Located within one of the world’s leading research universities, and in a city that boasts internationally recognized institutions such as the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Andy Warhol Museum, and the Mattress Factory, the Carnegie Mellon School of Art offers abundant resources to help you make ambitious projects, exhibit your artwork, and collaborate with other students and community members.
The School of Art comprises over 50,000 square feet and includes facilities for both traditional art making and new media. Facilities and studios that you will be able to use as a student include: drawing and painting studios, a physical computing classroom, a woodshop, digital fabrication facilities, a photography silver-based darkroom, and a green screen studio, to list just a few. Learn more about our 2D and 3D facilities.
The School’s Media Equipment Center provides a wide range of electronic equipment, including digital and video cameras, audio recording and playback devices, computers and accessories, projectors, and more available for you to check out. Hunt Library also has technology lending available.
In the School of Art, all juniors and seniors are provided with shared or individual studio spaces that you can access 24/7.
Students taking courses in the IDeATe network have access to an additional digital fabrication shop, physical computing lab, motion capture system, interactive media black box, and XR resources. Students in some advanced animation courses may also have access to the vast resources of the School of Computer Science.
The Frame Gallery
Located in a storefront along busy Forbes Avenue, The Frame Gallery is an entirely student-run gallery space offering an opportunity to showcase your work and get hands-on experience to create, exhibit, and curate. This gallery offers opportunities to connect with the broader campus and Pittsburgh communities, along with a space to experiment and collaborate with other students and artists.
The Ellis Gallery
Located in the College of Fine Arts, the Ellis Gallery is a flexible space for you to curate your own show, create a full-room installation, or organize a performance event.
The Miller Institute for Contemporary Art
The Miller ICA produces touring exhibitions, projects, events, and publications with a focus on social issues. Free to CMU students, the exhibition program brings cutting-edge contemporary art from around the globe to our campus. The Miller ICA also houses the School of Art’s annual Senior Exhibition, giving the community an opportunity to see work by some of the most exciting and promising new artists emerging from CMU.
Project Funding & Grants
As a student, you will have access to many opportunities to fund ambitious art projects and creative research including:
- School of Art Awards that grant $500-$1,000 to each recipient (four per class year) each spring, based open submissions judged by a team of faculty members.
- Interdisciplinary Awards that grant up to $3,000 each spring to collaborative projects consisting of at least one junior, senior, or graduate student in the School of Art and at least one other collaborator from another CMU department.
- The C.G. Douglas “Wrong Way” Corrigan Summer Travel Fellowship that provides up to $1,500 for a summer travel project, awarded each spring by the School of Art.
- Small Undergraduate Research Grants (SURG) that provide up to $500 for individual projects and up to $1,000 for group projects.
- Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) that provide up to $3,500 for eight to ten weeks of summer research, including creative practice.
- Frank-Ratchye Fund for Art @ the Frontier (FRFAF) Funding that provides both microgrants (up to $500) awarded on a rolling basis, and full grants ($1,000 or $2,000) awarded twice a year.
In addition, undergraduates have also received funding from Pittsburgh organizations including residencies at the Children’s Museum and Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh grants.
As a junior, you will have the option to study abroad during the fall or spring semester, and CMU provides options around the globe. Some students also opt for summer study abroad or course-based trips during winter or spring break. Past art students have studied in Paris, France; Auckland, New Zealand; Tokyo, Japan; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Ghana to name only a few. Learn more about study abroad opportunities here.
Internships and Career & Professional Development
Along with a suite of Professional Development courses to help you navigate the business of being an artist or forge a path in creative fields, the School of Art works closely with the College of Fine Arts-specific career consultant in the Career & Professional Development Center. The Career Center can assist you in finding and getting internships and hosts career fairs, programming, and workshops to assist you post-graduation.
Art students have interned at places such as: the Art Institute of Chicago, Google, the School for Poetic Computation, Sotheby’s Institute of Art, Amazon, The New York Times, and Pixar.
Over the course of the year, the School of Art welcomes more than 100 artists, curators, and scholars from around the globe to visit classes, lead discussions and workshops, provide insights into creative professions, and give public lectures. Guests—who have joined us both in person and virtually—are chosen by professors with the aim of increasing the diversity and range of perspectives presented in courses.
CMU has over 300 student organizations including arts, multicultural, professional development, gender/LGBTQIA+, spiritual, political, and Greek groups. Below are just a few examples, and you can check out more here:
- CMU International Film Festival
- Lunar Gala Fashion Show
- PRISM, CMU’s largest LGBTQIA+ organization
- Feminists Engaged in Multicultural Matters and Education (FEMME)
- Arab Student Organization
- Asian Students Organization
- Spanish and Latin Student Association (SALSA)
- SPIRIT, CMU’s largest Black Student Union
Living in Pittsburgh
With 90 distinct neighborhoods, you will have a lot to explore outside of the classroom during your time at CMU. The city’s steel mills are now long gone; today Pittsburgh is recognized for its stunning nature, eclectic eateries, and vibrant cultural spaces.
There are lots of ways for you to get involved in the city’s rich visual arts scene. The city includes both established institutions like the Carnegie Museum of Art, The Andy Warhol Museum, and the Mattress Factory where students frequently intern, as well as grassroots organizations like Boom Concepts, the Brew House Association, and PULLPROOF Studio, where students exhibit their work. There are even two art spaces founded and run by School of Art faculty—Professor Paolo Pedercini’s neo-arcade/playable arts gallery LikeLike, and Professor Rich Pell’s Center for PostNatural History.
Arts Organizations in Pittsburgh
- 1Hood Media
- The Andy Warhol Museum
- Artists Image Resource
- Associated Artists of Pittsburgh
- August Wilson African American Cultural Center
- Boom Concepts
- Brew House Association
- Bunker Projects
- Carnegie Museum of Art
- Carrie Furnaces – Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area
- Center for PostNatural History
- City of Asylum / Alphabet City
- Contemporary Craft
- The Frick Pittsburgh
- Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council
- JCC American Jewish Museum
- Kelly Strayhorn Theater
- The Legacy Arts Project
- Mattress Factory
- Office of Public Art
- Pittsburgh Center for Arts & Media
- Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
- Pittsburgh Glass Center
- PULLPROOF Studio
- Silver Eye Center for Photography
- SPACE Gallery
- Union Project
- Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts
- Wood Street Galleries
A short drive out of the city: