Fine Arts


And why experimentation is the key to success

The 3 must-have tools
for this Fine Arts student

Meet 2 student faves

Curriculum deets, student work, and more

Spruce up your screens with some Fine Art love



In the Fine Arts program at Columbus College of Art & Design, you’ll tackle it all — ceramics, glass, drawing, printmaking, painting, jewelry, and sculpture — as you learn to produce your best work and develop a methodology that’s applicable to all kinds of careers.


Plus, our favorite art and design tools, professors, and study break spots.


Fave Class

Great classes abound in the Fine Arts program, but Theories & Issues in Contemporary Art is a perennial favorite. An eye-opening experience, this course will expose you to new ideas, like theory as it relates to race, and offer lively discussions encompassing different viewpoints and backgrounds. The contemporary art world can be intimidating, but this will put post-grad life into perspective and expand on ideas like how art can exist outside of traditional gallery spaces and how politics and environment affect art, museums, and the art market.


OMG Naked!

As early as first semester of your first year, you’ll start getting naked in class — or your models will, at least. Drawing nudes might sound awkward, but this classical practice will help you improve your drawing and painting skills. It’s really not a big deal: In class, the nude human figure isn’t sexualized in any way. Aren’t clothes kind of overrated anyway?




Artists Support Artists

CCAD has major connections to galleries and studios around town, and we’ll make them work for you, hooking you up with alumni, helping you track down grant money, and providing referrals for real jobs in the field. You’ll meet some inspirational people here — artists who will help you find your place in the Columbus art community, in school, and beyond.


Studio Spaces

As a sophomore, you’ll get personal studio space — and the increased artistic freedom that comes along with it. From soft sculpture (a huge stick of butter!) to ceramics (collaborations with other artists to create internal organs and assemble them together), you’ll explore material and concept and play with scale, humor, and meaning, in a space all your own.


It’s All About Experimentation

Our faculty will help you find an artistic path, and your Fine Arts journey will culminate in a thesis show. As a senior, you’ll receive an exhibition date in the fall and have the rest of the school year to experiment, research, and develop a plan, meeting with instructors in-studio to problem-solve. "By the second semester, you can see the direction your show is heading, and you spend most of your time in the studio working," says Tyler Gaca (Class of 2017). "Everyone is going through the same process, working in studios next to each other, but every show is unique."



Associate Professor of Fine Arts 

Associate Professor of Fine Arts 

Danielle Julian Norton teaches sculpture and senior thesis at CCAD. She has done residencies at Headlands Center for the Arts, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, and Anderson Ranch Arts Center. Her work has been exhibited nationally, including at the Midwest Museum of American Art, San Angelo Museum of Fine Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, and Columbus Museum of Art.

Professor of Fine Arts

Professor of Fine Arts

During an impressionable year in Florence, John Kortlander discovered the concept of the Renaissance person, an ideal that’s guided his practice and his instruction at CCAD, where he teaches thesis, figure drawing, and watercolor (and has previously taught design, sound design, and painting). Kortlander’s work has appeared at the Smithsonian Institution, Wexner Center for the Arts, Studio Arts Center International in Italy, and Kulturrathaus in Germany. 


  • MFA in Sculpture, University of Notre Dame
  • BFA in Fine Arts, Columbus College of Art & Design

Current Practice

The day-to-day is juggling: Teaching, being around other artists, working on exhibitions (like a recent show at Cleveland MOCA and a public project with current students and alumni), running from fire to fire.

On Columbus

There are a lot of artist collectives and groups and studios — Corrugate, Skylab, Roy G Biv — a lot of young fresh artists who are changing the community and the scene.


I get inspired by working collaboratively or just being around other artists and talking about culture.

Find her Online




  • MFA in Painting, University of Colorado
  • BFA in Art History, Ohio University

Current Practice

While going into the studio and painting is still at the heart of my creative pursuits, I have recently curated a couple of exhibitions and would like to do more. 

On Columbus

Being able to teach at a place that is at the heart of a thriving arts community is an amazing thing to get to do. 


For me, and I think for most artists, inspiration comes from things that happen when we are working in the studio. Finding something new is really all about being ready to respond to the unexpected.

Find him Online




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