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Photo of art student working on a sculpture.

The right major matters.

The Art Program at MacMurray College is a thriving community filled with energy and passion dedicated to learning about the conceptual theories and formal qualities of art and art history, as well as developing the skills and talents that matter in creating personal bodies of work.

Through a series of courses ranging from Drawing I to specialized Directed Studies of your choice, you receive a well-rounded education that matters, not only in the art world, but also in honing your critical thinking and investigative skills to advance in all areas of life.

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Opportunities for Students

The Putnam Center for the Arts and the Applebee Art Gallery

The Putnam Center for the Arts is the physical focus of the Art Program, offering spacious and beautiful gallery space where you can create to your heart's content. The galleries have equipment for all manner of the visual arts, including pottery and sculpture.

The Applebee Gallery, located in the Putnam Center, is a stunning venue for art that is deeply rooted in education. The Gallery serves as an exquisite showcase for contemporary art and historical works of importance from the MacMurray College Art Collection. Each year, the Gallery has a series of one-person and group exhibitions by local and regional professional artists.

Visit the Applebee Gallery website.

Student Art Exhibitions

Photo of patrons admiring an art exhibition.

At the end of their senior year, graduating seniors are required to display a full body of work that displays their vision as emerging artists. The shows follow the format of professional gallery openings, and the seniors give a gallery talk about the techniques, their development, and the thinking behind their work.

In addition, a series of student exhibitions highlight the best work of all of the studio courses each academic year. These exhibitions are often open to all MacMurray students currently enrolled in art courses and juried by the art faculty. In recent years, the exhibits have featured 30 or more pieces by a dozen student artists.

Art in the Community

For its size, Jacksonville has a dynamic art scene, with several small private galleries, where you can view local artists' work; a community art association housed in a Victorian mansion that sponsors exhibitions; and a monthly "Gallery Hop" in downtown Jacksonville, within walking distance of the MacMurray campus. The Hop has become a major social event in town, supported by a number of businesses and institutions downtown, and attracts a crowd of community members and students to fill the numerous venues each month.

Having your work seen matters, and the Art Program seeks to get student work in front of as wide a variety of the public as possible. For example, the local newspaper recently published a gallery of more than a dozen photos by nine MacMurray students in a special section.

After Graduation

The Art Program at MacMurray offers talented students the opportunity to grow and mature as visual artists in a supportive environment that prepares them for careers in the visual arts. Graduates of the program are well positioned to enter MFA programs, and several are currently pursuing careers by obtaining advanced degrees and working in photography studios, design agencies, and galleries in Chicago and St. Louis.


Learn more about Art courses and how to pursue a major or minor in Art through our catalog.


Photo of Khara Koffel

Khara Koffel

Professor of Art

"Over a decade ago, I was drawn to teaching at MacMurray by its dedicated students and passionate faculty. Today, my feelings not only remain the same but grow with every new class that I have the joy of teaching."

  • Areas of interest: Koffel has exhibited her work widely in the United States, with solo exhibitions or pieces accepted in juried shows in Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis, as well as in Maryland, New York, Alabama, and California. Her sculptures are often highly personal and reflect on her relations with friends and family.
  • M.F.A. in Sculpture & Photography — University of Alabama
  • M.A. in Sculpture & Photography — University of Alabama
  • B.A. in Studio Arts & Art History — Juniata College
  • Courses taught: 3-D Design, Sculpture, Ceramics, Photography