

Through a unique, interdisciplinary curriculum that offers access to cutting-edge hardware and software, students will develop a comprehensive range of skills that combine coding with intensive installation and networked intervention, as well as with painting, drawing, sculpture, and print media in their expanded digital formats, grounded in the rich legacies of art history, cultural studies and critical digital theory.


Concurrent Degree Studies in Education

Visual Art and Art History students may apply for concurrent degree studies with the Faculty of Education.

Honours Minors in Studio Art and in Art History are available to students majoring in other programs in AMPD and across York.

College Transfer

Graduates of visual arts programs at Fanshawe College, Fleming College and Georgian College may be eligible to transfer into AMPD’s Visual Art BFA program with advanced standing through a simplified guaranteed transfer process. Visit our website for detailed information.


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