Travel and Enrichment

The Art Department offers numerous opportunities for travel and enrichment, including the following:

  • Each October, we take a trip to New York City in for students to see museums, galleries, Broadway shows, opera, and other cultural experiences. The list of sites we have visited includes The Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan, the Whitney, the Museum of Art and Design, the American Folk Art Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Brooklyn Art Library, the New York Public Library, the Metropolitan Opera, Central Park, the Museum of Natural History, Chinatown, Pearl Art Supplies, the High Line Park, Chelsea Galleries, the International Print Center, and numerous Broadway musicals including The Phantom of the Opera, Mary Poppins, West Side Story, Jersey Boys, Rent and others.

  • Each April, we take a spring trip to a closer cultural center such as Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, or Columbus. These trips typically last 2-3 days, and we visit museums and cultural centers. In the past few years, we have visited the Wexner Center, Columbus Museum of Art, Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center, the Mattress Factory, the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water, and many other sites.

  • In past years art, faculty and students have traveled to foreign countries of Spain, Greece, Egypt, Turkey, Italy,  China, England, and Wales. This was in conjunction with the Graduate Program in Education. Each time this occurred a few undergraduates attended. Although this program has been dormant for several years, it is scheduled to resume during the summer of 2012.
  • The Art Department has a strong relationship with the Madog Center for Welsh Studies on the campus of Rio Grande.  Two members of the art faculty have been chosen as the Madog Welsh Fellow to do research on American/Welsh heritage and art. Because of this art students have been strongly encouraged to take advantage of the semester exchange available with Trinity St. David, our sister institution, in Carmarthen Wales. To date, twelve art students have taken advantage of this opportunity.

  • The Art Department schedules a minimum of three visiting artist workshops each year, typically in conjunction with a show at our gallery. In recent years, we have hosted workshops by Thorney Lieberman, Mike Bowen, Traci Molloy, John Sabraw, Margaret McAdams, Kathleen Kneafsy, Karla Hackenmiller and Kelly O’Brien. Students and community members have the opportunity to view the artists’ work, hear them speak about their techniques and approaches, and learn new techniques in hands-on workshops in our studios.

  • The ArtStart picnic is held each September at a local county park to kick off the school year. Usually 50-60 students, friends and family attend this cookout. 
  • Each spring there is an annual Art Department Juried Exhibition. This exhibition is used to showcase student works from throughout the year but has also become quite an important endeavor for students and faculty alike. The jurors of this exhibition are chosen from regional universities, and awards are given to winning works.
  • Each year other exhibitions are held at local art galleries in neighboring communities so that students can gain other experiences exhibiting their work. These are at the Markay Gallery in Jackson, Ohio, and Gallery 409 in Pt. Pleasant, WV. Each of these exhibitions is organized by students which gives them additional experience with exhibition planning.

  • The Huntington Museum of Art invites Rio faculty and students to attend the Walter Gropius Master Artists Workshops via scholarship money. All of our faculty and many of our students have participated in these three day opportunities to work with nationally recognized guest artists.
  • The art students are often directed to exhibition, internships, commission opportunities, mural projects, teaching opportunities, scout camps, art jurying, etc…These include but are not limited to: The French Art Colony, Gallery 409, The Markay Gallery, The Village of Rio Grande, The Gallipolis Convention and Visitors Bureau, Bob Evans Farms, CrossChex, The University of Rio Grande, the Gallia County and Gallipolis Schools systems.
  • The Art Department maintains the Brooks Jones Permanent Collection, The Rio Grande Sculpture Park, and the Esther Allen Greer Gallery. Each of the venues brings in regional, national, and internationally known art and artists for the students to see and experience. Guest artist for these venues have been too numerous to list.

  • All art majors are required to visit museums and galleries each semester and then write reflective papers on work in these venues. Additionally, each art major is required to enter a juried exhibition, obtain a commission, organize and exhibit, or apply to graduate school. This takes place each and every semester or results in an incomplete for all art classes until accomplished. We feel this gives our students a richer experience than they would have if this were not required.
  • For the past three years, the art students and faculty were invited by the Marshall University ceramics faculty to participate in the “Empty Bowls” project. This is an international project that collects ceramic bowls from potters and sells them as a fundraiser for the local food banks. Bowls created by Rio students and faculty benefit the Huntington Food Bank. The project creates over 150 bowls each year.and the students enjoyed it so much it is planned to become an annual event
  • Each year students and faculty create designs for the Art Department T-shirt Contest. The winning design is printed and t-shirts are sold throughout the year.


Designed by Dustin Beach