BACKGROUND / DEFINING CHARACTERISTICS
The Department of Art educates students in the visual arts and design from a holistic perspective: practical, theoretical, and historical. Whether focusing in studio, art history, art education, or graphic design, undergraduate and graduate students develop a creative voice and professional practice through the cultivation of skill, critical analysis, and an understanding of art’s evolution over time and place.
Memphis has a deeply rooted, well-known cultural history as fertile ground for world-changing creative expression in art, music, and literature. Located in the center of the city, the Department of Art critically engages this heritage as a sourcefor its own identity and inspiration, while at the same time taking up broader contemporary issues and questions from a global perspective.
Interwoven within a major metropolitan university, the Department of Art is made up of a diverse range of students whose racial, ethnic, cultural andeconomic backgrounds contribute to a broader research university community and curriculum where experimentation and innovation are paramount. Diversity, interdisciplinarity, and creative expression are central to cultivating socially directed and ethically responsible artistic leaders for the 21st century.
The University of Memphis Department of Art is a diverse community of students, teachers, and mentors mutually engaged in building a foundation for thoughtful creative expression and professional practice through the cultivation of skill, critical analysis, and an understanding of art’s evolution over time and place. Embedded in an urban environment with a deeply rooted cultural history as fertile ground for world-changing creative expression, as well as a major metropolitan research university that addresses broad contemporary issues from an informed global perspective, the Department of Art critically engages heritage, diversity, and interdisciplinarity as foundational for the cultivation of socially aware and ethically responsible artistic leaders for the 21st exhibitions, lectures, research and publications, the department both advocates for the visual arts and enriches the university and surrounding communities.