Prof. David Lobdell, Department Chair
Burris Hall Room 109 D
The Department of Visual and Performing Arts includes instructional programs in art, music, and theater. In addition to the postbaccalaureate certificate in fine arts, the department provides instruction at the graduate level, which may be used for licensure or to satisfy emphasis area requirement in the master’s degree in education, curriculum and instruction concentration.
- Mission of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts
- Music and Art
- Post Baccalaureate Certificate in Fine Arts
- Music and Theater
- Fine Art
- Resources and Facilities
- Course Description
Mission of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts
The general mission of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) is to education students in the technical skills, the theoretical underpinnings and the sociocultural context for the disciplines represented by the academic programs. VPA seeks to inspire students to make creative and expressive ideas the foundation of their lives and their work, which is the essence of the cultivation of the human mind and spirit.
In its collaborative enterprises, VPA seeks to provide opportunities for students to work closely with faculty and staff in its academic courses, thus demonstrating that faculty and staff readily interact with students. Community members join the department for many productions and activities. VPA aims to incorporate appropriate elements from Northern New Mexico artistic, theatrical and musical culture in its courses and productions, which relate to the rich heritage of Hispanic and Native American cultures that are distinctive of the state of New Mexico. Ultimately, VPA aims to prepare its students for an active professional life in each discipline through the knowledge, creativity, teaching skills and dedication of its faculty and staff, showing excellence in teaching, discovering, preserving and applying knowledge.
Todd Christensen, MFA (Art)
Andre Garcia-Nuthmann, Ph.D. (Music)
Edward Harrington, Ph.D. (Music)
David Lobdell, MFA (Art)
Shereen Lobdell, MFA (Art)
Music and Art
While there are no graduate degrees offered in music and art, they may be selected as emphasis areas within the curriculum and instruction master of arts program in education for students wishing to pursue graduate studies in music and art education. In addition, certain music and art courses are applicable as electives in the Department of Behavioral Sciences’ master of arts program in Southwest studies.
Post Baccalaureate Certificate in Fine Arts (30 credit hours)
- Statement of Educational Goals
- Portfolio of work— 20 images
- 2 Letters of Recommendation from Faculty
- Transcripts from all previously attended regionally accredited institutions (3.0 GPA or higher)
- Will consider those who do not meet the GPA requirement.
This curriculum provides the rigorous studio practice and conceptual/art historical framework necessary to develop a portfolio for application to graduate programs in fine arts or to prepare the candidate for a self-directed career in fine art. It is a critique-driven program that requires the student enroll in portfolio development, and exhibition courses, as well as directed study courses.
The program is designed for students with degrees in fields other than art, who have decided to pursue art as a career choice, and will allow them to develop art related portfolios. The Program will help students of New Mexico, the region and the nation advance to master of fine arts programs and develop a clear direction in their work to be competitive as a self-directed, independent fine artist.
Admissions into the post baccalaureate program is contingent upon undergraduate transcripts, CV, and a portfolio of 20 images which demonstrates competency in studio art. Additionally, the applicant must submit a letter of purpose and two letters of recommendation from sources outside of Highlands University. Admission into graduate school is also required.
Students who do not have 15 credit hours of art history classes may be admitted to the program on a provisional basis. These course requirements must be met in order to advance in the program.
Required Courses (18 credits):
ARTS 5910 Portfolio Development and Professional Practices (2)
ARTS 5900 Independent Study (6)
ARTH 5500 Seminar in Art History* (6)
*Repeated with different content
ARTH 5800 Art of the Americas (3)
ARTS 5950 Exhibit (1)
Art Electives (12 credits):
ARTS 5710 Painting 5 (3)
ARTS 5720 Painting 6 (3)
ARTS 5310 Ceramics 5 (3)
ARTS 5340 Practicum (1-4)
ARTS 5350 Selected Topics (1-4)
ARTS 5410 Sculpture 5 (3)
ARTS 5420 Sculpture 6 (3)
ARTS 5500 Seminar in Art (1-4)
ARTS 5610 Jewelry and Metalsmithing (3)
ARTS 5710 Printmaking 5 (3)
ARTS 5720 Printmaking 6 (3)
ARTS 5850 Art Foundry 5 (3)
ARTS 5900 Independent Study (1-4)
ARTS 5960 Exhibit Design (3)
Program Total: 30 credit hours minimum
The music program at NMHU offers a variety of options to meet the needs of students with personal or preprofessional interests in music. A wide range of choral and instrumental ensembles provides students with opportunities to participate in active music making. These include the Concert Choir, Madrigal Choir (El Coro de la Tierra Alta), Jazz Choir, Wind Ensemble, Guitar Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, and Mariachi (Vaqueros de la Sierra). Other choral and instrumental ensembles are offered as students’ interest dictates. Scholarship opportunities include activity awards, Lorraine Schula Scholarship, Thomas Mishler Scholarship, Muller Family Scholarship, and the Lorenzo Miguel Gallegos Scholarship.
