International School of Art and Design

Intermedia: Illustration & Painting

Experiment with different ways to convey messages

Intermedia is simply the art of visualizing and communicating ideas – clearly, effectively and if done well, memorably

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Intermedia is simply defined as “between media.” The program houses image makers who work with drawn, painted, collaged, and digitized marks. Students will share a fundamental understanding of techniques and mediums, while developing a heightened sensibility toward audience and venue.


Can I get a job with a degree focused in illustration and painting? YES! Students who major in intermedia go on to have jobs in industries such as:

  • Gaming
  • Comics & graphic novels
  • Film & television (live action and animated)
  • Toy design
  • Publishing
  • Advertising
  • Visual Effects



The studio spaces at Finlandia are exceptional. To name a few there is a drawing, ceramics, graphic design and fiber studio at the students disposal. All of these were designed to help inspire students and bring a multidisciplinary approach to their education. FinnU is also home to two galleries that students will interact with throughout their time.

Reflection Gallery

Located at the Jutila Center for Global Design, the Reflection Gallery gives students the opportunity of running a gallery. Involvement includes handling artwork, designing exhibitions, promoting events and communicating with artists.

Finlandia University Gallery

Located in the Finnish American Heritage Center, the Finlandia University Gallery hosts numerous gallery showings and events from the artists all over the world. Each year, graduating intermedia students have their work displayed during their Diploma Works presentation.


Foundations are at the base of the degree and then you will grow your skills and abilities with classes such as:

  • Figure drawing is a featured classes
  • Figure painting class (live model painting)
  • Self publishing class (creating their own book)

"The illustration department is brilliant because we have the option of being a part of a gallery. There we can communicate with current artists and invite them to our school. We invite the artists we want to learn from and study from the masters who currently have jobs in the field."

Jessica DeMers ('11)

"Intermedia Arts, to me, is kind of our school's way of instead of having painting, drawing, or illustration majors, it's really allowing you to do whatever you want within this one major. And, it can be any of those things or I've done all of those things."

Miranda Conroy ('19)


Drawing, painting and illustration are similar in the fact they are constructed images that communicate. However, audience, venue and purpose may vary greatly. Finlandia’s intermedia program acknowledges this diversity and we encourage personal exploration through an interdisciplinary lens. Exposure to a breadth of media, mediums and cultural fodder will yield thoughtful artifacts.

Intermedia stresses aesthetic research, the technical proficiency, conceptual inquiry and professional discipline. Students are introduced to precedence and tradition, as well as contemporary counterparts. Each student is asked to continually evaluate their goals in relationship to their field and medium so as to grow. In dialogue with faculty, peers and community, students develop the ability to articulate their motivations and actively pursue their purpose. 

The Degree

Progress Sheet

The Classes

Course Descriptions


In the transition from academics to professional practice, Finlandia Studio Arts: Intermedia students are prepared to:

  • Communication: Communicate of the Elements & Principles of Design within selected medium.
  • Analytical and Critical Thinking/Creative Insight: Integrate knowledge of basic business practices as they relate to entrepreneurial ventures, exhibition opportunities, and professional presentation & portfolio development.
  • Analytical and Critical Thinking/Global Perspective: Resource the relevance of history, theory, and criticism, using perspectives and scholarship drawn from the students’ major field and at least one other field.
  • Personal Perspective/Global Perspective: Measure decisions involving social, environmental, and ethical issues concerning the production and consumption of Art & Design.
  • Creative Insight:  Assess the possibilities and limitations of materials and processes, including the potential and current uses of existing and developing materials, technologies, and production methods.
  • Personal Perspective:  Support an attitude of curiosity, determination, and reflection that will persist beyond graduation.


2020 Bachelor of Fine Arts Diploma Works Exhibition

May 06, 2020

Exhibit Dates: October 22 to November 24, 2020 Reception: Thursday, October 22, 7:00 p.m.

Finlandia University Gallery has rescheduled the gallery exhibition for the 2020 Bachelor of Fine Arts Diploma Works Exhibition for October, 2020.

Finlandia University’s International School of Art & Design (ISAD) celebrates its seniors this week as they complete their Diploma Works Exhibition artwork.  Graduates Annah Smiddy, Chelsea LaPalme, Denia Bent, Mindy Aho and Shannon Chouinard faced many challenges as they completed their culminating artwork for graduation during the […] Read More

Miranda Conroy showing off her Diploma Works project
Previewing Diploma Works with Senior Miranda Conroy

April 26, 2019

Finlandia Fridays was visited this week by senior intermedia student, Miranda Conroy. Hailing from Ishpeming, Conroy will have her final undergraduate work featured with the rest of the graduating art students in this year’s Bachelor of Fine Arts Diploma Works exhibition. The exhibition will take place on Saturday, May 4 at 7 p.m. in the Finnish American Heritage Center.

The Diploma Works exhibition is the final event before graduation for the senior art students. The show features […] Read More

Elle Rowe and Abigail Tembreull Finlandia Fridays
Abigail Tembreull and Elle Rowe discuss Young Women’s Caucus for Art

April 06, 2018

Current President of the Young Women’s Caucus for Art Abigail Tembreull and soon-to-be President Elle Rowe stopped by Finlandia Fridays this week to talk about the future of the club. The Young Women’s Caucus for Art is a club that primarily works towards promoting women in the art world, but don’t let the name fool you, the club is open to all genders.

Elle Rowe is a sophomore in the Marketing and Graphic Design program. She is […] Read More


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Faculty and Staff

Denise Vandeville

Dean, International School of Art & Design Associate Professor, Ceramic Design
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