Fine Arts

Welcome to Fine Arts at Nipissing University

As a student registered with any of the three major areas of study in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts at Nipissing University (AHVS, Studio, and Film), you will have access to unique research and exhibition opportunities that foster professional development through exciting and interactive collaborative ventures with senior artists, gallery owners and community leaders. Small class sizes with a friendly collegiate spirit, award-winning instructors who share extensive and interdisciplinary connections in the field, ample studio space, and a breathtaking natural environment in which to work are major strengths of our program.

Art History and Visual Studies:

Our mission is to help art history and fine arts students, as well as students from other disciplines, develop critical and interdisciplinary frameworks to question how the fields of art and visual and material culture relate to disparate social contexts that shape our lives. How do the arts of the past help us understand our future? How are contemporary artists shaped by the cultural treasures inherited from the past? Why are visual art and material culture central to issues of social development and personal advancement in many different cultures around the world? How can we prepare for the experience of interacting with another culture through travel and tourism? These and other questions form the basis of our ongoing discovery of the often-unexpected diversity of human voices in art history and visual studies.

Studio Art:

In our program, we encourage independent inquiry and discovery among our students and actively support diversity, uniqueness of voice, and pursuit of intellectual and aesthetic excellence. Our goal is to prepare, encourage and inspire critically engaged and visually literate practitioners of visual art who will go on to contribute to the field and beyond and act as culturally engaged and socially responsible citizens. Studies in new media, innovative visual strategies of performance, video art, and site-specific installations complement our existing strengths in sculpture, painting, drawing, and printmaking in which students develop key foundational skills.

Film Studies:

Film has the capacity to absorb our attention in a vivid and emotional way. Through our courses in film studies we examine an art form that has evolved tools and techniques that have attained the artfulness and social impact of any other form of art. We will explore the critical linkage between aesthetics and content, teasing out the issues of realism, of presentation vs representation, and the explicit and implicit issues of ideology, historicity, ethnicity, and gender. Our goal is to help students acquire a range of tools to help them think about the impact of films in their own lives and the lives of others.

​Fine and Performing Arts Facilities

Jane Studio2

Monastery Hall

  • Painting studio
  • Printmaking studio
  • Drawing studio
  • Lecture space
  • Digital Media studio
  • 4th year BFA studio space
  • kitchen, lounge, and supplies storage rooms

Jane Street studio

  • sculpting studio
  • flexible performing arts studio

Student Resources

Nipissing Alumnus, Holly Cunningham, discusses media arts culture and youth in the north.

Community Resources

Academic Support Services

Our goal is to support your academic and personal development. Look for assistance with accessibility services, learning style assessments, writing skills, writing formats, study strategies, time management, note-taking skills, academic resources, group seminars, peer support, career development activities, and more. Learn More...

Financial Support Services

Achieve your goals on time and on budget. We’ll help you fund your education through scholarships, awards, bursaries, government assistance, and work study programs. Learn More...

Scholarships, awards, and bursaries for students in the Fine Arts program

Internationalize your Degree

If you want to experience a year or a semester at one of our partner schools across the globe, we have support services and programs to help you get there. If you want to assist International students with adjusting to life in Canada, we’ll connect you. Check out your options...

Personal Counselling Services

Our registered counsellors offer free, year-round personal counselling services, specialized therapeutic groups, referral services and a host of wellness, educational and awareness events to all full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students. Learn More...


Our top-rated residences will make you feel right at home. You will make fast friends with your residence community. Our student leaders, Residence Dons, and award winning residence staff give tutorials on everything from the basics of laundry and cooking to making connections within the community. Learn More...

North Bay Art Student Collective (NBASC)

NBASC Print Sale
NBASC Print Sale
NBASC Gallery Visit
NBASC Gallery Visit
NBASC Screen Printing
NBASC Screen Printing

North Bay Art Student Collective (or NBASC) is comprised of some students studying art at school as well as people who just enjoy it.

It is a group that is meant to help each other with either school work/studying or for personal projects. We will aim to help with the coming up with ideas and concepts, assisting with the process of creating and developing the work, and showing/critiquing the finished product all for the sake of creating works of art.

NBASC in the local media

“I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand.” Confucius

Experiential learning is an effective medium that enhances and reinforces classroom learning. In addition, skills and competencies in the areas of communication, teamwork, analysis, work ethic, and problem solving are all learning outcomes that assist with finding the right career path for you.

Third and fourth year Arts and Science Students will be interested in our 3 credit course, UNIV 3006 Experiential Learning for Arts and Science Students. Within this course, academic assignments and at least 60 hours of placement in the community within a field that is related to your course of study is offered.

Experiential Learning Program for Arts & Science Students (ELAS) 

The Experiential Learning for Arts & Science Program (ELAS) is an exclusive project between Student Development & Services, the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce (NBDCC) and the Faculty of Arts & Science. This project focuses on providing students with hands-on learning experiences directly related to their academic interests. 

With a strong emphasis on learning competencies, the ELAS immerses students with enriched learning opportunities that focus on the development of professional skills resulting in confident, successful and highly employable graduates ready for the workforce. 

The ELAS program provides support for Arts & Science students to participate in activities such as: 

  • Conferences and speakers 
  • Site visits and field trips 
  • Work placements 

When it comes to experiential learning at Nipissing University, you have lots of choices. Let us help you navigate your options, so you can find the best fit for your personal and professional goals, as well as your schedule.  

Visit for more information.

