Art students reflect on finding value in their work

At Baylor, the Department of Art provides an extensive range of educational opportunities for art majors, offering nine areas of study like fabric design and sculpture. Photo courtesy of Anna Kolosyuk (

By Kerry Burkley | Reporter

For students studying art at Baylor, the work is plenty, the labor is intensive and the pay can be low for some jobs in their career field. This has led some to question—is it worth paying tuition here at Baylor to pursue an art degree?

For junior Kassidy Morinville, a pre-law student with an art concentration, criticism about her area of study can be tough to hear.

“There are pity glances with a head tilt and implied criticism like, ‘Oh I feel sorry for you,’” Morinville said. “I never take it to heart because I’m pre-law, but I spend a lot of time and effort on my art. So to shut down the criticism, I just work hard at it.”

Morinville believes that the value of education through art will always stay constant, and that it is something that non-art students should take the time to appreciate when faced with taking a course for credit.

“A lot of science majors take art classes to fill the fine art credit in their degree,” Morinville said. “It’s good to see them take art classes, but as soon as STEM majors work on projects they might say ‘I don’t want to do this’ or ‘I don’t want to dedicate myself to this.’ I get it because it’s not their major, but it’s still a great opportunity to learn and appreciate something that plays a huge part of life. Unless students take art classes with an open mind and a will to appreciate it, that negative cycle will never break.”

At Baylor, the Department of Art provides an extensive range of educational opportunities for art majors and art concentrations, offering nine areas of study like fabric design and sculpture.

Robbie Barber, associate professor of art sculpture and 3D design, appreciated the faculty and courses offered in Baylor’s art department when he first started teaching here.

“After graduate school, I started to apply for teaching jobs, and a position opened up in Texas,” Barber said. “I came here and spent six years at another school, and I got to visit Baylor’s art department and several of the faculty members and quickly realized, ‘Wow. This is a really strong art department.’”

Barber, who is originally from Williamston, N.C., earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts from East Carolina University and Master of Fine Arts from the University of Arizona. Barber has been teaching in the art department for 19 years now.

“College to me is about feeding your soul—it’s about getting you trained for life,” Barber said. “It’s not strictly just about ‘how much money can I make’ and ‘what area can I go to concentrate in that will cause me to make the most money’. There are a lot of people that go and do their job and they hate it, so you have to go where your heart and soul is.”

Morinville feels that loving what you do can bring joy when studying in college. For art majors, she said that their love for art guides them in their career and path, no matter the cost.

“I came in as a science major, but I quickly learned it wasn’t for me,” Morinville said. “I was going to transfer, but then I looked at the art program here at Baylor. I quickly learned it was strong and diverse because many of the professors were from so many places and were prestigious. It was very inspirational to see that they were able to be successful in art despite what social norms say.”

To learn more about Baylor’s art department, visit the Baylor website.