Skip to main content Skip to main content
Four panel image of MSU Denver art students drawing, making jewelry, designing costumes and sculpting.


"The goal of my work is knowledge. I do not see life and art as separate.”

                                  Howardena Pindell

 The Department of Art at Metropolitan State University of Denver is a vibrant, diverse environment full of options for students interested in pursuing a degree in a creative field. Whether you are interested in being a professional artist, designer, educator or researcher, you will learn traditional methods of art production and research as well as innovative approaches to art and design. 

Art students are analytical, critical thinkers who use their creativity daily. They work independently and collaboratively to develop thoughtful responses to the world around them. No student at MSU Denver is better at envisioning a project from start to finish than our emerging artists, designers, educators and scholars. 

The Auraria Campus is a stone’s throw from the heart of downtown Denver’s art museums and Performing Arts Center, the Santa Fe Art District and MSU Denver’s Center for Visual Art, so students are tapped into Denver’s creative economy. Our graduates have become curators, archivists, art installers and entrepreneurs, and have gone on to graduate schools at Virginia Commonwealth University, Columbia University, Goldsmith’s University, London and more. 

No matter what your ultimate career goals are, the degrees in the Department of Art at MSU Denver offer you the flexibility of diverse options so you train to become an innovative creative professional. And MSU Denver is the most affordable four-year university in Colorado, so you won’t be burdened under a mound of debt.

“It really feels great to be putting my degree to good use. I use the skills I gained over the course of the program at MSU Denver every day, and I am positive that the Communication Design portfolio class in particular is a big part of why I was able to obtain multiple job offers and gain employment before graduating.”

Greg Jesse, MSU Denver '12

Graphic Designer at Sukle Advertising & Design

Next Visiting Artist, Scholar & Designer Program Event

David Lefkowitz

Artwork by artist David Lefkowitz

David Lefkowitz October 2nd at 5:00 pm - David Lefkowitz ‘s paintings, installation, and mixed-media assemblages address paradoxes of perception both monumental and mundane. His work explores the blurry boundaries between mediated and direct experience, often centered on perceived tensions between the human-built environment and the natural world and combining Western traditions of representational oil painting with the flotsam and jetsam of consumer culture to draw attention to the complex relations between image and object, past and present, and nature and culture. Recent solo exhibitions have been held at Carleton College, the Soo Visual Arts Center in Minneapolis, the Northfield Arts Guild, and the Rochester Art Center. Lefkowitz is represented by the Carrie Secrist Gallery in Chicago and is a Professor of Art at Carleton College in Northfield, MN where he teaches painting, drawing, and Critical Issues in Contemporary Art.

Career Prospects

Here's where an Art degree from MSU Denver might take you:

Commercial design and graphics, environmental design and architecture, education, business, crafts, and fine arts all offer an array of possibilities for art graduates. Graphic designer, museum curator, art teacher, jewelry designer, photographer, illustrator, and many, many more

According to the most recent Scientific & Cultural Facilities District (SCFD) Economic Activity Study, which collects data from the nonprofit organizations that receive funds from the SCFD in the seven-county Metro Denver area, “Employment in the arts reached an all-time high in 2017, with 11,820 jobs, an increase of 10% over 2015.”

Alumni Focus

Alumna Rebecca Totman ‘05 will be joining us to share her story and discuss her path... from a fine arts degree at MSU Denver to her current role as Associate Producer of Animation for “The Simpsons”. You won’t want to miss it!

MSU Denver Department of Art alumna Rebecca Totman has over 10 years of experience in the television and animation industries. As an associate producer of animation for the long-running series "The Simpsons," she manages over 180 artists and production personnel, as well as the complex 2D animation pipeline, to deliver 22 episodes per season. In addition to her work on "The Simpsons," Rebeca has also produced and curated six collaborative art shows with her group, Love/Hate Los Angeles.

Rebecca Totman, MSU Denver '05

Associate Producer of Animation for "The Simpsons"

Faculty Focus

Lisa Abendroth
Congratulations to Professor Lisa Abendroth! Professor Abendroth is a recipient of the coveted AIGA Fellow Award and was honored at the 2019 AIGA Colorado Gala. She served as faculty advisor for the MSU Denver AIGA student group for over a decade, was a 2013 recipient of the SEED Award for Leadership in Public Interest Design, and has lectured, presented, exhibited, and published nationally and internationally. For more information about the AIGA Colorado Gala go to http://gala.aigacolo.

Lisa Abendroth

Professor - Communication Design

Data and Insights

Arts Graduates 'Oscillate Wildly' Across Disciplines

The idea of working across artistic disciplines is far from new, but evidence suggests that such crossover is becoming an increasingly important part of artistic careers. This DataBrief detailing the under-acknowledged prevalence, predictors, and outcomes of multi-disciplinary arts practice, from the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP), provides arts educators and arts policymakers with highlights of SNAAP data and insights into the value of arts-school education: Arts Graduates 'Oscillate Wildly' Across Disciplines (SNAAP DataBrief)

Our Program Options

Edit this page
Center for Visual Art BFA Portfolio Requirements Visiting Artists Student Clubs Study Abroad   Give Online Now
Contact Information




Office Location:

Arts Building, Suite 187

Auraria Campus



National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) accreditation seal

The Department of Art at MSU Denver is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art & Design.