Art/Art History Department
“A liberal arts education empowers individuals and prepares them to deal with complexity, diversity, and change as well as helping students develop a sense of social responsibility, strong intellectual and practical skills, and the demonstrated ability to apply knowledge and skills in real-world settings.”
Association of American Colleges and Universities
The Art and Design department offers a broad scope of creative opportunities for students in fine art, craft, and design. In the fine art areas students develop skills and develop concepts through the lens of personal expression in painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, and sculpture. In the craft areas of ceramics, small metals and jewelry, students design functional and non-functional objects. Design courses offer students the opportunity to consider function, aesthetics, and sustainability. The program also offers community-based group projects and social sculpture for students interested in working collaboratively for a civic good. The Art and Design department has well-equipped studios for ceramics, painting, drawing or mixed media, and jewelry/small metals. The sculpture studio offers hand and power tools for wood working, as well as digital 3D modeling and printing technology. Students are encouraged to try a variety of media while exploring possibilities in concept, materials, and techniques. In addition, rigorous study of art history across cultures and time offers opportunities to consider multiple perspectives as well as providing a firm grounding for the understanding that visual culture is a shaping force for all human activity.
Our commitment to the core values of liberal arts and a focus on the creative process in relation to different contexts connects the different areas of our art program to other disciplines and to a creative life. Our program helps students build transferable skills such as lateral thinking, exploring possibilities, taking a project through an iterative process, and learning to push beyond failures. These skills are used whether painting a landscape, building a bridge, developing a lesson plan, selling a product, or even designing the systems of a community. We believe that the studio arts provide an ideal venue for learning and practicing these critical skills that are essential elements for generating change in the world. Ensuring that our students understand the applicability and transferability of the creative making process to all areas of life is a primary goal of the department.
The goal for students who complete the program is that they will be able to generate a variety of original ideas, communicate the contexts and concepts that frame and drive their work, develop their craft, and adopt behaviors for sustained success. The program offers students a large variety of specialty areas to explore and enough depth for the motivated student to build a portfolio for graduate work or to pursue art-related careers
Art History Discipline
Art history is the study of visual culture in its historical and theoretical contexts. It goes beyond merely studying artistic styles and aesthetic theories to exploring a variety of cultures, geographic areas, and time periods, in both western and non-western art. It also offers a variety of broad thematic issues to present art history within a global perspective, inspiring students to interact with the visual culture in both local and global communities. Through art historical study of visual culture, students learn the important skills of contextual analysis; critical and creative thinking; problem-solving techniques; research and synthesis of materials and ideas; oral, written, and visual communication skills; and the ability to work effectively individually and collaboratively.
In addition, the discipline of Art History is central to a liberal arts education because it unites the visual arts with numerous fields in the humanities, such as history, politics, religious studies, philosophy, anthropology, archaeology, sociology, gender studies, and literature. As such, art history is interdisciplinary and will enrich the life of any student regardless of major.
The study of art history prepares students for a variety of advanced degrees in graduate school as well as potential employment in galleries, museums, arts administration, art criticism, nonprofit organizations, art centers and institutions, conservation, archivist, and art education, depending on their skills and experience.