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Career and Education Opportunities for Fine Artists in Boston, Massachusetts

There are many career and education opportunities for fine artists in the Boston, Massachusetts area. Currently, 940 people work as fine artists in Massachusetts. This is expected to grow 5% to 990 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for fine artists are expected to grow by about 9.0%. Fine artists generally create original artwork using any of a wide variety of mediums and techniques.

Fine artists earn about $18 per hour or $39,260 yearly on average in Massachusetts and about $20 hourly or $42,650 per year on average nationally. Fine artists earn less than people working in the category of Art and Design generally in Massachusetts and less than people in the Art and Design category nationally. People working as fine artists can fill a number of jobs, such as: mural painter, technical illustrator, and commercial retoucher.

There are 151 schools of higher education in the Boston area, including thirty-eight within twenty-five miles of Boston where you can get a degree to start your career as a fine artist. The most common level of education for fine artists is a Bachelor's degree. It will take about four years to learn to be a fine artist if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Fine Artist

Fine Artist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, fine artists create original artwork using any of a wide variety of mediums and techniques.

Fine artists talk with clients and other interested parties regarding the nature and content of artwork to be produced. They also study different techniques to learn how to apply them to artistic endeavors. Equally important, fine artists have to maintain portfolios of artistic work to exhibit styles and abilities. They are often called upon to submit preliminary or finished artwork or project plans to clients for approval, incorporating changes as needed. Finally, fine artists monitor events and other circumstances, research specific subject areas, attend art exhibitions, and read art publications in order to optimize concepts and keep current on art world efforts.

Every day, fine artists are expected to be able to distinguish between colors. They need to be creative and generate new ideas. It is also important that they visualize how things come together and can be organized.

It is important for fine artists to integrate and design visual elements, such as line and perspective, so as to produce desired effects such as the illustration of concepts or moods. They are often called upon to use materials such as pens and ink or computer software to generate artwork. They also cut and fasten individual or mixed raw and manufactured materials and products to fashion works of art. They are sometimes expected to develop finished art work as decoration, or to elucidate or substitute for spoken or written messages. Somewhat less frequently, fine artists are also expected to develop sketches or likenesses of posed subjects or photographs, using any combination of freehand drawing, mechanical assembly kits, and computer imaging.

Fine artists sometimes are asked to furnish entertainment at special events by performing efforts such as drawing cartoons. They also have to be able to model substances such as clay or wax, using fingers and small hand tools to fashion objects and shade and fill in sketch outlines and backgrounds, using a variety of media such as water colors and transparent washes, labeling designated colors when needed. And finally, they sometimes have to furnish entertainment at special events by performing efforts such as drawing cartoons.

Like many other jobs, fine artists must be thorough and dependable and be able to work independently and make decisions on their own.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Boston include:

  • Actor. Play parts in stage, television, or motion picture productions for entertainment, information, or instruction. Interpret serious or comic role by speech, gesture, and body movement to entertain or inform audience. May dance and sing.
  • Art Director. Formulate design concepts and presentation approaches, and direct workers engaged in art work, layout design, and copy writing for visual communications media, such as magazines, books, and packaging.
  • Craftsman. Create or reproduce hand-made objects for sale and exhibition using a variety of techniques, such as welding, weaving, and needlecraft.
  • Display Specialist. Plan and erect commercial displays.
  • Fashion Designer. Design clothing and accessories. Create original garments or design garments that follow well established fashion trends. May develop the line of color and kinds of materials.
  • Film or Videotape Editor. Edit motion picture soundtracks, film, and video.
  • Florist. Design, cut, and arrange live, dried, or artificial flowers and foliage.
  • Graphic Designer. Design or create graphics to meet specific commercial or promotional needs, such as packaging, displays, or logos. May use a variety of mediums to achieve artistic or decorative effects.
  • Industrial Designer. Develop and design manufactured products, such as cars, home appliances, and children's toys. Combine artistic talent with research on product use, marketing, and materials to create the most functional and appealing product design.
  • Interior Designer. Plan, design, and furnish interiors of residential, commercial, or industrial buildings. Formulate design which is practical, aesthetic, and conducive to intended purposes, such as raising productivity, selling merchandise, or improving life style. May specialize in a particular field, style, or phase of interior design.
  • Multi-Media Artist or Animator. Create special effects, animation, or other visual images using film, video, or other electronic tools and media for use in products or creations, such as computer games, movies, and commercials.
  • Music Composer. Write and transcribe musical scores.
  • Set and Exhibit Designer. Design special exhibits and movie, television, and theater sets. May study scripts, confer with directors, and conduct research to determine appropriate architectural styles.
  • Writer. Create original written works.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Fine Artist Training

Harvard University - Cambridge, MA

Harvard University, Massachusetts Hall, Cambridge, MA 02138. Harvard University is a large university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 22,800 students and an admission rate of 8%. Harvard University has 2 areas of study related to Fine Artist. They are:

  • Visual and Performing Arts, bachelor's degree which graduated 28 students in 2008.
  • Art/Art Studies, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated three and five students respectively in 2008.

