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Sarah Sopcak

Hometown:  Saginaw, Michigan

Major:  Graphic Design, B.A.

Graduation:  May2017

Current Occupation:  Graphic Designer at Regional Medical Imaging in Flint, Michigan.

Greatest assets of the SVSU Art Department:  My advice for any incoming Graphic Design or Art majors at Saginaw Valley is TAKE THE PORTFOLIO CLASS!  Also, go see Professor Kihata ASAP (he’s the head of the art department), he will help you schedule classes and make sure you graduate on time.  My final advice is this - don’t let anyone tell you art is useless or that you will just be a “starving artist”. Those people are blind to the fact that they use art and design every day all day! Follow your passions and Saginaw Valley State University will help you turn them into a career. 

Darby Oswald

Darby Oswald

Hometown:  Bay City, Michigan

Major: Graphic Design, B.A.

Graduation:  May 2017

Current Occupation:  Creative Lead heading the marketing team at CU*Answers/Xtend Inc. in Grand Rapids, Michigan. 

Greatest assets of the SVSU Art Department:  In my experience taking mainly design classes, I felt like the staff was expertly knowledgeable and prepared students for real clients and business more so than other universities. For instance, the portfolio reviews that we attend prove our work is some of the best moving forward, and the real clients we get to work with inside classes give us professional opportunities before we even graduate. I would recommend the SVSU art department because it's very personal and hands-on for individual students; professors get to know you on a personal level so it's much easier to give and receive feedback based on the type of unique designer each person is.

Julie Maurer

Hometown: Harbor Beach 

Major: Graphic Design

Graduation: May 2017

 Julie D. Maurer photo, May 2017 graduate

Current Occupation: Graphic Artist at Grasel Graphics in Frankenmuth, Michigan

Greatest assets of the SVSU Art Department: The professors are great! They get to know you personally and want to see you succeed.  Whether it is helping find a job, critiquing your work to make you a better designer, or just giving continuous encouragement to help get through the semester, the professors are on your side.  Most of my art professors know me by name and have aided in my success at SVSU and after graduation.

Lina Davis


Lina Davis

Hometown:  Canton, Michigan

Major:  Graphic Design

Graduation: May 2017

Current Occupation:  Graphic Design Intern at Quicken Loans

Greatest assets of the SVSU Art Department:  I was a transfer student when I first arrived at SVSU and the Art Department and all of the faculty really made sure I felt like I was a part of the cardinal family.  I remember my first visit to SVSU I set up a meeting with Department Chair Hideki Kihata.  He took time out of his busy schedule and took over an hour to chat with me about the Art Department and all of the paths and opportunities that I had to choose from.  Hideki was not the only person to do this either.  The whole Art Department, faculty and fellow peers, went out of their way to make me feel accepted and apart of a phenomenal community  ...more

Katie Travis

Hometown:  Kingsley, Michigan

Major:  Graphic Design

Graduation: May 2017

Katie Travis, graduation photo

Current Occupation:  Director of Marketing and Graphic Design at Lake Huron Credit Union in Saginaw, Michigan.

Greatest assets of the SVSU Art Department:   The Art Department at SVSU is a family.  There is no place like SVSU. It became a real home away from home, and I know I would not be where I am now without the Art Department. If you are looking for an unforgettable college experience and want to gain the skills necessary to succeed in your chosen field, SVSU is the place for you.   ....more

Justin M. Bell ‌

Justin M. Bell

Hometown:  Troy, Michigan

Major:  Graphic Design

Graduation: December 2016 

Current Occupation:  Graphic Designer at Perrin Brewery, Comstock Park, Michigan.

Greatest assets of the SVSU Art Department: "SVSU's Art department taught me how to design, but also offered countless other skills to me such as photography and coding.  In this, SVSU supplied the tools for me to start on the road to becoming the best designer and creative thinker I can be. Many students coming into college are worried about having a "difficult" professor or a professor that is not helpful. ....more

Department of Art

It is the goal of the Department of Art to develop a student's artistic knowledge and skills to a professional level, which provides leadership for our society as well as to prepare them for graduate school and future employment in an art related field.  The Department also places it general goal to be recognized as a leader in art and art education and as the important cultural resource for the region and the state.

Program of Study

The visual arts curriculum at SVSU includes art history and studio courses in ceramics, graphic design, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture.  The Department of Art is part of the College of Arts and Behavioral Sciences.

Students may earn a B.A. in Art, Graphic Design, or Visual Arts Education, and also a B.F.A. degree.

Because most classes do not exceed 25 students at SVSU, you'll work closely with art professors who are accomplished artists in their own right. Their paintings, photographs, prints, and sculptures have been exhibited at numerous regional and national shows.

You also will be exposed to the creativity of other outstanding contemporary artists whose works are exhibited in the Art Department Gallery, located on the first floor of the Arbury Fine Arts Center.