Members of the Art Program believe that an understanding of various forms of the visual arts — both traditional and innovative — enhances our experience and enjoyment of our surroundings, especially its aesthetic aspects, and that art can provide greater meaning to the lives of those seeking to come to terms with it.

All classes are held in the Jones Visual Arts Center. Media taught include drawing, oil painting, ceramics, and hot glass. The major in studio art culminates in an exhibition held in the gallery of the Visual Arts Center at the end of the student’s senior year.

Majors and minors may choose to continue their education in the visual arts in graduate school as preparation for careers as artists, educators, or staff members in museums, galleries, and other collection venues. But virtually every course in the Art Program also enrolls students from a broad variety of other disciplines.

They come in search of parallels among the visual arts to other forms of human expression—historical, anthropological, literary, musical, and dramatic—both past and present, or merely with a wish to complement their other undergraduate experiences in the liberal arts by grasping more fully the bases of aesthetic meaning and judgment.

Whatever motivation might bring a student into the Visual Arts Center, however, an appreciation for the enduring values of art provides solid support for the life of any educated and inquisitive person.


The ceramic program at Centre is equipped with an outstanding studio facility with ample space for creating. Our firing options rival those offered at any large university. Courses are designed for students to pursue their aesthetic sensibilities within the structure of specific assignments. In our studios, technical knowledge is coupled with creative intent.Drawing & Painting.

Drawing & Painting

These two media are inseparable. After completion of the introductory drawing course, a sequenced curriculum of five integrated painting and drawing courses takes students from their beginning efforts to mastery. Direct observation is emphasized as students work in a variety of media: charcoal, graphite, pastels and oil paint. Throughout the curriculum, students develop the ability to draw what they see and turn that into pictures, learning perspective, modeling with light and shade, and the principles of design. Intermediate and advanced students devote particular attention to studying the human figure and anatomy.

Hot Glass

The combination of excellent instruction and hours of hands-on learning make the Centre glass experience one of the best in the nation. As a student in the art of glass you’ll get a chance to work along side glass artist Stephen Rolfe Powell.

Photography & Moving Image

The photography and moving image curriculum incorporates the study of the history of photography, video art, and cinema; exposure to a wide range of photographic, video, and film artists; reading and discussion of critical thinking and current affairs; technical instruction; brainstorming and creativity exercises; and frequent critiques. Students work with professional-level equipment, hardware, and software to develop motion pictures and create photographic prints.

Read about the STUDIO ART program:

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Sheldon Tapley

Photo of  Sheldon  Tapley
H.W. Stodghill, Jr. and Adele H. Stodghill Professor of Art  Art Work Office: Jones Visual Arts Center—208 Work Phone: 859.238.5735 Website: Personal Website

Sheldon Tapley was born in Maracaibo, Venezuela to British parents. He was raised in Europe and North America. He has taught at Centre College since 1983, and held the Paul L. Cantrell Professorship of Art from 2002-2005. In 2005 he was named Stodghill Professor of Art. He received the Kirk Award for excellence in teaching in 2015.

Tapley is a nationally recognized artist whose paintings are held in museum, academic, corporate, and private collections across the United States. In the spring of 2004, the Evansville Museum of Art presented a major retrospective exhibit of Tapley’s art, displaying thirty of his still-life works from the last ten years.

American Artist magazine published one of his large still-life paintings on its cover in November 1999 along with a feature article inside. In that article the writer asserts that Tapley “masterfully blends hard-earned classical technique with a vision that is thoroughly modern and personal.” The New Yorker reviewed his 1998 show at Tatistcheff Gallery in New York City, commenting that the “works are intelligently composed and executed with polished skill.”

At the beginning of his career in the early 1980s, Tapley was a printmaker and abstractionist working with bold colors and textures. Gradually, he returned to the direct observation that made his first experiences in art exciting. A desire to describe his own surroundings led him to paint the landscape, making modern realist images that won wide praise in a series of exhibitions at Linda Schwartz Gallery. In the mid-90’s, the artist changed his focus again, creating the energetic still-life images for which he is now known.

