art students working on pottery

“Making Art as if the World Mattered. To search for the good and make it matter; this is the real challenge for the artist today. Not simply to transform ideas or revelations into matter, but to make those revelations actually matter.”
-Estella Conwill-Majozo​


Analysis and critical thinking are central to the visual experience and production of fine art. Our goals for our students are to inculcate the visual language as a problem-solving tool, to bridge the gap between the history of visual cultures, the theories of contemporary art strategies and how they are applied to the production of art. Our students will strive to be visually literate in order to be able to decipher the relationships between art and society within the multiple-contexts of history, politics, literature, and issues of gender, identity, and multiculturalism. Our mission is to prepare our students to be arts practitioners with sets of skills and values that will make them active and responsible participants in society. As students of the arts, we will prepare them to engage in questions of self-expression, artisanship, identity, community, values, politics, and meaning.

Our changing world challenges artists to become flexible practitioners and participants who can think, research, organize, and produce work that transforms people, places and our times. The power of art lies in artists connecting themselves in reciprocal relationships with their publics, in order to create a more humane life relevant to their time and place. The Art program provides a balance of Studio, Art History, Museum Studies and theory courses organized around a combination of core concept and skill courses, visiting artist experiences, exposure to contemporary art through the Leland Gallery at Ennis Hall, the Museum of Fine Arts at Underwood House, and independent international learning opportunities, culminating in a senior Capstone experience. Our program offers small classes and a low faculty to student ratio, and students will be encouraged to explore media from the tradition of paints to the precision of pixels. The program integrates practice and theory through its interdisciplinary approach to critiques, with the goal of facilitating the acquisition of the following skill sets:

  1. COMPREHENSION SKILLS including ability to: investigate and understand visual arts from diverse formal, theoretical, historical, social, multicultural, and/or international perspectives.
  2. ANALYTICAL SKILLS including ability to: research, define, analyze, and critically formulate positions on relevant issues in visual art from diverse formal, theoretical, historical, social, multicultural, and/or international perspectives.
  3. PROBLEM-SOLVING SKILLS including ability to: achieve interdisciplinary and selected theoretical, social, multicultural, and/or international connections in art through art-related activities.
  4. SYNTHESIS/INTEGRATIVE SKILLS including ability to: comprehend, appreciate, analyze, and examine the ways in which ideas about knowledge, creativity, and art are constructed differently in diverse theoretical, multicultural, and/or international perspectives.
  5. CREATIVE/SCHOLARLY PRODUCTION & PRESENTATION SKILLS including ability to: to create, write about, and/or to otherwise manipulate artistic media in a formal presentation to provide a coherent and cogent visual, oral, and written summary of knowledge.