BFA majors think outside the box in their own space

A fine arts degree prepares a student for a career in the visual or performing arts. Visual arts can range from ceramics, painting, drawing, filmmaking, architecture and printmaking, while performing arts is mostly acting, singing and dance.

each kind of art is another way to express either a concept, feeling or story rather than in written words. Have you ever heard the saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words?” Gallacher, a senior at Keene State College, is only months away from receiving her Bachelors of Fine Arts in studio art. Even though she came to KSC undeclared she realized her love for painting was going to be more than just a hobby. Gallacher said,“My advisor Peter Ruis is the person who opened me up to painting specifically because I always used to draw, but now I don’t even like to draw anymore; I only paint.” She said that she loves the art department and the teachers involved, even though it is one of the harder majors to get into. To apply for the fine arts program, a student has to first send in an application and portfolio. There are only a handful of ten students who are in the BFA program. The program gives students an opportunity to find out the unique qualities that makes their work personalized, while they guide and teach them. Gallacher plans to go to grad school to continue her education after she graduates in 2017.

Tim Smith / Photo Editor

Tim Smith / Photo Editor

Professor Tom Cook, has his MFA (Masters in fine arts) from the University of Southern California and currently teaches at Keene State in the film department. He has been here since 1994, and when he arrived here, he was the only faculty member for film so he taught almost every class (directing, cinematography, editing, sound design, acting). Everything has changed since he first came here. There has been many staff members hired, giving more specializations in a lot of the courses and also creating more majors. There is so much more technology, and in many ways, it’s still growing, shining an even bigger spotlight than before on certain arts like film. “Film and media inundates society,” he said.

Media is everywhere including tv shows, movies, shorts clips, anything that is shot through a lens is very much present in today’s society.On a more personal note, Tom loves teaching. No he didn’t see himself sitting in an office teaching film at Keene State when he was eight, but he is happy where he ended up. He explains that even as a little kid, he just loved movies, he would spend hours and hours at the theater.

Tim Smith / Photo Editor

Tim Smith / Photo Editor

“We’re all artists…you’re an artist with words [the journalist] I like to think I paint with light, and so art helps us deal with issues and things that concern us… it’s another way to address it.” Art is so important because it’s there to explains things or concepts that we either don’t know how to explain in words or don’t feel comfortable saying aloud. Cook’s advice that he would give to people interested in a fine arts major or degree would be to get your name out there. Take on different opportunities and get involved so if someone needs a person with your skills or techniques, then they know who to call.

Amanda Coakley is also a senior at Keene State who is going to graduate this May with a BFA in printmaking. Like Gallacher, she has always had a passion for art ever since she was little. “My high school teachers pushed me a lot to get into this field…my mom was also into art.” Her teachers and her family did influence her a lot to get into what she wants to do for, most likely, the rest of her life. Even though she specializes in print, she does reach out to other mediums in the art community, for example drawing and ceramics. She said her favorite class was Art 3 where there are a lot of assignment with abstract art. Her advice for people pursuing a degree in art or a BFA is to work hard and keep pushing yourself.

Kiana Wright can be contacted at

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