Art Department Mission Statement

The Department of Art provides pathways for students to explore art, visual creativity, and art history within the liberal arts tradition. Studio art and art history majors develop the elements of visual literacy and performance, including observational proficiency, basic media-specific skills, understanding of historical context, the ability to analyze and articulate these visual issues, and produce independent work. The curriculum is designed to prepare art history and studio art majors to meet the entrance requirements of graduate programs in art history, studio art, and art education, or to prepare them with skills in creative visual expression and critical analysis that are assets in many career paths.

Program Goals for Art History and Studio Art


Demonstrate an understanding of visual language in its role of imparting meaning.


Acquire critical thinking skills and the ability to articulate concepts and present arguments.


Effectively communicate issues and aspects of visual experience and culture in oral and written arguments, and studio projects.


Program Goals Specific to Art History


Develop a fundamental understanding of art in a social, political, and economic context.


Practice visual analysis: careful, detailed description leading to interpretation based on visual evidence.


Learn to write analytically using visual evidence and library research.


Become acquainted with art historical methodologies.