Anna Maria College - Paxton, MA

Anna Maria College, 50 Sunset Lane, Paxton, MA 01612-1198. Anna Maria College is a small college located in Paxton, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,333 students and an admission rate of 89%. Anna Maria College has 2 areas of study related to Fine Artist. They are:

  • Art/Art Studies, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated zero and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Fine Arts and Art Studies, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Massachusetts College of Art and Design - Boston, MA

Massachusetts College of Art and Design, 621 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115-5882. Massachusetts College of Art and Design is a small college located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,223 students and an admission rate of 51%. Massachusetts College of Art and Design has 5 areas of study related to Fine Artist. They are:

  • Fine/Studio Arts, master's degree which graduated 16 students in 2008.
  • Painting, bachelor's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.
  • Sculpture, bachelor's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.
  • Ceramic Arts and Ceramics, bachelor's degree which graduated 6 students in 2008.
  • Fine Arts and Art Studies, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.

Simmons College - Boston, MA

Simmons College, 300 The Fenway, Boston, MA 02115-5898. Simmons College is a small college located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,933 students and an admission rate of 55%. Simmons College has 2 areas of study related to Fine Artist. They are:

  • Art/Art Studies, bachelor's degree which graduated 8 students in 2008.
  • Fine Arts and Art Studies, Other Specialties, master's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.

Brandeis University - Waltham, MA

Brandeis University, 415 South St, Waltham, MA 02454-9110. Brandeis University is a medium sized university located in Waltham, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,347 students and an admission rate of 34%. Brandeis University has a bachelor's degree and a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Fine/Studio Arts which graduated five and nine students respectively in 2008.

Curry College - Milton, MA

Curry College, 1071 Blue Hill Ave, Milton, MA 02186-2395. Curry College is a small college located in Milton, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,098 students and an admission rate of 67%. Curry College has a bachelor's degree program in Fine/Studio Arts.

Wellesley College - Wellesley, MA

Wellesley College, 106 Central St, Wellesley, MA 02481-8203. Wellesley College is a small college located in Wellesley, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,344 students and an admission rate of 36%. Wellesley College has a bachelor's degree program in Fine/Studio Arts which graduated one student in 2008.

Pine Manor College - Chestnut Hill, MA

Pine Manor College, 400 Heath St, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467. Pine Manor College is a small college located in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 472 students and an admission rate of 70%. Pine Manor College has associate's degree, bachelor's degree, and master's degree programs in Fine Arts and Art Studies, Other Specialties which graduated zero, four, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Bridgewater State College - Bridgewater, MA

Bridgewater State College, 131 Summer Street, Bridgewater, MA 02325. Bridgewater State College is a large college located in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,269 students and an admission rate of 62%. Bridgewater State College has 2 areas of study related to Fine Artist. They are:

  • Fine/Studio Arts, bachelor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Fine Arts and Art Studies, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree.

Emmanuel College - Boston, MA

Emmanuel College, 400 the Fenway, Boston, MA 02115. Emmanuel College is a small college located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,286 students and an admission rate of 56%. Emmanuel College has a bachelor's degree program in Fine/Studio Arts.

Rivier College - Nashua, NH

Rivier College, 420 South Main St, Nashua, NH 03060. Rivier College is a small college located in Nashua, New Hampshire. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,198 students and an admission rate of 72%. Rivier College has an associate's degree program in Art/Art Studies which graduated ten students in 2008.

Regis College - Weston, MA

Regis College, 235 Wellesley St, Weston, MA 02493-1571. Regis College is a small college located in Weston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,599 students and an admission rate of 75%. Regis College has a bachelor's degree program in Art/Art Studies.

Gordon College - Wenham, MA

Gordon College, 255 Grapevine Rd, Wenham, MA 01984. Gordon College is a small college located in Wenham, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,700 students and an admission rate of 71%. Gordon College has a bachelor's degree program in Art/Art Studies which graduated two students in 2008.

Salem State College - Salem, MA

Salem State College, 352 Lafayette St, Salem, MA 01970. Salem State College is a large college located in Salem, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,168 students and an admission rate of 58%. Salem State College has 4 areas of study related to Fine Artist. They are:

  • Visual and Performing Arts, bachelor's degree.
  • Art/Art Studies, bachelor's degree.
  • Drawing, bachelor's degree.
  • Sculpture, bachelor's degree.

