Illustration Studio Arts Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)

Art | Insalaco College of Arts and Sciences

Draw Your Creativity into a Career with a BFA in Illustration

Marywood's Illustration program prepares you for the demanding and competitive field of illustration. Courses center on concept, image creation, and an understanding of a variety of techniques, while stressing the social, political, and ethical responsibilities of the artist and the impact illustration has had, and continues to have, on society.

Illustrators create memorable images and tell narrative and visual stories in a personal and unique way. They are among the hardest working artists in the market today. They solve two clear problems: listening to and completing specific client's parameters; and fulfilling the challenge of having their own personal method of working and creative ideas, to be realized in today’s print and digital media. All on deadline.

The Illustration BFA Studio Arts degree track at Marywood University offers a comprehensive and up-to-date curriculum in the study one of the most fascinating and rewarding of creative fields. This rigorous course of study trains students to create highly personal, narrative pictures ready for commercial use and publication.

Contemporary illustration encompasses work for advertising, animation, books, children’s books, comics, gaming, graphic novels, magazines, marketing, movies, music, packaging, posters, web, and many other areas. All these will be explored, so that your senior portfolio will reflect your personal interests.

  • #4 Illustration program in Pennsylvania
  • Professors who are working professionals with first-hand industry knowledge
  • Courses tailored to your interests and strengths, to foster a broad understanding of this exciting field
  • Students are encouraged to find their individual voice

Top Employers

  • Art Licensing Companies
  • Publishers
  • Motion Picture/Video Industries
  • Advertising Agency

Top Career Paths

  • Illustrator
  • Animator
  • Storyboard Artist
  • Children's Books

Dig Deeper Into the Program Details

Portfolio Submission Guidelines for Art Undergraduates

Applying and getting accepted into the Marywood University Art Department is a two-step process. Both steps must occur prior to enrollment in your first semester courses. 

  1. APPLY Apply to the University using the Marywood application or the Common application. Incoming first time freshmen interested in priority consideration for the Art Department's Art Talent Award should concurrently submit their portfolio materials directly to the Art Department prior to the November 15 deadline. Portfolios received after November 15 and before the cut off date of March 1 are still eligible for consideration depending on remaining awards.

  2. PORTFOLIO Submit your portfolio to the Art Department.Your submission should include 1) your portfolio, 2) submission checklist, and 3) short art essay (see below).

Learn More About Portfolio Submissions

Every art student at Marywood has access to superb facilities in our two art buildings, from computer labs and darkrooms to drawing, painting, printmaking, metal, wood, and sculpture studios and weaving looms. Facilities are available to art students 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Marywood is also home to four galleries on campus featuring regional and national artists, faculty, and students.  

The Insalaco Center for Studio Art features drawing and painting studios showcasing naturally-lit rooms with beautiful views of the campus. There are studios and equipment for woodworking, fiber arts, jewelry-making, ceramics, sculpture, photography, printmaking, a Mac lab, and private and semi-private studios for upper level BFA, MA and MFA students.

The Shields Center for Visual Arts building contains The Maslow Collection, Mahady Gallery, Suraci Gallery, classrooms for art history and art administration, studios for art therapy, two graphic design Mac labs, and a 24-hour drop-in Mac lab. The Maslow Collection and Study Gallery for Contemporary Art housed in the Shields Center features more than 500 works by artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, and Chuck Close.

The Mahady Gallery is a spacious and dramatic setting for the display of contemporary artwork. Throughout the year, the gallery offers a variety of group and solo shows by visiting artists, juried regional competitions, faculty exhibits, student shows, and curated national exhibitions. The gallery hosts the annual Scholastic Art Awards and the popular Art Faculty Biennial. Featured exhibitions are accompanied by artists’ slide presentations, gallery talks, studio visits, and demonstrations. The Mahady Gallery is located on the first floor of the Shields Center for Visual Arts.

The Maslow Study Gallery is a learning laboratory, providing fieldwork experiences, internships, and opportunities in curatorial and exhibition studies to Marywood students. Works in The Maslow Collection are available for professional research and study, and many are loaned to regional and national exhibitions. The Maslow Study Gallery for Contemporary Art is located on the first floor of the Shields Center for Visual Arts. For more information visit maslow.marywood.edu

Exhibitions in the Suraci Gallery showcase regional and national artists; support art faculty work and scholarship; provide degree research and documentation opportunities for current and alumni art students; and foster community outreach projects and interests. The Suraci Gallery also houses Marywood’s permanent collection of fine and decorative art. The Asian Collection consists of ceramics, furniture, netsukes, inro, ivories, and prints. Bronze and marble sculpture, paintings, ceramics, glass, and French ivories comprise the 19th Century Collection. Religious icons, furniture, and 20th century works round out the Suraci Collection. The Suraci Gallery is located on the second floor of the Shields Center for Visual Arts.

