Watkins College of Art, Design & Film

Last updated
Watkins College of Art
Watkins College logo.png
Type Private
President Joseph Kline, Ph.D.
Location, ,
United States
Campus Urban
Website watkins.edu

Watkins College of Art is a four-year art and design college located on a 13-acre campus in Nashville, Tennessee.

Nashville, Tennessee State capital and consolidated city-county in Tennessee, United States

Nashville is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Tennessee. The city is the county seat of Davidson County and is located on the Cumberland River. The city's population ranks 24th in the U.S. According to 2017 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, the total consolidated city-county population stood at 691,243. The "balance" population, which excludes semi-independent municipalities within Davidson County, was 667,560 in 2017.


Watkins offers Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degrees in film, graphic design, illustration, interior design, fine arts, and photography as well as post-graduate degrees in film and visual arts. As of 2019, approximately 200 students were enrolled, mostly full-time. [1] The college resides in a 60,000-square-foot (5,600 m2) facility in the MetroCenter area of north Nashville and offers on-campus housing.

A Bachelor of Fine Arts is the standard undergraduate degree for students in the United States and Canada seeking a professional education in the visual or performing arts.

An academic degree is a qualification awarded to students upon successful completion of a course of study in higher education, usually at a college or university. These institutions commonly offer degrees at various levels, usually including bachelor's, master’s and doctorates, often alongside other academic certificates and professional degrees. The most common undergraduate degree is the bachelor's degree, although in some countries lower qualifications are titled degrees while in others a higher-level first degree is more usual.

Film sequence of images that give the impression of movement

A film, also called a movie, motion picture, moving picture, or photoplay, is a series of still images that, when shown on a screen, create the illusion of moving images. This optical illusion causes the audience to perceive continuous motion between separate objects viewed in rapid succession. The process of filmmaking is both an art and an industry. A film is created by photographing actual scenes with a motion-picture camera, by photographing drawings or miniature models using traditional animation techniques, by means of CGI and computer animation, or by a combination of some or all of these techniques, and other visual effects.

The Community Education Program serves students age four to adult through the Young Artist Program, the Adult Community Education Program, the Artist Lecture Series, and various outreach programs. Classes run on a semester basis: Fall, Spring, and Summer.

Main entrance to Watkins College WTN PeepHoles 040.JPG
Main entrance to Watkins College


Watkins was founded as Watkins Institute in 1885 by Samuel Watkins, a self-educated Nashville businessman. The school became nationally accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) in 1996. Watkins is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), and is a member of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD). [2] First located on Church Street in downtown Nashville, the school moved to temporary facilities in the 100 Oaks area in 1999, and then to its current location in 2002. Watkins opened its first residence hall in 2005 and its second one in Fall 2008. [3]

Adult Community Education

The Adult Community Education (ACE) Program offers classes for beginning students to advanced artists. The classes meet once a week for nine consecutive weeks. Classes in the classic arts such as photography, drawing, painting, and figure study are offered. ACE also offers specialty courses such as Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, furniture building and screenwriting. In addition to the nine-week courses, smaller focused workshops are offered throughout the semester. These could be one day or last up to six weeks. Workshops cover such subjects as jewelry making, custom framing, tile mosaics, and silk-screening. These workshops change every semester with requests and needs of the community.

Young Artist Program

The staff of artists/instructors in the Young Artists and Teen Program is dedicated to continuing the legacy of Watkins College by providing the finest studio art instructional experiences to all students. The Young Artist Program (YAP) serves students ages 4–18. During the Fall and Spring semesters YAP offers Saturday morning classes that last for six consecutive weeks. A Spring Break program is also available which coincides with Metro Nashville Public School’s Spring Break. In the summer YAP presents five weeks of half day or full day classes for students in the Summer of the Arts program. Classes for ages 4–13 include cartooning, ceramics, drawing, and painting as well as more focused subjects such as kinetic art or learning about art through art history. For teens classes are focused specifically for portfolio-building needs and include filmmaking, photography, drawing, painting, digital arts and more.

Scholarship opportunities

The Young Artist Program offer scholarship opportunities for students ages 6–18 that are talent and/or need based. These scholarships are provided by various organizations such as the Memorial Foundation and the Nashville Artist Guild. Applications can be found on the YAP website.

The college also offers scholarship opportunities, both portfolio-based and academically-based. You can find a current list of scholarships at http://www.watkins.edu/admissions/scholarships.

Awards and grants

Artist Lecture Series

In addition to classes for the community the Community Education department has developed a progressive Artist Lecture Series. In the past artists such as Ming Fay, Patrick Beaulieu, and Bill Daniels have participated. These lectures are free and open to the community.

Ming Fay is a Shanghai-born and New York City-based sculptor and professor. His work focuses on the concept of the garden as a symbol of utopia and the relationship between man and nature. Drawing upon an extensive knowledge of plants both Eastern and Western, real and mythical, Fay creates his own calligraphic floating forest of reeds, branches and surreal species. He is most well known for his sculpture and large scale installations and he currently teaches sculpture at William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey.


The Community Education Program serves out into the community as well. Various engagements have brought artist teachers into retirement centers, libraries, and Watkins College of Art, Design & Film local businesses and schools, teaching classes, and workshops for adults, teens, and children.

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  1. Lombaerde, Geert De, ed. (2005). Nashville Business Journal Book of Lists 2006. American City Business Journals.
  2. "Accreditation & Memberships". Archived from the original on October 23, 2013. Retrieved October 22, 2013.
  3. Sledge, Colby (June 14, 2008). "Watkins names new president". The Tennessean.

Coordinates: 36°11′40″N86°48′22″W / 36.1945°N 86.8060°W / 36.1945; -86.8060

Geographic coordinate system Coordinate system

A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position; alternatively, a geographic position may be expressed in a combined three-dimensional Cartesian vector. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection.