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Programs within Fine & Performing Arts 

Visual Arts 

Building culture one artist at a time

The FPA Department now offers three programs in the study and creation of visual art:

  • Art Major, leading to a Bachelor of Arts in Art
  • Fine & Performing Arts Major with the Art Concentration, leading to a Bachelor of Arts in Fine & Performing Arts
  • Art Minor

We offer a dynamic art major within our exceptional Fine and Performing Arts Department. We have one simple goal: to make great art. Our students hone their skills through access to all levels of art making - from introductory assignments to advanced, independent, student-designed projects. Our outstanding faculty offer courses from both traditional, nontraditional and experimental methods in a wide array of media such as drawing, painting, graphic design, photography, film, broadcast communications, computer graphics and costume design.

You will be able to participate in art shows at MCLA Gallery 51 and may earn internships at cultural venues such as the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) or the Clark Art Institute. Join us in a lively arts scene that includes hundreds of working, professional artists, many of whom have moved to North Adams to enjoy life outside the hustling metropolises of Boston or New York. The art major facilitates your entry into a career as a creative innovator.

Teachers in visual art are Anthony Gengarelly (professor of art history and museum studies), Gregory Scheckler (associate professor of visual art), Melanie Mowinski (assistant professor of visual art) Laura Christensen (visiting associate professor), Howard Cruse (visiting professor), and Laura Thompson (visiting assistant professor). A variety of teachers in the English-Communications Department provide film-making and photography courses, and in the Computer Science department provide digital arts courses.


Students in the fine & performing arts may focus on theater through a minor or concentration. Courses include Theater History, Costume Construction & Crafts, The Art of Acting, and Directing. Students have numerous opportunities to perform for college and public audiences in both main stage productions, as well as in one-act festivals and staged readings. 


Students in the fine & performing arts may focus on music through a concentration. Courses include Introduction to Music, Music History, Music Theory and Performance Workshop.  

Students have numerous opportunities to perform for college and public audiences, including choral and band concerts. MCLA also hosts numerous concerts and events through the MCLA Presents! performance series.

MCLA offers students private lessons each semester.  Private Lessons are scheduled and coordinated through the Fine and Performing Arts department located at 94 Porter Street.  MCLA's BlazerBand performs at student athletic events with African djembes.