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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the program?
The Nantahala School for the Arts is designed to give students a foundation in artistic principles, history, applications and skills to either transfer to a university or go directly into a job or business setting.

What makes this program at Southwestern unique?
Several things make our program unique from other Fine Arts programs:

  • The curriculum is designed to recognize and celebrate the art and craft of Appalachia, including Native art, Folk art, and contemporary art and craft.
  • Instructors regularly collaborate with many regional, national, and international artists, including Native artists, craft & folk artists.
  • Small class sizes facilitate one-on-one contact with instructors, visiting artists and peers.

What kind of art courses do students take in this program?
All students begin with the foundation courses: 2D & 3D Design, Drawing I, Art History I & II.  Students can then chose which studio areas they would like to explore from Weaving I & II, Ceramics I & II, Sculpture I & II, and Printmaking I & II. Students can also select from a variety of continuing education classes from the Heritage Arts program.

When can a student begin the program and how long will it take?
It is recommended to begin the AFA program in the fall; however, students can begin in any semester. Full time students can complete in 5 semesters (two years). The Heritage Arts Certificates can be completed in 6 semesters (two years).

What are the benefits to the student?

  • Transfer of credits earned in our program into BA/BFA programs.
  • Study locally with talented and experienced artists.
  • Overall savings for a quality education.
  • Build a professional portfolio for college transfer and career opportunities.

What can students do when they finish the Associate in Fine Arts program?

  • Students can work in the field or they can continue their education by transferring into the Bachelor in Fine Arts program at a university.

For class descriptions and an outline of each program:

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