Lesley University - Cambridge, MA

Lesley University, 29 Everett St, Cambridge, MA 02138-2790. Lesley University is a medium sized university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,325 students and an admission rate of 65%. Lesley University has 2 areas of study related to Fine Artist. They are:

  • Art/Art Studies, bachelor's degree.
  • Fine/Studio Arts, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated twenty-seven and twenty-eight students respectively in 2008.

Boston College - Chestnut Hill, MA

Boston College, 140 Commonwealth Ave, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467. Boston College is a large college located in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 14,623 students and an admission rate of 26%. Boston College has a bachelor's degree program in Fine/Studio Arts which graduated eight students in 2008.

Northeastern University - Boston, MA

Northeastern University, 360 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115-5000. Northeastern University is a large university located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,368 students and an admission rate of 35%. Northeastern University has a bachelor's degree program in Art/Art Studies.

Merrimack College - North Andover, MA

Merrimack College, 315 Turnpike St, North Andover, MA 01845. Merrimack College is a small college located in North Andover, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,154 students and an admission rate of 79%. Merrimack College has a bachelor's degree program in Fine Arts and Art Studies, Other Specialties which graduated one student in 2008.

Endicott College - Beverly, MA

Endicott College, 376 Hale St, Beverly, MA 01915. Endicott College is a small college located in Beverly, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,988 students and an admission rate of 48%. Endicott College has a bachelor's degree program in Fine/Studio Arts which graduated eight students in 2008.

Suffolk University - Boston, MA

Suffolk University, 8 Ashburton Pl Beacon Hill, Boston, MA 02108-2770. Suffolk University is a medium sized university located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,783 students and an admission rate of 82%. Suffolk University has 3 areas of study related to Fine Artist. They are:

  • Visual and Performing Arts, bachelor's degree.
  • Art/Art Studies, one to two year, associate's degree, and bachelor's degree which graduated zero, one, and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Fine/Studio Arts, two to four year and bachelor's degree which graduated zero and three students respectively in 2008.

School of the Museum of Fine Arts-Boston - Boston, MA

School of the Museum of Fine Arts-Boston, 230 The Fenway, Boston, MA 02115-5596. School of the Museum of Fine Arts-Boston is a small school located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 696 students and an admission rate of 91%. School of the Museum of Fine Arts-Boston has one to two year, bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, and master's degree programs in Fine/Studio Arts which graduated five, 149, thirty-six, and twenty-six students respectively in 2008.

Assumption College - Worcester, MA

Assumption College, 500 Salisbury St, Worcester, MA 01609-1296. Assumption College is a small college located in Worcester, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,888 students and an admission rate of 71%. Assumption College has a bachelor's degree program in Visual and Performing Arts which graduated one student in 2008.

Tufts University - Medford, MA

Tufts University, , Medford, MA 02155-5555. Tufts University is a large university located in Medford, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 9,821 students and an admission rate of 25%. Tufts University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Art/Art Studies which graduated 140 and twenty-six students respectively in 2008.

Clark University - Worcester, MA

Clark University, 950 Main St, Worcester, MA 01610-1477. Clark University is a small university located in Worcester, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,330 students and an admission rate of 56%. Clark University has a bachelor's degree program in Fine/Studio Arts which graduated seven students in 2008.

Wheaton College - Norton, MA

Wheaton College, 26 E Main St, Norton, MA 02766. Wheaton College is a small college located in Norton, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,657 students and an admission rate of 43%. Wheaton College has a bachelor's degree program in Fine/Studio Arts which graduated two students in 2008.

Atlantic Union College - South Lancaster, MA

Atlantic Union College, 338 Main St, South Lancaster, MA 01561-1000. Atlantic Union College is a small college located in South Lancaster, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 384 students. Atlantic Union College has 3 areas of study related to Fine Artist. They are:

  • Art/Art Studies, associate's degree and bachelor's degree.
  • Fine/Studio Arts, bachelor's degree.
  • Medical Illustration/Medical Illustrator, bachelor's degree.

Wheelock College - Boston, MA

Wheelock College, 200 the Riverway, Boston, MA 02215-4176. Wheelock College is a small college located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,092 students and an admission rate of 74%. Wheelock College has a bachelor's degree program in Visual and Performing Arts which graduated ten students in 2008.

Quincy College - Quincy, MA

Quincy College, 24 Saville Ave, Quincy, MA 02169. Quincy College is a small college located in Quincy, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,080 students. Quincy College has an associate's degree program in Fine Arts and Art Studies, Other Specialties which graduated eight students in 2008.