Creative Industries ELAS Grant Writing Workshop
Creative Industries giving ELAS Grant Writing Workshop

Grant Writing Workshop

Fine Arts students had the opportunity to visit Creative Industries in downtown North Bay and to learn about grant writing thanks to Nipissing University's Experiential Learning Program for Arts & Science. Jaymie Lathem, Director of Creative Industries, provided students with a comprehensive workshop on grant writing. Students learned what is involved in writing successful grant applications, how to avoid potential pitfalls, and they were introduced to the various granting organizations who fund arts and culture in Ontario, and more broadly in Canada. This experiential learning opportunity provided students with a practical knowledge base and experience with grant writing that will be directly applicable to their future careers working in arts and culture.

Student Exhibitions

BFA Graduate Exhibition Opening Reception
BFA Graduate Exhibition Opening Reception
Exhibition Curated by Alumni Thaila Sarazin and Gerry McComb
Exhibition Curated by Alumni Thaila Sarazin and Gerry McComb
Catherine Proulx at the Undergraduate Research Conference
Catherine Proulx at the Undergraduate Research Conference

Fine Arts students have a variety of opportunities to exhibit their work throughout their degree, and as alumni. The annual Student Juried Exhibition is presented offsite at a professional gallery in downtown North Bay. The Student Art Collective (Art Club) presents inclusive, non-juried shows to showcase the work of its members. Additional exhibitions have included a touring show of work by student printmakers from four BFA programs in Ontario and New York, conference exhibitions, paintings acquired by the North Bay Regional Health Centre, and alumni shows presented on campus.

Student Exhibition 2022 Student Exhibition 2021

FAVA 2507 Art Abroad 2019

This past June a group of students were fortunate enough to partake in an intensive ten-day course in Carrara Italy carving marble at Studio Corsanini with guest artists Stephen Shaheen and Fred X Brownstein. Students had the choice of either carving a traditional Italian mortar or a building cornice.

Carrara Studio, Corsanini, Italy
Carrara Studio, Corsanini, Italy
Carrara Studio, Students Carving
Carrara Studio, Students Carving
Carrara Studio Student Carving powertool
Carrara Studio Student Carving
Bargello Museum, Florence, Italy
Bargello Museum, Florence, Italy
Olexander Wlasenko showing his drawings during an artist talk
Olexander Wlasenko showing his drawings during an artist talk

Visiting Artist Talks

Presented throughout the year, Visiting Artist Talks are open to students, staff, and community members to attend. Past Visiting Artists have included Duane Linklater, Olexander Wlasenko, Natalie Waldburger, Aylan Couchie, Michael Antkowiak, Ted Fullerton, and Reinhard Reitzenstein.

Leadership and Community Engagement

If you are eager to get involved beyond the classroom, take part in the annual Undergraduate Research Conference, which gives you the opportunity to present your work to peers, professors, and family members. You may also have opportunity to work as a Research Assistant to help a professor conduct research and gain valuable experience at the same time.

Record of Student Development

Your experience at Nipissing University is more than just the time spent learning great things in lectures, labs, and seminars. It’s also about the activities you are involved in outside of the classroom, the causes you champion to make change on campus, the clubs you organize, the awards you receive, the workshops you participate in, the volunteering you do, and all the learning that occurs outside of the classroom. 

The Record of Student Development (RSD) is Nipissing University's way of recognizing that learning is happening everywhere on campus. It is a formal record, otherwise known as a co-curricular transcript, where you can include workshops, volunteer experiences, awards, activities, and on campus employment experiences that you participate in throughout your degree. 

Each RSD Approved activity in our database is linked to competency areas employers are looking for such as:    

  • Critical Thinking 
  • Leadership  
  • Digital Literacy  
  • Equity and Diversity 
  • Emotional and Interpersonal Intelligence 
  • & more!  

To see the full list of competencies and get started building your Record of Student Development go to:

Nipissing University Student Union (NUSU)

Students attending Nipissing University in North Bay and long distance students are members of the Nipissing University Student Union. Our organization strives to represent students democratically, provide a communication framework, and lobby for legislative change on issues that affect students.


Exercise and healthy competition always help to clear the mind.


Nipissing’s Athletics Department offers a wide range of intramural activities to keep you on your game


Club sports are available to all Nipissing students and are both recreational and competitive.


Go Lakers! Our varsity athletes always bring their “A” game. Get your friends together and come out to cheer on your favourite teams.


Whether you are a gym enthusiast or a weekend warrior, Nipissing has just what you need.


Full-time Faculty

Part-time Faculty


Retired Faculty

“I chose the Bachelor of Fine Arts program at Nipissing because of the community atmosphere. I was interested in a school that would make me feel right at home. The variety of available courses offered me the opportunity to explore different mediums like painting, sculpture, screen printing, and drawing. Because the class sizes were small, I received thorough guidance from each professor and had lots of networking opportunities in the art community. My current job definitely relates to my education and I hope to go on to grad school in the future."

Jennifer Gagnon - Honours BFA (2014)
Gallery Assistant at the W.K.P. Kennedy Gallery, North Bay
Portrait Project: Geoff Mayne

In the Fine Arts program, you will develop a broad skill set that will help you succeed in a wide variety of careers. Whether you plan to begin professional practice, work as a curator in an art gallery, or go on to further your education in a professional program or graduate school, you will be well prepared.

Akimbo and Art Rubicon are online resources for arts and art professionals. They are both an excellent source to find calls for submissions for applying for exhibitions, residency opportunities, and job listings for graduates and students.

  • Akimbo
    - Canada's online source for visual art information
  • Art Rubicon
    - Visual arts magazine

Career and Academic Options

  • Graduate Studies
  • Professional School (Education, Law, MBA)
  • Careers as a professional artist, and in curatorial practice, museum management, communications, advertising, design, illustration, art direction, and entrepreneurial careers in the creative sector.