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Online Fine Art & Craft Degrees and Careers

Fine artists and craftspeople create original artwork using a wide range of media and incorporating several different techniques. Is there a difference between a fine artist and a craftsperson? Think Picasso versus Martha Stewart. However, most artists would say the distinction is really more about attitude than aptitude.

Fine artists are painters, sculptors and illustrators. Their artwork is usually displayed in museums and art galleries, purchased for inclusion in corporate collections or owned by individual collectors. While craftspeople may also display their artwork in museums and galleries, they usually sell their designs through their own studios, in retail stores or online, or at fine arts and craft shows.

Education and Career Opportunities in Fine Arts and Craft

Most colleges and universities offer a bachelor's or master's degree program in fine arts. Additionally, there are private art and design schools throughout the country that focus solely on a providing a fine arts education. Courses usually cover core liberal arts curricula, as well as art history and a range of studio art subjects. According to the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, in 2009, there were approximately 300 postsecondary institutions with accredited fine arts and craft degree programs.

Median salaries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, for arts and crafts careers in 2009 were:

  • Art directors--$78,580
  • Multimedia artists and animators--$58,250
  • Fine artists, including painters, sculptors and illustrators--$44,160
  • Craft artists--$28,960
  • Artists and related workers--$53,110

Overall, job prospects and salaries for those with degrees in fine arts and crafts should be promising, according to 2008-2018 projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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