Middlesex Community College - Bedford, MA

Middlesex Community College, Springs Rd, Bedford, MA 01730-9124. Middlesex Community College is a medium sized college located in Bedford, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,511 students. Middlesex Community College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Fine/Studio Arts which graduated zero, one, and ten students respectively in 2008.

Stonehill College - Easton, MA

Stonehill College, 320 Washington Street, Easton, MA 02357-6110. Stonehill College is a small college located in Easton, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,426 students and an admission rate of 45%. Stonehill College has a bachelor's degree program in Fine/Studio Arts which graduated fifteen students in 2008.

Framingham State College - Framingham, MA

Framingham State College, 100 State Street, Framingham, MA 01701-9101. Framingham State College is a medium sized college located in Framingham, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,603 students and an admission rate of 56%. Framingham State College has a bachelor's degree program in Art/Art Studies which graduated twenty-three students in 2008.

Massasoit Community College - Brockton, MA

Massasoit Community College, One Massasoit Boulevard, Brockton, MA 02302-3996. Massasoit Community College is a medium sized college located in Brockton, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,394 students. Massasoit Community College has an associate's degree program in Fine/Studio Arts which graduated four students in 2008.

College of the Holy Cross - Worcester, MA

College of the Holy Cross, One College Street, Worcester, MA 01610-2395. College of the Holy Cross is a small college located in Worcester, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,898 students and an admission rate of 34%. College of the Holy Cross has a bachelor's degree program in Visual and Performing Arts which graduated five students in 2008.

University of Massachusetts-Boston - Boston, MA

University of Massachusetts-Boston, 100 Morrissey Blvd, Boston, MA 02125-3393. University of Massachusetts-Boston is a large university located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 14,117 students and an admission rate of 63%. University of Massachusetts-Boston has a bachelor's degree program in Art/Art Studies which graduated two students in 2008.

University of Massachusetts-Lowell - Lowell, MA

University of Massachusetts-Lowell, 1 University Ave, Lowell, MA 01854-5104. University of Massachusetts-Lowell is a large university located in Lowell, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 11,931 students and an admission rate of 71%. University of Massachusetts-Lowell has 2 areas of study related to Fine Artist. They are:

  • Fine/Studio Arts, bachelor's degree which graduated 12 students in 2008.
  • Fine Arts and Art Studies, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree.

Bunker Hill Community College - Boston, MA

Bunker Hill Community College, 250 New Rutherford Ave, Boston, MA 02129-2925. Bunker Hill Community College is a medium sized college located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,500 students. Bunker Hill Community College has an associate's degree program in Art/Art Studies which graduated six students in 2008.

Boston University - Boston, MA

Boston University, One Silber Way, Boston, MA 02215. Boston University is a large university located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 31,669 students and an admission rate of 59%. Boston University has 3 areas of study related to Fine Artist. They are:

  • Visual and Performing Arts, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Painting, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated twenty-one and fourteen students respectively in 2008.
  • Sculpture, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated six and two students respectively in 2008.

Montserrat College of Art - Beverly, MA

Montserrat College of Art, 23 Essex Street, Beverly, MA 01915-4508. Montserrat College of Art is a small college located in Beverly, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 292 students. Montserrat College of Art has 3 areas of study related to Fine Artist. They are:

  • Fine/Studio Arts, two to four year and bachelor's degree.
  • Painting, two to four year and bachelor's degree.
  • Sculpture, two to four year and bachelor's degree.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certification of Medical Illustrators: The Board of Certification of Medical Illustrators administers a certification program for illustrators who seek a recognizable means of credentialing.

For more information, see the Association of Medical Illustrators website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts
Boston, Massachusetts photo by Ahonc

Boston is situated in Suffolk County, Massachusetts. It has a population of over 609,023, which has grown by 3.4% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Boston, 136, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Boston are valued at $216,200 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, twenty-three new homes were constructed in Boston, down from forty-eight the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Boston are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, educational services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 29 minutes. More than 35.6% of Boston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Boston is 8.2%, which is less than Massachusetts's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Boston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.0%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Brighton Congregational Church, Leslie Lindsay Chapel and Universalist Meeting House are some of the churches located in Boston. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Episcopal Church.

Boston is home to the Metropolitan Water Works Pumping Stations and the Mystic Pier 1 as well as Schoolboy Stadium and Liberty Square. Shopping centers in the area include Legion Shopping Center, Longwood Galleria Shopping Center and Neponset Circle Shopping Center. Visitors to Boston can choose from Federalist Restaurant, Eco-Logical Solutions and Omni Parker Hotel for temporary stays in the area.