Art & Design

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Oakview Building
101 Oakview Drive
, CT  06611

Department Chair

Jonathan Walker, MFA
Associate Professor

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 ‌Art Design Gallery
The newly completed Visual and Performing Arts area is the new face for the main campus
of Sacred Heart University, demonstrating the university’s commitment to the arts.

Real world training set within a liberal arts-based curriculum is the mission of the Department of Art & Design at Sacred Heart University. Through its extensive offerings in Graphic Design, Illustration, and Studio Art, carried out by means of extremely active and engaged learning programs, the department supports the overall mission of the University by developing designers who, in addition to being fully prepared to take their place in the professional world of Art & Design, are knowledgeable, educated, compassionate, responsive to social and civic obligations, and able to respond to an ever-changing world. Along with the most up-to-date digital design facilities and a commitment to art and design as it exists today and in the near future, the department develops designers and artists who are critical thinkers and contributing members of society, their communities, and their professions.

Ideally situated within the vast design, art, and cultural resources of the metropolitan New York City area, with access to the country's richest base of design, marketing, art, and advertising firms within the world-class digital design community of Fairfield County, Connecticut, the Department of Art & Design is committed to combining education for life with preparation for professional excellence. Combined with a professionally active faculty, an extensive professional internship program, and exemplary support from the University, the Department of Art & Design offers an unmatched opportunity to prepare students for the transition from the classroom to the visual arts workplace.


At the core of the program is the study of the fundamentals and principles of Art & Design combined with an introduction to some of the finer accomplishments of humankind, giving students a sense of duty in terms of serving the idea and helping them to realize that their work in Art & Design can realistically effect change in the world. In doing so, the Sacred Heart University Art & Design program serves the University’s mission by challenging its students to think visually, observe critically, develop analytical skills and problem-solving abilities, evaluate with a sense of proportion, and communicate observations in an intelligible and articulate fashion. Students learn to develop an aesthetic for their world and to sharpen their abilities to imagine, create, and appreciate. The Art & Design program is designed to create digital communication skills within the students and to engage them in verbal dialogue and, thus, establish a foundation for ongoing experience, learning and enrichment in their lives ahead. As a means to accomplishing these goals the department offers students the opportunity to study start-of-the-art digital Graphic Design, Illustration, Studio Art, and Fashion Studies. Through the mobile computer program, the Macintosh labs, and our active internship program working with nationally recognized companies in design and marketing, we offer students the opportunity to study contemporary digital design in a rich, liberal arts environment.

The Art & Design program offers concentrated studies in Graphic Design, Illustration, and Studio Art. Included are extensive course offerings in all levels of digital visual communication design and a strong program in traditional fine arts. Students in graphic design study typography, layout, computer graphics, multimedia, motion, web design, illustration, painting, and drawing. Students in the Illustration concentration have the opportunity to study several aspects of illustration including editorial and storyboard art, as well as fantasy and graphic novels. The Studio Art concentration is an integral part of all studies in Art & Design. As a common foundation for all students and for advanced studies in Studio Art the department offers many levels of drawing, painting, figure drawing, and methods and materials.

The Mobile Computing Program

Through a professionally conceived and highly developed mobile computing program, students are able to purchase a professional designer's laptop and have wireless access anywhere on campus as well as 24/7 access to all of the required design software, not just the classroom or dorm, but from anywhere in the world. With the continued enthusiastic support of the College and the University, the Department of Art & Design is able to fully support studies in aesthetics and professional practices with a complete set of professional digital design tools. All Graphic Design courses are supported by a state-of-the-art Macintosh lab facility with the latest hardware and software, along with a dedicated fulltime Apple Certified Technology Manager providing personalized support exclusively to Art & Design students. Currently every computer in the Mac Lab is outfitted with the entire Adobe Creative Suite 6 which includes Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Flash, Dreamweaver, Acrobat Pro, Fireworks, and Bridge, along with QuarkXpress and other specialized software. Used in conjunction with our mobile program and server licenses, the Department of Art & Designs provides students with access to the most popular design software and the standards in our industry.

The new Adobe Digital Publishing Suite and mobile iOS devices have become an integral part of Digital Design at Sacred Heart University. While we encourage students to own their own mobile iOS devices, the department has a stock of iPads that are available to any student for their use in working in areas like iPad development and digital magazine design. In addition to all that, the department’s Mac Lab will transition to the Adobe Creative Cloud in the Fall of 2013 providing maximum access to all of Adobe’s software to any student through our Mac Lab.

Senior Portfolio Night

Senior Portfolio Night is the highlight of the academic career for every Graphic Designer and Illustrator at Sacred Heart University. It is a formal event at which senior Art & Design students will have the opportunity to meet and greet the public. Students will also have numerous opportunities to show people their portfolios and conduct both real and practice interviews.

The Department of Art & Design invites several hundred people to the event from the university, the public, and the professional community. Students do not know who most of the guests are, nor is anyone identified in any manner. Each person who asks to see a student’s portfolio is treated as a possible professional contact and networking experience. Invited guests include the leading design, advertising, and marketing companies in Fairfield County, home to some of the most prestigious companies of this type in the nation.


By means of this deep and rich experience students learn to select the best method for creating visual solutions to specific problems as well as explore the wide variety of potential careers in Art & Design. In addition, the Art & Design program has an extensive internship program. Students qualifying for the internship program have the opportunity to work for some of the nation’s best design, marketing, and communications companies.

Every field of education benefits from internships because internship experiences provide what an academic setting cannot. Providing an excellent education in Graphic Design, Illustration, Studio Art, and Fashion Design is at the core of our mission in Art & Design at Sacred Heart University. However, our students are finding out that applied learning situations, such as an internship, provide invaluable practical experience as well as a contact base that that will be essential in the job search process.  In addition to these benefits to students, internship programs allow employers to get a jump-start on training talent entering the workforce for the first time. The Graphic Design profession and community are served best when an internship experience is one that minimizes the contrast between what a student experiences in the academic situation and what they will experience in the professional environment.

Latest News

Monika and Evzen Kocendova Exhibit and Reception

May 2, 2014

Fairfield, CT: Please join us from 4:00–5:30 on Monday, May 5, 2014, for an opening reception honoring Monika and Evzen Kocendova in the Art & Design Gallery at Sacred Heart University.

Senior Portfolio Night

April 25, 2014

On Thursday, May 1, Sacred Heart University's Department of Art & Design will host the annual Senior Portfolio Night from 4:30pm - 8:00pm in the beautiful new Art & Design Gallery, featuring student artwork from the past academic year. This event is free and open to the public.

‘The Spirit of SHU’ Unveiled in New Edgerton Center Gallery

October 14, 2013

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – One thing you are not allowed to be on a university campus is speechless. And yet it’s the breathless, speechless pauses as Liz Mastrocola searches for the right words that speak volumes. “It’s incredible,” she effuses, her smile so broad it almost hurts. “It’ vibrant...just magnificent...”