AcademicsUndergraduate AcademicsVisual ArtsAbout the Program

About the Program

Program Vision

Naropa University’s founder, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, an accomplished artist, taught that art joined with meditative practice educates one’s whole being, and that when the artist’s mind and body synchronize, art expresses a direct and unselfconscious vitality. This is the power and benefit of art to society, and why contemplation and visual art training are interwoven as the foundation of the Visual Arts program at Naropa. Applied to both traditional and contemporary art forms, these two disciplines are reciprocal: contemplation, or awareness practice, becomes the lens that focuses and brightens visual expression; and artistic practice develops the practical means to promote awareness.

Beyond endorsing a technique or style, the Visual Arts major trains students to join inner imagination and outer observation. Students develop confidence in creative vision and the technical proficiency and critical thinking to express that vision. The Visual Arts program offers a Bachelor’s of Arts in Visual Arts, as well as a minor and certificate program in Visual Arts, a minor in Film and Media Studies, and a minor in Contemplative Art Therapy.

Program learning outcomes

Written artist statements demonstrate students’ fluency in artistic language and their ability to articulate their artistic process.

Students create a digital portfolio as a professional tool.

Students articulate how contemplative perspectives inform their art and their experiences in the world.

Students execute every aspect of having a professional art exhibition including installation design, curatorial skills, written content, and staging an opening.

Students demonstrate competency in public speaking with projected images.

In an oral presentation, students articulate and demonstrate the influence of contemporary art on their work.

Search Naropa University


This is where experiential learning meets academic rigor. Where you challenge your intellect and uncover your potential. Where you discover the work you’re moved to do—then use it to transform our world.

“*” indicates required fields