The mission of the Art Department is based on the recognition of the universal human need for visual expression, the necessity of the visual arts in contemporary society, and the importance of cultural diversity provided for by exposure to the arts. Art students are prepared to make professional and public service contributions by becoming practicing artists who are visually literate, culturally aware, skilled in creative problem solving, and esthetically sensitive.
Central to the mission is a commitment to high quality undergraduate and graduate education in the visual arts. The curriculum provides a balance of studio experiences, art history, and art theory as preparation for future study or entry into a career. Pedagogy involves exploration of a broad range of artistic media, techniques, materials, and process along with study in the use of contemporary technologies as they apply to art production. Studio instruction results in a high degree of skill, quality and craft in using art materials, tools, and equipment while appreciating safe and hazard free use. Art students study a broad range of art historical time periods, cultures, periods and styles, including non-western art. They are expected to develop habits of mind characteristic of creative expression such as risk taking, originality and problem solving grounded in understanding the theoretical foundations of making, perceiving, and analyzing of art works.
Art faculty are committed to research and service. They are expected to participate within venues recognized for measuring research and service competency on the university, state, national and international level. Professional expertise forms the foundation of instructional quality and is derived from active investigation into materials, philosophies, and concepts that are annually reviewed through recognized standards. Comprehensive and detailed procedures are in place to assure that a high level of creative research is ongoing within the Art Department.
Students are made aware of art related occupations, their entry level requirements, and how to initiate contacts. They are expected to demonstrate an ability to skillfully prepare and organize art works for exhibition and to show a sense of commitment and dedication to work toward personal development as contributors to their chosen profession. The expertise unique to the professional artist and teacher serves varied clientele, agencies, and associations in the community, State of Kansas, and the national and international community.