Students in the music program will become proficient in the necessary skills of music performance according to their particular choice of instrument or voice, while acquiring a thorough knowledge in the philosophy, aesthetics, literature and history of music from Western and Southwest cultures. They will be enabled to enter the teaching profession with the requisite training and knowledge to teach music at the elementary and secondary levels.
Students wishing to pursue music studies in more depth may select music as a major in music performance or music education. The music performance concentration allows serious performers the opportunity to develop appropriate technical skills in preparation for professional careers as musicians. The music education concentration prepares music graduates for full licensure as K-12 music teachers in the public schools of New Mexico, and throughout the region.
Two minors are offered as options to further develop musical skills: music and music technology. The general music minor is designed for students who have a vocational interest in music as a supplement to their principal studies at NMHU. The music technology minor provides songwriting, digital audio editing, and performance experience to students who major in a non-music discipline such as media arts, literature, or business.
The art faculty at New Mexico Highlands University provides students with a strong foundation in the visual arts. The program offers a range of traditional media and upper-division course work that qualifies the student to enter a graduate program or embark on a professional career. Training in art history as well as in hands-on studio provides the knowledge of skills, techniques and critical thinking required of a committed artist. By nurturing ideas and creativity a student is able to become visually literate, technically competent, historically informed and conceptually relevant.
Contemporary artists often combine digital media with traditional works. The art program supports the interrelationship of media arts with its traditional disciplines as students learn to merge these fields. The program also recognizes the need for training in electronic media for the publication and documentation of traditional art work. Course work in basic imaging skills is required with other upper division courses may be selected from a list of elective courses.
NMHU’s art discipline reserves the right to retain students’ work submitted for course credit for a limited time for the purposes of education, exhibition, and promotion. Lab fees are required for all studio courses. Expenses vary from course to course and some supplies will be provided from student fees.
Resources and Facilities New Mexico Highlands University provides music studios for audio recording, songwriting, group rehearsal, and individual practice; art studios for ceramics, painting, drawing, jewelry and metalsmithing, printmaking, sculpture, and a fully equipped art foundry.
Students in visual and performing arts are joined by other students on campus and by community members in the Concert Choir, Madrigal Choir, Wind Ensemble, HU Jazz Singers, Guitar Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, and Mariachi, as well as in four main-stage productions. The gallery in the Burris Hall (the arts building) serves as the focal point for artistic work produced through various classes and studios. The Art Club, and Music Club, are an active part of campus life, and also serve to promote their various programs.
ARTS 5110. Mixed Media (3); Var
Acquisition of a wide variety of skills related to the processes of mixed media production. A wide variety of media will be utilized and combined in a range of methods.
ARTS 5210. Painting 5 (3); 2, 4 Fa, Sp
This intermediate to advanced level course emphasizes personal imagery and the exploration of the language of paint. Prerequisite: ARTS 3210 or permission of instructor. Previous NMHU ART 521.
ARTS 5220. Painting 6 (3); 2, 4 Fa, Sp
Continuation of ART 5210 with emphasis placed on an individual topic decided upon by both student and instructor resulting in a series of paintings and a research paper. May be repeated for additional credit. Prerequisite: ART 5210 or permission of instructor. Previous NMHU ART 522.
ARTS 5310. Ceramics 5 (3); 2, 4 Fa, Sp
Form building including kiln firing and glaze calculation. Course may be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: ARTS 3310 or permission of instructor. Previous NMHU ART 531.
