Innovative Programs

The Seattle University Art, Art History, and Design Department offers students a host of innovative programs: from paid artist assistantships, to gallery exhibitions, to partnerships with local arts organizations there are many opportunities to enhance the student experience.


ArtSideOut is a student run organization for SeattleU artists to meet, share ideas, collaborate on projects, and share meaningful artistic experiences in our greater Seattle community. 

ArtSideOut's mission is to provide:

  • Open studio time for SeattleU artists to work on independent and collaborative projects
  • Facilitate group shows in Seattle 
  • Curate group shows on campus 
  • Take group trips to local museums 
  • Facilitate mutually beneficial critique sessions for artists to improve their work 
  • Provide workshops with professional artists/professors 
  • Allow members inside access to on-campus studios 
  • Provide a platform for SeattleU artists to sell their zines, stickers, prints, and other artwork at ArtSideOut function

Visit the ArtSideOut curated gallery WALLSPACE in the Fine Arts Building main lobby.

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Artist Assistantship Program

The Department of Art and Art History provides paid artist studio assistantships to students studying studio arts, design and photography who desire to become professional artists.

The Artist Assistantship program is an incredible paid opportunity for undergraduate students to work one on one with professional local artists in their studios. This unique opportunity allows students to take advantage of hands-on learning with artist mentors while familiarizing themselves with the rich cultural and artistic assets in the Greater Seattle Community. During the program students will also build their professional network, experience first-hand the day-to-day workings of an artist’s studio and develop skills that will prepare them to pursue the goal of becoming professional working artists after graduation.


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Frye Art Museum Internships

The Frye Art Museum Gallery Guide Internship is a 5-credit, year-long program that trains students to lead tours of the nearby Frye Museum for school groups and for the general public. Art and Art History majors gain confidence speaking and leading discussions. They also learn what goes on behind the scenes in a museum. The internship involves a one-week intensive training session in the early fall of the internship year, before classes begin at SU. Students learn tour techniques, the history of the Frye Art Museum, Visual Thinking Strategies, and approaches to exploring special exhibitions with museum visitors.

Throughout the internship year, students give approximately 2 public tours each month, attend training sessions for new special exhibits and participate in monthly gallery guide trainings. Students write reflection papers about their experiences each quarter overseen by the faculty sponsor for the Gallery Guide Internship.

The Frye Museum Gallery Guide Internship is open to all students at SU.

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Photographic Center Northwest

The unique collaboration between the Photographic Center Northwest and Seattle University began in 2001. A leader in the education and promotion of art photography, the Photographic Center Northwest strives to enrich photographic artistry and appreciation through its quality courses and workshops, a gallery exhibiting internationally renowned artists, and outreach programs, which serve photographers throughout the region.

Seattle University students take classes both within the SU art department and at the Photographic Center Northwest (located across 12th Ave from campus). On average, photography majors complete 30 to 35 credits towards their degree at PCNW.

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Pigott Family Endowment for the Arts

The Pigott Family Endowment for the Arts is dedicated to deepening the education experience of students by bringing internationally renowned artists to campus. The endowment provides educational and artistic experiences for students and faculty as well as for the general public.

Each year the endowment sponsors major programming in one area of the fine arts (theatre, music, art and art history) on a rotating basis, while also supporting smaller on-going programming in other areas. Students benefit from direct interaction with the visiting artists and participation in programs and events.


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Seattle University Artist in Residence (SUVAIR)

The Seattle University Artist in Residence program was formed to facilitate research and support for artists in their creative process. This program, funded by the Pigott Family Endowment for the Arts, is designed to foster a unique environment for artists and students from which new ideas emerge that can change the way we see the world. The residency provides artists with the valuable resources of time and space for open-ended investigation, experimentation and collaboration. The program gives artists the opportunity to push the boundaries of their own practice. This freedom we hope will foster collaborations that promote new approaches to arts education, foster community building, and provide a catalyst for social change. The SUVAIR creates a forum for dialogue between the public and the artist in residence through artist talks, a projects studio, open studio time, and other forms of public programming and materials. 

Past Artists in residence: Dawn Cerny, Jeffry Mitchell, Jason Hirata, Mary Ann Peters, Matt Sellars, Carolina Silva, Matt Browning, Joey Veltkamp.