Art and Design

Oakton welcomes degree-seeking students who plan to transfer to a four-year college or university and major in art, as well as those interested in the study for personal enrichment. Our art program has students of all ages and offers both credit and noncredit classes.

With outstanding facilities at the Des Plaines and Skokie campuses and online courses, the art department provides education in the studio and classroom. We offer coursework in art history, ceramics, drawing, life drawing, painting, fundamentals of 2-D and 3-D design and museum studies. Small classes and individualized attention ensure students meet their educational goals in our art courses.

You can hone your craft by focusing on your studio art form of choice during your pursuit of an associate in fine arts degree. At Oakton, our art programs are designed with the final outcome of a complete portfolio in mind or the simple pleasure of creating artwork. All studio art courses include a portfolio review as the ultimate check of content, quality and continuity.

As you practice your skills here, you will be preparing for your next step in the art world, regardless of whether you plan to transfer to a four-year school or plan to enter the workforce right away, or desire to be an incredible artist.

Degree and Pre-Major Program

The associate in fine arts degree program is comprised of 64 credit hours, including general education. Refer to the IAI General Education Courses list for guidance in selecting general courses. Students are required to fulfill the major requirements listed below.

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You can transfer as a junior into either a B.F.A. program or B.A. program with a major in art after receiving an Oakton associate in fine arts (Art) degree. Since transfer admission is competitive, completion of the associate degree does not guarantee admission. Most institutions require a portfolio review for admission to a B.F.A. program, registration in advanced studio art courses and scholarship consideration.

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Job Outlook

Employment in arts and design occupations is projected to grow 4 percent from 2020 to 2030, slower than the average for all occupations. About 37,000 new jobs are projected to be added. 

Workers will be needed to meet the demand for animation and visual effects in video games, movies, television, and on smartphones, as well as to help create visually appealing and effective layouts of websites and other media platforms.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

The median annual wage for arts and design occupations was $49,600 in May 2020, which was higher than the median annual wage for all occupations of $41,950.

Possible Careers

Art Directors
Fashion Designers
Graphic Designers
Industrial Designers
Interior Designers
Special Effects Artists and Animators

Meet Your Faculty

Oakton takes great pride in creating a learning environment that advances artistic work and academic inquiry within an outstanding community of faculty, staff and students. Oakton’s art faculty are practicing artists who exhibit regularly in juried competitions at galleries and museums throughout the Chicago metropolitan area and beyond.

Meet our full-time faculty

Lou Pierozzi
Chair, Art and Design
Professor of Art
B.F.A. DePaul University
M.F.A. Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
lpierozz@oakton.edu
847.635.1838
Office: 2122, Des Plaines

Moritz Kellerman
Professor of Art
B.A. University of Washington
M.F.A. School of the Art Institute of Chicago
mkellerm@oakton.edu
847.376.7052
Office: 2702, Des Plaines

Mark Palmeri
Professor of Art
B.F.A. School of the Art Institute of Chicago
M.F.A. School of the Art Institute of Chicago
mpalmeri@oakton.edu
847.376.7115
Office: 2733, Des Plaines

Erick Rohn
Coordinator, Graphic Design and Multimedia
Associate Professor of Art
B.F.A. Columbus College of Art & Design
M.F.A. Rochester Institute of Technology
erohn@oakton.edu
847.376.7248
Office: 2610, Des Plaines                                       

Meet our part-time faculty

Jeremi W. Bialowas
Lecturer
B.A. Columbia College
M.S. Brooks Institute of Photography
jbialowa@oakton.edu
847.635.1841
Office: 1111, Des Plaines

Michael Boruch
Lecturer
M.F.A. School of the Art Institute of Chicago
mboruch@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
Office: 2430, Des Plaines

Charlie Cho
Lecturer
B.F.A. School of the Art Institute of Chicago
M.F.A. School of the Art Institute of Chicago
ccho@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
Office: 2430, Des Plaines

Sun Choi
Lecturer
B.F.A. Sung-Shin Women's University
B.F.A. School of the Art Institute of Chicago
M.F.A. School of the Art Institute of Chicago
schoi@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
Office: 2430, Des Plaines

Cynthia Crampton
Lecturer
B.S. Illinois Institute of Technology - Institute of Architecture & Design
crampton@oakton.edu
847.635.1910
Office: B206, Skokie

