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The Studio Art Department at a Glance

The Black Hills State University Studio Art Program is the ideal choice for aspiring art students throughout the state and region. The Department of Studio Art provides students with the technical skill and cultural awareness essential to the careers of professional artists, scholars or teachers. Seminars on specialized topics, a schedule of visiting artists, trips to major cities, and study abroad possibilities all enrich students study of Studio Art at Black Hills State University. 

Studio Art students have access to newly updated studio facilities, private studio spaces, and close mentoring from the art faculty. We integrate formal art concepts with contemporary theory and fundamental practice while using digital media and contemporary technologies in our curriculum. Coursework includes practice as well as discussion and critiques with faculty, advisers, and visiting artists. Exhibition and installation spaces are readily available throughout campus and the community of Spearfish.  

The faculty of the Department of Fine Art is comprised of nationally and internationally recognized artists and scholars with artistic practice and research that spans a broad range of media and disciplines. Dedicated to educating the next generation of artists, award-winning teachers prioritize mentorship, offering students individual attention, small class sizes and private studio spaces.  

Most course work in the programs of study are practice-based studio courses. Studio classes are typically capped at 18-20 students. All studio areas also have classes that are open to non-majors. Three-credit courses normally meet in class for three hours weekly for 15 weeks of fall and spring semester; another six hours of work is expected outside class. Studio areas are open and accessible, and private studios are available on an application bases.

More info about the Bachelor's of Fine Arts Degree

*Current students, please refer to the DegreeWorks Dashboard in MyBHSU to confirm your major requirements.

Video Transcript
Black Hills State University has always been an amazing place to begin your life's journey.
With an award-winning photography department, a top-rated graphic design program, and an incredibly diverse studio art department.
Black Hills State delivers a world-class education in Spearfish, South Dakota. And now, BHSU is proud to offer three new Bachelor of Fine Art degrees in: photography, studio art, and graphic design.
Find out how to begin your journey at Black Hills State University by visiting


» Art Director
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» Arts & Cultural Policy Administrator
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» Arts Therapist
» Arts Writer & Publisher
» Commercial Artist
» Gallery Owner
» Illustrator
» Interior Designer
» Museum Curator
» Painter
» Sculptor

Fine Arts Spotlight



» MFA Candidate in Printmedia at School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC)
» Special Collections Assistant at the SAIC Joan Flash Artists' Book Collection
» Art Education Coordinator 2020-21 Rapid City Arts Council (RCAC)
» Awarded Spirit of BH Award, Black Hills State University, 2020
» Intern assistant for the Community Mural Project, Layers of Spearfish

Student Organizations

Community Art Projects

Layers of Spearfish Community Art Mural: 500 people including students from the university, K-12 Spearfish, K-12 Belle Fourche and members of the Spearfish Health and Rehabilitation Center helped paint this masterpiece.

Honors Program

In fall 2018, Desy Schoenewies taught Constructing/Deconstructing the Book as an Honors colloquia course. In this course, students create hand-bound books using a variety of traditional and contemporary methods including Japanese stab-bound, hand-sewn signatures, and accordion books. The course also explores newer methods of book-making and discusses contemporary artists who use the book as a form of art media. Students use traditional, archival materials for sewing, gluing, and binding their own books and integrate digital print output for their page layouts. Although a general theme is explored for each project, the student may develop their own creative narrative to produce original content and imagery for each book.

Art Club

In the fall of 2012, the Art Club was formed and remains one of the most active student organizations on campus. Students host events for themselves, for the community, and for the campus. •2021-2019 Lookout Mountain trailhead tunnel mural beautification project •2021-2020 Community Recreation Center climbing wall mural project •First and Second Annual Chinook Days Snow Sculpture contest located downtown Spearfish. •DENVER FINE ARTS WEEK annual fundraiser and trip AWARD FOR ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE recipient from the South Dakota Board of Regents in 2015 •APPROXIMATELY 15-20 MEMBERS are consistently engaged with weekly Art Club events

Contact Info

Desy Schoenewies
Phone: (605)-642-6104

Black Hills State University
1200 University St. Unit 9571
Spearfish, SD, USA 57799-9571