The artist was honored with a 1998 Al Smith Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council. Kentucky Educational Television featured the artist in its 2001 series “Looking at Painting.” He was filmed and interviewed in his studio and also at the Speed Museum in Louisville, discussing the museum’s recent acquisition, a still-life painting by Cezanne. In 2003, the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art exhibited a selection of his works from the past twelve years.

Tapley continues to exhibit at Tatistcheff Gallery, located in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. He regularly speaks at art events and judges competitive exhibitions.

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate holding a 1980 B.A. from Grinnell College, Tapley received an M.F.A. from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in 1983.

To read about Tapley’s recent solo show, click here.

To read about the annual summer art workshop led by Tapley, click here.


File last updated: 06/05/15


Stephanie Galli


VISITING ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF ART -- JVAC – V105 -- Work Phone: 859.238.5754  Work Email:



Judith Pointer Keiser

Photo of  Judith Pointer Jia
H.W. Stodghill, Jr. and Adele H. Stodghill Professor of Art • AEGON Gallery Coordinator • Chair of Humanities Division Studio Art Work Jones Visual Arts Center—103 and Crounse Hall—428 Work Phone: 859.238.5469 Website:

Judith Pointer Keiser is H. W. Stodghill, Jr. and Adele H. Stodghill professor of art at Centre College where she has taught since 1998. She received a Kirk Teaching Excellence award in 2016.

As the head of the ceramics studio, Keiser teaches all levels of ceramics as well as introductory drawing classes. Her experience teaching both drawing and ceramics extends back to graduate school at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth where she was awarded instructor of record positions in both areas.

Keiser's artwork is created from fine porcelain and stoneware. Her forms are delicate slab constructions that are often closed and seem full of air. A variety of subtly colored glazes and stains envelop the forms. Her work has been chosen for exhibition and won awards in several national competitions including Prevailing Winds, Current Trends in Contemporary American Ceramics, at Young and Constantin Gallery in Wilmington, Vt., and the Wichita National All Media Craft Exhibit, at the Wichita Center for the Arts. A piece was recently shown at the Gaolin International Biennial Ceramic Exhibition at the Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute in China. She regularly exhibits her work at the Ann Tower Gallery in Lexington, Ky., and the Kentucky Museum of Art + Design in Louisville.

In 2004,Keiser was awarded an Al Smith Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council which she used to fund travels in China. There she visited cities noted for their history of ceramic production, touring old kiln sites and contemporary artist’s studios. She also spoke with ceramic scholars with expertise in the ceramics of the Song and Yuan dynasties, eras whose ceramics Keiser has long admired for their elegant forms and glazes.

Keiser is also the coordinator of the AEGON Gallery, which is on campus.


File last updated: 6/26/17

David King



David King joined the Centre College faculty in 2019 as visiting assistant professor of art.

King makes objects, installations, and drawings that address the transiency of human perception. He presented as an Emerging Artist at the 42nd Annual Glass Art Society Conference in Toledo, Ohio. He was awarded a Fellowship at the Creative Glass Center of America at WheatonArts and has been an artist in residence at the Pilchuck Glass School, Sunderland University and STARworks glass lab. King has taught at the Ohio State University, University of the Arts, and Tyler School of Art. His work has been shown internationally and featured in New Glass Review.

King earned a B.F.A. in glass from The Ohio State University, and an M.F.A. in glass from Temple University.

Isabella la Rocca

Photo of  Isabella  La Rocca
Assistant Professor of Art Centre CollegeDivision I Work JVAC - 112

Isabella La Rocca joined the Centre College faculty as assistant professor of art in 2017.

LaRocca is an artist working primarily with photography and motion pictures. Her work is part of a long tradition in photography: to bring to light and find beauty in the hidden, unconscious, commonplace, and disregarded. Awards for her work include the Ferguson Grant from the Friends of Photography in San Francisco for excellence and commitment to the field of photography. Her photographs have been exhibited throughout the United States including a solo show at the Center for Photography in Woodstock, N.Y.

La Rocca earned a B.A. in fine arts from the University of Pennsylvania, and an M.F.A. in photography from Indiana University.


File last updated: 8/25/17