student traces hand for art class


Why do you create? What do you create? Where do you create your art? Answer these questions as you make decisions that will lead you to a career as a Fine Artist. If you want to give form to your imagination, join us at Barton Community College. The Art Program offers a remarkable creative community that builds on individual classes and extraordinary teachers. The learning environment blends the expected into a whirl of perceptions that lead to new ways of thinking, doing, seeing and making. 

A joy comes from being a maker. Perhaps it is a part of why you create art. It is a part of why the art faculty at Barton Community College creates and teaches. We find satisfaction in the art we create and the students we influence in our classrooms and studios. The instructors are dedicated professional artists with the ability to create in a variety of media. The Art Program provides studios and classrooms dedicated to Painting, Art History, Art Appreciation, Drawing, Ceramics, and Digital Graphics. Be immersed in creating and learning about art. The language of art, critical thinking skills, and a broader understanding of materials and techniques awaits you. The Capstone course in your graduating semester will enable you to launch your career as an artist or pursue higher education. The Art Program will prepare you to graduate with an Associate's Degree in Art. You will be ready to apply to an institution of higher learning to pursue your advanced degree. 

So, what are you waiting for? Give us a call. Let us help you to be a maker, a creator and do what you love to do!

Why Barton?

  • Learn from award winning instructor Bill Forst and internationally known painter Philip Jacobson 
  • Well-equipped painting, drawing, and ceramic facilities
  • New Digital Graphics emphasis with new Digital Graphics studio. 
  • Guest artists present lectures and in class demonstrations.
  • Access to monthly exhibits by national and regional artists.
  • Access to nationally renowned Shafer Art Gallery


Barton has a program for you. You can choose to specialize in digital graphic design, education, photography, ceramics, painting and drawing. These Art Program Emphasis areas are designed to prepare you to transfer to a four-year college or art institute.

Regardless of which way you go, Barton offers you an affordable, quality jump-start on your educational or professional goals. Scholarships and departmental awards are also available. 

Career Choices

Studio artist, digital graphic designer, computer artist, interior designer, museum curator, art therapist, comic book artist, art critic, cinematographer, photojournalist, web page designer, freelance artist, art dealer, educator.

Curriculum Guides
Curriculum Guides

The Art curriculum offers you the opportunity to develop your skills in personal expression and creative sensitivity through studies in various fine and applied artistic disciplines. The art department curriculum is constructed around the philosophy that awareness in the visual arts is developed by experiencing a solid foundation based on courses in areas of two and three-dimensional art, a variety of different media and techniques, and various digital imaging and computer applications. Interwoven into this course of study is the fostering of critical thinking abilities. 

The Art curriculum is open to students interested in art and culture and provides a course of study leading to an Associate in Arts Degree. This curriculum is a general guide if plan to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree of Art or Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree at a college or university. Your advisor will help you plan courses that will meet the specific requirements of your transfer school.

Curriculum Guides

Associate in Arts Degree
Art Education
Digital Graphics 
Digital Photography 

Scholarship Opportunities
Scholarship Opportunities

Apply today for an Art Program Scholarship awarded by the department! 

Get Money, Get Visual - find out how banner

  • To qualify for an Art Program Scholarship, applicants must first complete the Admissions application. Once your application is processed, you will be assigned a Barton ID.
  • The Financial Aid department will then guide you through the Scholarship Universe to complete the Art Department Scholarship, as well as other scholarship options. Check out the Financial Aid webpage to learn more about other opportunities to fund your education.
  • Barton's Admissions team will arrange for a campus visit which includes an interview with Bill Forst or Phillip Jacobson and a review of your current portfolio. You can bring artwork with you or provide a digital portfolio. 
  • $2,000, $1000 and $670 scholarships are available to be awarded, as well as work study opportunities in the Shafer Art Gallery or Art Department.
Art Department Facilities
Art Department Facilities

The ceramic studio is located on campus in the Technical Building, room number T-151. The main work room provides students with 1750 square feet of space to create ceramics. A separate kiln room is attached to this main studio. In addition to this area an outdoor patio has an additional 480 square feet for firing and clay reclamation. The indoor studio area is complemented by an additional 300 square feet dedicated to the ceramic lab. This separate room provides space for students to formulate glazes for their clay creations. The ceramic studio provides professional equipment for students to use as they learn about the materials and techniques associated with ceramics.