Barbara Diener
Lecturer
B.F.A. Columbia College of Arts
M.F.A. Columbia College, Chicago
bdiener@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
Office: 2430, Des Plaines

Kevin Foy
Lecturer
A.A. Oakton Community College
B.A. Northeastern Illinois University
M.F.A. Northern Illinois University
kfoy@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
Office: 2430, Des Plaines

Brian Franczyk
Lecturer
B.S. Illinois Institute of Technology - Institute of Design
bfranczy@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
Office: 2430, Des Plaines

Kristin Haas
Lecturer
B.A. Northeastern Illinois University
M.F.A. University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
khaas@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
Office: 2430, Des Plaines

Nathan Harpaz
Curator, Koehnline Musem of Art
Lecturer
B.A. Tel-Aviv University
M.A. Tel-Aviv University
Ph.D. Union Institute & University
nharpaz@oakton.edu
847.635.2633
Office: 1400, Des Plaines

William Jamieson
Lecturer
B.F.A. Andrew's University
M.F.A. Boise State University
jamieson@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
Office: 2430, Des Plaines

Vesna Jovanovic
Lecturer
B.A. Loyola University
B.S. Loyola University
B.F.A. School of the Art Institute of Chicago
M.F.A. Ohio State University
vjovanov@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
Office: 2430, Des Plaines

Timothy King
Lecturer
B.F.A. Kansas City Art Institute
M.A. University of Tulsa
M.F.A. Northern Illinois University
tking@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
Office: 2430, Des Plaines

Jody Lepinot
Lecturer
B.S. Michigan State University
D.V.M. Michigan State University
B.F.A. Michigan State University
jlepinot@oakton.edu
847.636.1950
Office: 2430, Des Plaines

Angelo Mantas
Lecturer
B.A. Southern Illinois University
M.F.A. Columbia College, Chicago
amantas@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
Office: 2430, Des Plaines

John Petroshius
Lecturer
B.S. Northwestern University
john@prairiestudio.com
847.635.1950
Office: 2430, Des Plaines

Ronald B. Powell
Lecturer
B.A. Illinois State University
rpowell@oakton.edu
847.635.1910
Office: B206, Skokie

Helene Smith-Romer
Lecturer
B.A. Columbia College
M.F.A. University of Illinois, Chicago
hsmith@oakton.edu
847.635.1910
Office: B206, Skokie

Sharon Swidler
Lecturer
B.A. Southern Illinois University
M.F.A. Southern Illinois University
sswidler@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
Office: 2430, Des Plaines

What's Next?

We are glad you are considering attending Oakton Community College. No matter where you are in your decision-making process, we are here to help you with your next steps. Whether you're ready to apply now, need information on paying for college or have questions and want to contact someone, we're here to help.

FAQ

Oakton takes great pride in creating a learning environment that advances artistic work and academic inquiry within an outstanding community of faculty, staff and students. Oakton’s art faculty are practicing artists who exhibit regularly in juried competitions at galleries and museums throughout the Chicago metropolitan area and beyond.

Yes, they should. Our programs for art and design are designed to prepare you to continue honing your craft at another institution, after completing your coursework at Oakton. We are part of the Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI), and our curriculums are designed to allow you to transfer seamlessly to other Illinois institutions. We recommend you work with an academic advisor to ensure you're taking the right courses for the four-year institution you intend to transfer to.

Illinois colleges and universities offer two different bachelor’s degrees in art: the professional bachelor of fine arts (B.F.A.) and the bachelor of arts (B.A.) degree with a major in art. The B.F.A. degree generally requires more studio art courses than a B.A. degree. In some colleges and universities, a B.A. degree also requires competency in a foreign language, while the B.F.A. degree often does not include a foreign language requirement.

Yes, many of our students are retired and take art classes for fun. Our ceramic, painting and watercolor classes are our most popular for seniors. Art history courses are also available. In these classes, a sense of community and friendships are formed.

Yes, senior citizens do receive a discounted price on tuition.

Contact Us

Art and Design Department

Lou Pierozzi
Chair, Art and Design
847.635.1838
lpierozz@oakton.edu
Room 2122, Des Plaines

Erik Rohn
Coordinator, Graphic Design and Multimedia
847.376.7248
erohn@oakton.edu
Room 2610, Des Plaines