Located in the lobby of the Insalaco Center for Studio Arts, the Kresge Gallery is a versatile exhibition, critique, and lecture space. An alternative venue to the formal art galleries, the Kresge Gallery provides a working and experimental exhibition site for art students and faculty to showcase a variety of work throughout each semester. Recent exhibitions include the Foundation Year student show, Senior Exhibition, Advanced Painting & Sculpture shows, MA shows, the Marywood Print Guild show, Design & Letterpress shows, art auctions, and Art Club shows.


Insalaco Center for Studio Arts

2300 Adams Avenue
Map & Directions

The Insalaco Center for Studio Arts contains 80,000 square feet of gallery space, naturally-lit drawing and painting studios, dark rooms, printmaking, woodworking, jewelery-making and ceramics studios, computer labs, and classrooms.

Learn More | Take a Virtual Tour

Studio Arts Classrooms


Map & Directions

Art education, ceramics, drawings/foundations, photography, painting, printmaking, and sculpture classes and facilities are located in the Insalaco Center for Studio Arts.

Learn More | Take a Virtual Tour

Shields Center for Visual Arts

201 Jackson Court
Map & Directions

The Shields Center for Visual Arts provides classrooms and labs for the Graphic Design, Art Education, and Art Therapy programs. It also houses the Mahady, Suraci, and Maslow Art Galleries.

Learn More | Take a Virtual Tour

Visual Arts Classrooms


Map & Directions

The Shields Center for Visual Arts contains studios, classrooms, and labs for Art Therapy and Graphic Design majors.

Learn More | Take a Virtual Tour

Kresge Gallery


Map & Directions

Located in the lobby of the Insalaco Center for Studio Arts, the Kresge Gallery is a versatile exhibition, critique, and lecture space.

Learn More | Take a Virtual Tour

Mahady Art Gallery


Map & Directions

The Robert J. and Elizabeth FitzMartin Mahady Gallery, known more frequently as the Mahady Gallery, is located on the first floor of the Shields Center for Visual Arts, providing a spacious and dramatic setting for the display of contemporary artwork. Throughout the year, the gallery offers a variety of group and solo shows by visiting artists, juried regional competitions, faculty exhibits, student shows, and curated national exhibitions.

Learn More | Take a Virtual Tour

Maslow Study Gallery


Map & Directions

The Maslow Study Gallery, located on the first floor of the Shields Center for Visual Arts, is a learning laboratory, providing fieldwork experiences, internships, and opportunities in curatorial and exhibition studies to Marywood students. The Maslow Collection is one of the most significant and extensive collections of contemporary art in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Learn More | Take a Virtual Tour

Suraci Art Gallery


Map & Directions

The Suraci Gallery, located on the second floor of the Shields Center for Visual Arts, houses Marywood's permanent collection of fine and decorative art. Exhibitions in the Suraci Gallery showcase regional and national artists; support art faculty work and scholarship; provide degree research and documentation opportunities for current and alumni art students; and foster community outreach projects and interests.

Learn More | Take a Virtual Tour

Art Talent Award

Art Talent Awards are only available to incoming freshman students. Students who have already registered for classes are no longer eligible to apply for the award.

ELIGIBILITY: If you are an incoming Freshman student and you would like primary consideration for an Art Talent Award, your portfolio AND art essay must be submitted together to the Art Department by November 15. Portfolios received after November 15 and before the cut off date of March 1 are still eligible for consideration depending on remaining awards. Awards are granted a rolling basis each spring beginning March 1 and portfolios meeting the November 15th deadline will get first consideration for available awards. The Art Talent Award is based on artistic merits. As such, Arts Administration students are ineligible for this award. Recipients of an Art Talent Award must plan to major in art at Marywood. Once awarded, they are renewable for up to eight semesters of full-time undergraduate study. If a Talent Award recipient changes his/her major to that of one outside of art, the Art Talent Award will be rescinded. 

Note: Any physical or flash-drive digital portfolios must be left with the Art Department 7-14 days for evaluation. Award recipients will be notified by mail sometime after March 1.

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Foundations Year

Your first year as an art student at Marywood University is an important step in your development as an artist. To help make your foundation year a success, we offer a number of resources to guide you.

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Online Art Supplies