Bill Forst in ceramics studioStudio Equipment 

  • 12 Brent Pottery Wheels
  • 1 adjustable pottery wheel, adjustable height for wheelchair access 
  • Wedging table 
  • 8 Canvas covered hand-building tables 
  • Bailey Extruder with extruding dies
  • 3’ x 6’ Slab Roller
  • Deep double sink
  • Individual student storage bins
  • Shelving for projects
  • 40” wide screen TV and computer station

Kiln Room

  • 2, 12 cubic foot Skutt Production Kilns with Digital Controls
  • 1, 24 cubic foot Alpine, forced air, Gas fired updraft Kiln
  • 1, 6 cubic foot Olympic Raku kiln with digital controls
  • Automated, thermostat-controlled air exchange for the room

Outdoor Firing

  • 1, 6 cubic foot Raku Kiln
  • Reduction cans
  • Refractory Brick firing pads for flash firing with propane burners


  • Ventilated lab
  • Alpine Stainless steel storage bins for bulk chemicals
  • Complete inventory of oxides and carbonates
  • Spray booth with air guns
  • Soldner mixer
  • Reclaim area

Art instructor Phil JacobsonPainting, Drawing and Photography Studios

  • Computers: 5 with current software
  • Printers: 5
  • Opaque projectors
  • Drawing tables: 17
  • Easels: 14
  • Painting stations: 22
  • Projector: 1
  • Scanners:2


Meet the Art Faculty - Bill Forst
Meet the Art Faculty - Bill Forst

Meet Bill Forst

Bill ForstBill attended the Cleveland Institute of Art, majoring in Ceramics. He graduated in 1986 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. He moved to Kansas in 1986 to attend Wichita State University. Receiving the Clayton Staples Full Tuition Scholarship, he graduated in 1988 with a Master of Fine Arts, majoring in ceramics.   

Bill has been teaching art since 1988. He has taught at Hutchinson Community College, Sterling College, and Barton County Community College. From 1994–1999, he was the Art Department Chairman at Sterling College. Starting as an adjunct faculty member, he moved through the academic ranks of Assistant Professor of Art and became an Associate Professor of Art during his tenure at Sterling College. In 1997, he received the William McCreery teacher of the year award from Sterling College. In 1999, he became an Art Instructor at Barton County Community College, teaching ceramics, design and art history. He was also the Director of the L.E. “Gus” and Eva Shafer Memorial Art Gallery from 1999 - 2007. Bill has served a three-year term on the Exhibits USA Advisory Council, and in October 2004, he completed the Certificate of Appraisal Studies in Fine and Decorative Arts from the University of California, Irvine. 

“I love what I do,” says Forst. “My life is saturated with art. My wife is an artist and a retired high school art teacher. I have a job that immerses me in art every day, and I have a great clay studio.” He is a studio potter with a passion for making functional and decorative objects from clay. "I enjoy making cups and bowls for use. The handmade object, when in the daily ritual of eating and drinking, enhances the experience of both. I find great satisfaction in making objects that become a part of the lives of the people who use them," he says. Bill also says that "The history of many great cultures is written in ceramics, and in a small way, I have, and will continue to leave my mark on the culture I live in through the objects I make as well as the students I influence."


Tall Crystal Vase

October, 2004
University of California, Irvine
Certificate of Appraisal Studies in Fine and Decorative Arts

December, 1988
The Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas
Masters of Fine Arts Degree

May, 1986
The Cleveland Institute of Art
Cleveland, Ohio
Bachelor of Fine Art Degree

Meet the Art Faculty - Philip Jacobson
Meet the Art Faculty - Philip Jacobson

Meet Philip Jacobson

Phil JacobsonProfessor Phil hails from upstate New York and holds an MA in Painting and Sculpture and an MFA in STUDIO ARTS: Painting & Printmaking. But his real education in the Arts came when he was 19 and turned down ivy-league scholarships to study painting and printmaking in Vienna, Austria under the renowned artist, Ernst Fuchs.  After this, Jacobson traveled extensively, including India, where he studied meditation, Eastern philosophy and wandered naked with a group of sadhus. The professor founded and directed the School of Extended Studies at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado where he served as the Dean from 1991 - 1997.  In 1997 Ernst Fuchs requested that Prof. Phil formally carry on his teachings, and he has been holding his renowned international painting seminars ever since. In 2012, his partner, Mantra Cora, joined him in organizing and teaching in the seminars. The artist has participated in more than 100 exhibitions and his writings have been read worldwide. He is the author of the now classic; DRINKING LIGHTNING - Art, Creativity, and Transformation from Shambhala Publications and PROMETHEAN FLAMES- Rekindling and Re-visioning the Creative Fire, both of which include Introductions and Forewords by Ken Wilber, Ernst Fuchs, Prof. Michael Schwartz and Robin Sean Petersen. Most recently, Prof Phil relocated to the Great Bend area with his wife Mantra and daughter Liya and has joined the faculty of the Fine Arts Program at Barton Community College teaching Painting, Drawing and a number of forth-coming courses in the works.