students in studio arts


Earning an AA or an AA-T degree from the Golden West College Fine Arts department will give you the foundation and credits you need to transfer to a four-year college. We prepare our students to succeed in the study of fine and commercial arts. With a degree from our department students will be qualified to further study the visual arts in diverse fields like graphic design, art history, animation, photography, fashion design, the full range of fine arts and much more.

We offer a complete course of study, including Art History, 2D Design, 3D Design, Ceramics, Drawing, Jewelry, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Typography, and Sculpture. In addition to ongoing displays of current student work throughout the department, there is also a dedicated Fine Arts Gallery showing student and professional work throughout the school year.

Each course offered in the Fine Arts department is designed to enhance the ability of the first time art student and to strengthen the skills of the returning art student. All fine arts courses are transferable to California State Universities and many are transferable to UC and other schools. Extra curricular activities like visiting artist lectures, workshops, and the opportunity to participate in the annual student art show enrich the student learning experience and build a strong community.

We serve over 1,500 students each semester. Our knowledgeable faculty and staff are dedicated to providing each student with the very best art education possible.

All of our classrooms are equipped with large screens for digital projections and speakers for video-assisted learning. Our spacious studio classrooms feature ample natural light from the north facing full glass walls and skylights.

Apply to GWC
Arts & Letters Division

Dr. Kay Nguyen, Dean

For more information contact:
Laurie Camody

Division Coordinator

The Associate in Arts Degree for Transfer (AA-T) in Art History and the AA-T in Studio Arts will transfer to the following California State Universities:

CSU Bakersfield
CSU Channel Islands
CSU Chino
CSU Dominguez Hills
CSU East Bay
CSU Fresno
CSU Fullerton
CSU Humbolt
CSU Long Beach
CSU Los Angeles
CSU Monterey Bay
CSU Northridge
CSU Pomona (Art History only)
CSU Sacramento
CSU San Bernadino
CSU San Diego
CSU San Francisco
CSU San Jose
CSU San Marcos
CSU Sonoma
CSU Stanislaus

The list of CSU campuses for this major was provided by the California State University’s A Degree with a Guarantee website:

Most of the courses in the Art program transfer to the University of California (UC) System and Private Universities. Please see your GWC Counselor early in your studies to choose the transfer option that is right for you.


Must Study The Fine Arts

Art Academia, Museums/Galleries & Engagement

• Arts Administration
• Artist Agent
• Art Authentication & Appraisal
• Art Conservator & Scientist
• Art Consultant
• Art Critic/Theory
• Art Dealer
• Art Handler
• Art Historian
• Art Museum Archivist
• Art Museum Technician
• Art Museum Education Department
• Art Museum Marketing & Outreach
• Art Education: Grade School, High School, College, Private Ateliers
• Art Therapy
• Business Management
• Exhibition Design/Coordinator
• Museum/Gallery Curator
• Museum/Gallery Director

New/Digital Media:

• Computer Animation
• Entertainment Design
• Game Art/Game Design
• Motion Graphics Designer
• Visual Effects Animator
• 3D Animation/Modeling
• Time Based Media

Fine Arts:

• Ceramicist
• Computer/Digital Art
• Glass Blower
• Installation Artist
• New Genres
• Painter
• Performance Artist
• Photographer: Fine Art, Portrait, Art Photographer/Documentarian
• Printmaker
• Public Art/Social Practice
• Metals/Jewelry Design/Enameling
• Mosaic Artist
• Multimedia Artist
• Muralist
• Sculptor
• Textile Design/Fibers


• Advertising Illustrator
• Book Illustrator
• Editorial Illustrator
• Courtroom Sketch Artist
• Forensic Artist
• Biomedical Illustrator
• Sequential Artist: Storyboards and/or comic books

• Advertising Photography
• Family Photography: Family, Portrait, Wedding
• Photojournalist
• Nature/Wildlife Photography

Helpful To Study The
Fine Arts


• Building/Home Design
• Experiential Design: Golf Courses, Swimming Pools, Theme Parks, etc.
• Historic Preservation
• Landscape Architecture
• Memorial/Public Art
• Urban Design


• Cake Decorator or Food Stylist
• Display Designer
• Fashion Design: Accessory Design, Costume Design, Shoe Design
• Film Concept Artist
• Furniture Design
• Graphic Design: Layout Designer, Logo Design, Website Design, Apparel Design
• Industrial/Product Design
• Interior Design
• Multimedia Designer
• Museum Exhibition Design
• Print Designer
• Set Designer: Film, TV, Theater
• Tattoo Artist
• Toy Designer
• Transportation Design: Automotive, Aircraft, Public Transportation, etc.
• Visual Communications

Each course offered in the Fine Arts area is designed to enhance the ability of the first time art student and to strengthen the skills of the returning art student.

Art History

The program in art history enables students to investigate the visual arts of painting, sculpture, and architecture in depth and to explore a broad range of questions about the making and meaning of art. The curriculum in art history includes courses on specific art historical periods and on the philosophy and historiography of art.


The ceramic area offers a creative studio environment with beginning through advanced courses. It is a cone 10 reduction studio with opportunities to work with high fire, soda and raku. Students hand build and throw in a large well equipped studio.

In Ceramics I the students are given the foundation for becoming a more proficient ceramic artist. They are given the skills to make work in hand built and thrown ceramics.

Ceramics II, III, and IV students will work more independently. They mix glazes and encouraged to think for themselves. There are projects and proposed pieces for the advanced students.

The studio facility has spacious areas for hand building, wheel throwing, slip casting, glaze research, and firing electric, gas, soda, and raku kilns.


Golden West offers a broad range of drawing and painting courses to suit a broad range of career paths and artistic interests. Beginning drawing classes are designed to help build observational skills and introduce a wide range of media. Intermediate drawing classes allow more opportunities for students to experiment with additional media and draw on location.

Life drawing affords students the opportunity to draw the human form through direct observation of male and female models. Classical techniques of volume and anatomy are used to help develop the skills necessary to draw convincing figures.

There are also opportunities to explore drawing as it relates to career options. The art department offers courses in cartooning, rendering and rapid visualization in conjunction with our Digital Arts and Design programs.

Golden West’s painting program was designed to accommodate artists of all skill levels– from beginners to experienced artists who want to learn new skills. Students also learn to develop their compositional and critical thinking skills. Classes in watercolor are also offered in addition to traditional classes in acrylic and oil.


The Art Department Jewelry courses offered at Golden West College encourage individual expression through the medium of jewelry and small functional metal objects. The courses are designed to allow students to explore a variety of processes under the instruction of a Master Metalsmith. Traditional and contemporary silversmithing techniques are the foundation given for students to develop their craftsmanship as well as design aesthetic. The curriculum offers a multiplicity of methods practiced in the jewelry field such as soldering, cold connections, stone-setting, enameling, hollow-ware, casting, and forging. Many of our students continue in the Jewelry field and exhibit their work, continue on to higher education, and some become designers, developing their own production line.


The photography program has up to date facilities and curriculum designed to provide students who wish to study commercial or fine art photography with the skills to move on to four year college or university or to pursue and independent career in photography. The faculty of divided between those with a background in the fine arts and those with a background in commercial photography.


Printmaking is an art form steeped in tradition. Students in Golden West’s Printmaking Department learn a wide variety of historical processes such as lithography and linoleum block printing as well as modern silkscreen techniques that can be used for both T-shirts and fine art prints.

Our Printmaking Workshop course is an exploration of traditional and non-traditional printmaking techniques ranging from mono printing to fish printing and other unique printmaking methods.


From figurative ceramics to abstract stone carving, Golden West’s Golden West’s Sculpture/3D Design program will help you develop your ability to conceptualize and create three diminsional art. Students at Golden West learn to work in a variety of materials including plaster, clay, wood and stone. Our excellent facilities contain a range of tools that will help you turn your sculptural ideas into reality.

Beginning students are expected to take Three Dimensional Design, which serves as an introduction to materials and form. Intermediate students can explore life sculpture or take a general sculptural course. Experienced students can explore various approaches in Advanced Sculpture Workshop


Amanda Best

Professor, Art (Ceramics) and Department Chair

B.A., M.F.A., San Francisco State University

Monica Jovanovich

Instructor, Art History

B.A. University of Redlands, Ph.D. University of California, San Diego

Amy Runyen

Assistant Professor, Art (2D Color & Design, Painting, and Drawing)

B.F.A., Savannah College of Art and Design; M.F.A,. California State University Long Beach.



Laura Black – Curatorial Studies

Kari Duffield – Art History

Ed Foster – Life Drawing

Vladimir Goryachev – Drawing

Stuart (Ian) Hamilton – Color and Design: Two-Dimensional

Mark Henderson – Ceramics

Jerry Jankowski – Typography

Eric Jones – Drawing

Mary-Linn Hughes – Photography

Michael Lierly – Drawing

Don McKinney – Color and Design: Three-Dimensional

Carrie Ohm – Ceramics

David Plouffe – Art History

Michael Redfield – Art History

Joshua Reed – Drawing

Juliana Rico – Photography

Tara Tavonatti – Drawing

Mike Tsai – Photography

Vinita Voogd – Printmaking

Kelsey Zwarka – Ceramics

Here in the Fine Arts Department, we host a range of extra curricular art activities that occur throughout the academic year. All of the events listed are open to the community.

Fine Art Events


• The annual Steam Roller printmaking event is held in the Fine Arts Plaza. Printmaking students carve large-scale woodblocks and an actual steamroller is used to print them! This is a fun event that includes music, food, a print sale, and guest opportunities to carve their own linoleum blocks and make their own prints.

• The Holiday Arts Sale happens on the Tuesday and Wednesday after Thanksgiving. It offers students the ability to sell their artwork and the community a chance to purchase one-of-a-kind pieces.  75% of the sales go directly to the students and 25% of the sales fund our guest artist lecturer program.

• Each spring, the GWC Art Gallery features the Student Art Show. This show provides students with an opportunity to display their work in a professional gallery. The community is invited to see some of the best artwork created in our studio art classes.

• Guest Artist Lectures are held at least once a semester. Our department hosts professional, fine and/or commercial artists to speak with our students and the community about their artwork and career.