The mission of the Visual and Public Art (VPA) Department is to provide students with a lifelong set of skills that synthesize studio and community arts approaches to artistic production, exhibition, and education. Both individual and collaborative art methodologies are used in the VPA department’s integrated emphasis through coursework in painting and murals; sculpture, installation and performance art; arts education and museum studies, photography, and media culture.
Combining theory with practice, the program pedagogies focus upon historical and contemporary analysis,community collaboration, artistic production, evaluation and distribution of work with an emphasis on applied research, technical competency, and self-expression. The VPA major equips students with skills of art making, ethical inquiry, self-reflection, visual literacy, empathy and reciprocal community engagement to address the critical issues of aesthetics, social justice and cross-cultural competencies in a multicultural and increasingly interconnected global society.
As a small department we work very closely with our students and pride ourselves on being user friendly. As a student-centered program, we include student points of view, student-generated activities, and suggestions for learning experiences.
We hope that you will choose to join us.
As a VPA student, I believe I have been given the opportunity to think in a critical and reflective-based manner about art. I have learned to use my developing artistic skills to produce work that is personal to myself with a reflective and critical view of life and my place within it. I also believe that I have developed skills involving critical interpretations to use when observing the art of other people. Honestly I believe if I had taken the traditional art school route, I would have learned the monotonous versions of art history, rather than truly engaging and observing the history within the art, not just memorizing artists and dates (can we say boring?)— Nicole Ricci, VPA graduate