The goal of the Art Department is to impart an informed understanding of art through discerning observation and studio practice. Students are taught traditional art skills as a foundation for future growth. A solid grounding in art history engages them in the major ideas of art. From these beginnings, students venture toward their own unique modes of expression. The program aims to recognize the dignity of each student and promote an atmosphere for individual accomplishment. Innovative problem solving and professional competence are instilled in each class.
The art program works with the Mission of UIW, using a global perspective to accord respect to all. The program fosters in students the need for active involvement in community service that will benefit humanity. Art opens hearts and minds to the creative forces present in the world, and leads students to effective ways of working toward social justice. Students are encouraged to share their gifts and abilities to better the lives of others. In turn, the department hopes their contact with the global community will make them more aware of the value of their artistic gift. Upon graduation, students know how to navigate the art world; they have a thorough knowledge of career opportunities, but more importantly they have a sense of self, beyond monetary success. They know their value.
UIW's newly renovated art building, the Kelso Art Center, provides the resources and facilities needed for students to receive a superlative arts education, has separate spaces and designated studios for drawing, painting, printmaking, photography and art history as well as three galleries, including a student gallery. The facility offers students updated technologies and resources including a computer lab for digital photography; two darkroom labs for photo classes; and a designated lighting studio for photography students as well as an exposure unit for photographic screen printing processes.