Visual Arts and Design Diploma
The Fine Arts Department at Grande Prairie Regional College is a great place to start your career in the visual arts. The Visual Arts program and Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) University Transfer program, offer a balance of hands-on studios and lecture-based courses. The curriculum is designed to prepare students for advanced studies at a university or an art institute. Our alumni go on to success in a wide variety of careers and art related professions including:
- Art Directors
- Craft artists (jeweler, potter, textiles…)
- Fine Artists (painters, sculptures, illustrators...)
- Graphic Designers, Commercial and Industrial designers
- Multi-media artists and animators
- Related Cultural Industries (Art Galleries, Museums, curators, Art Historian, Art Education, Art Management...)
If you are interested in a career in contemporary visual art or just want to explore your potential, the Visual Arts and Design Diploma is a great place to start.
GPRC does not require a portfolio for entrance into first year.
To be considered for admission to the Visual Arts program, you will need to present an Alberta Education High School Diploma or equivalent, with English 30-1 or equivalent.
You may be considered for admission to the Visual Arts Diploma program if you have been out of school for one full year, have English 30-1 or are admissible to EN0130 as determined by College placement assessments. Successful completion of EN0130 must be achieved in the first semester. If you do not present English 30-1 for admission, you may not be able to complete all requirements for the first year in two semesters.
Students wishing to apply for admission to the Visual Arts Diploma Program with advanced standing must have successfully completed one year of art study at the post-secondary level. You must present an official transcript of academic achievement, an art portfolio, and a letter of intent. You may be interviewed prior to admission and your portfolio must be submitted prior to June 1 for the year in which you are applying.
The art portfolio should contain 15 to 20 current works (no older than 1.5 years) of original two-dimensional art. The artwork should be presented in a proper portfolio folder with your name on each piece and numbered on the front lower right corner. The portfolio may include both traditional and digital work. All digital work must be cross platform. Items in your portfolio should be specified in a printed reference sheet that includes a number of the art, date of the work, title of the piece, and medium. Sample portfolio label: “Nature Redtones, Acrylic on Canvas, April 2012”. GPRC will take every precaution to protect your portfolio but will not be responsible for unforeseen damage or loss of portfolios.
Your letter of intent should be a one page statement about why you want to be in the Visual Arts Program. You may want to address your art background, areas of interest or activities in art, your career and educational goals, and anything else that you feel is important that we should know about you as a prospective student. Short listed applicants may require a final interview with the selection committee. This will be set as early as possible after the portfolio review. A phone interview can be arranged if distance from the College is a problem.
Visual Arts students work in an exciting and creative environment. Our facilities include a multi-use workshop; painting, drawing and sculpture studios; and a computer lab with video and sound editing capabilities.
The curriculum focuses on the basics of visual communication used in art and design. The courses are designed to develop students’ ability to think critically and creatively, and to enhance their written and oral communication skills. First year courses introduce basic concepts through a mixture of hands-on studio and theory based lecture and provide prerequisite skills for second year courses and a solid foundation for professional practice.
First year (30 credits)
- AR1010 Introduction to the History of Art I (3)
- AR1020 Introduction to the History of Art II (3)
- AR1360 Visual Fundamentals I (3)
- AR1370 Visual Fundamentals II (3)
- AR2410 Drawing I (3)
- AR2430 Drawing II (3)
- Junior English (6)
- DD1380 Design Fundamentals I (3)
- Approved Option (3)*, normally chosen from 1000-level Studio Option or UT Option
Second Year (30 credits)
- AR3410 Drawing III (3)
- AR3430 Drawing IV (3)
- AR3705 Portfolio Development (3)
- 2000-Level Art History (6)
- Studio Options (12 credits)**, chosen from 3000-Level Art (AR) or 2000-Level Digital Design (DD)
- Options (3 credits)*
*Students should consult with an advisor to select an option that meets the requirements of their educational goal. Bachelor of Fine Arts students must take a university transferable (UT) option.
**DD1160 paired with DD1170 will qualify as a 2000-level Digital Design option. AR2350 will also qualify as a 2000-level Digital Design option.
Students must successfully complete the diploma curriculum outlined above to receive a Diploma in Visual Arts and Design. If you meet these requirements, please complete a Parchment Application form, available from Student Services.