Welcome to Fine Arts

Fine Arts teaches the how and the why of making. The how involves a wide-range of material and digital skills from ceramics, painting, print media, and photography, to cutting-edge technologies such as 3D printing, digital imagery and DSLR filmmaking. The why helps students develop criticality in visual culture—a rigour that hones an understanding of what things look like and mean within the current global condition. Our faculty is outstanding, and students often work with them one-on-one.

Undergraduate students major or minor in Studio and/or Visual Culture; they can also participate in co-op through Waterloo’s Arts and Business program with a Fine Arts major. Graduate students pursue a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) with its unique Keith and Win Shantz International Research Scholarship.

Find out more

To find out more about our department, follow any of the links above or in the main menu. Our faculty and staff are also happy to talk with you via email, over the phone, or in person to answer any questions you might have. 

For undergraduate inquiries contact our undergraduate administrator, Brett Roberts, or our undergraduate chair, Jessica Thompson. The Fine Arts undergraduate office is in East Campus Hall room 1206.

For graduate inquiries contact our graduate chair, Lois Andison

The Department of Fine Arts stands in support of our Black, Indigenous, POC, and LGBT+ students and supports the Faculty of Arts’ commitment to doing better.

Fine Arts acknowledges that we are on the traditional territory of‎ the Neutral, Anishnawbe and Haudenosaunee peoples. The University of Waterloo is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land promised to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Find out more about this territorial acknowledgement.

  1. May 25, 2022Soheila Esfahani exhibits at the Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris.
    Artwork of superimposed wooded shapes in various tones showing Canada geese flying over cattails with Islamic patterning on top

    Fine Arts Alumna Soheila Esfahani (BA 2003), along with artists Jude Abu Zaineh and Xiaojing Yan, are exhibiting in The Art of Living: On Immigration, Community and the Migration of Symbols curated by Catherin

  2. May 12, 2022Chris Williams' “The Sea Beast” premieres on Netflix July 8
    Chris Williams

    The latest animated film by Fine Arts Alumnus Chris Williams (BA '90) will premiere on Netflix on July 8.  “The Sea Beast” is the story of legendary sea monster hunter whose life is turned upside down when a young girl stows away on his ship and befriends the most dangerous beast of them all.

  3. May 11, 2022Fine Arts Alumni named as new Executive Director of the Portrait Gallery of Canada
    Portrait of Robert Steven sitting of concrete steps

    Congratulations to Robert Steven (Fine Arts BA ’98) who has been appointed the new executive director of the Portrait Gallery of Canada, effective May 2, 2022.  He takes over from Joanne Charette who was named the first director of the Portrait Gallery in June 2021.

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