ARTS 5340. Practicum (1-4 VC); Fa, Sp, Su
Experience in an on-campus or work placement. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Previous NMHU ART 534.
ARTS 5350. Selected Topics in Art (1 – 4 VC); Var
Course in a topic or topics of art studio. May be repeated with a change of content. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Previous NMHU ART 535.
ARTS 5410. Sculpture 5 (3); 2, 4 Fa, Sp
A continuation of ARTS 3410, and an introduction to bronze casting. Prerequisite: ARTS 3410 or permission of instructor. Previous NMHU ART 541.
ART 5420. Sculpture 6 (3); 2, 4 Fa, Sp
Development of a personal aesthetic in sculpture. Course may be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: ARTS 4410 or permission of instructor. Previous NMHU ART 542.
ART 5500. Seminar in Art (1–4 VC); Var
Seminar course in a topic or topics of art. Course may be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Previous NMHU ART 550.
ARTS 5610. Jewelry and Metalsmithing 5 (3); 2, 4 Fa, Sp
A continuation of ARTS 3610. Prerequisite: ART 361 or permission of instructor.
ARTS 5620. Jewelry and Metalsmithing 6 (3); 2, 4 Fa, Sp
A continuation of ART 5610. Prerequisite: ARTS 3610 or permission of instructor. Previous NMHU ART 562.
ARTS 5710. Printmaking 5 (3); 2, 4 Fa, Sp, Su
A continuation of ART 371 with emphasis placed on innovative technologies in intaglio, the art of the monotype, and advanced practices in lithography including color. Attention will be placed highly on individual imagery and outside research. Prerequisite: ARTS 3710 or permission of instructor.
ARTS 5720. Printmaking 6 (3); 2, 4 Fa, Sp, Su
Continuation of ART 5710 with emphasis placed on an individual topic decided upon by both student and instructor resulting in a suite or series of images in print, and a research paper. May be repeated for additional credit. Prerequisite: ART 5710 or permission of instructor. Previous NMHU ART 572.
ARTS 5850. Art Foundry 5 (3); 2, 4 Su
An emphasis on refining aesthetic knowledge and technical skills. Course may be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: ARTS 3850 or permission of instructor.
ARTS 5860. Art Foundry 6 (3); 2, 4 Su
Continuation of ART 5850. Course may be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: ARTS 3850 or permission of instructor. Previous NMHU ART 586.
ARTS 5900. Independent Study: Art Studio (1–4 VC); Fa, Sp
Individual research in a selected area of art history or criticism arranged with an instructor. Prerequisite: The appropriate 3000-level course and permission of instructor. Previous NMHU ART 590.
ARTS 5930. Directed Study in Art Studio (1–4 VC); Fa, Sp
Advanced independent work arranged with a faculty member to expand upon knowledge and techniques gained in lower division studio courses in the student’s field of emphasis. Prerequisite: The appropriate 3000- or 4000-level course and permission of instructor. Previous NMHU ART 593.
ARTS 5950. Exhibit (1); Fa
This course parallels Senior Colloquium and is taken during the fall semester of the post-baccalaureate program. Students will complete a portfolio packet that will allow them to apply to M.F.A. programs and/or a professional career. Previous NMHU ART 595.
ARTS 5960. Exhibit Design (3); Sp
Students will participate in mounting a multimedia exhibit on a topic in Fine Arts. Previous NMHU ART 596.
Art History (ARTH), Courses in
ARTH 5400. Modern Art (3); Sp
A survey of European and American art from the late eighteenth century until the present. Major artists and trends in painting, sculpture, photography and architecture will be discussed with particular emphasis on personality and innovation. Prerequisite: ARTS 411 or permission of instructor. Previous NMHU AH 540.
ARTH 5500. Seminar in Art History (1 – 4 VC); Sp
Seminar course in a topic or topics of art history. May be repeated with a change of content. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Previous NMHU AH 550.
ARTH 5800. Art History: The Americas (3); Fa
A survey of the arts of the Americas, covering the pre-Columbian indigenous cultures, Hispanic colonial presence, and contemporary Native American and Hispanic arts. Previous NMHU AH 580.