Art at New Paltz
For more than half a century, the State University of New York at New Paltz has been well known for its professional art programs and its distinguished faculty of practicing artists and designers who help students pursue creative interests and prepare for careers in the various art disciplines.
At the undergraduate level, all students enter the department as a Bachelor of Science (BS) major. A student may focus on a particular discipline or take an interdisciplinary approach to their studio coursework. Once a student completes foundational and basic studio coursework, he or she may then apply to a particular Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) program, remain in the BS program, or pursue the more liberal arts-oriented Bachelor of Arts (BA). The Art Department offers a number of degree programs to accommodate student interests.
The Master of Fine Arts degree program is a 60-hour program specializing in Ceramics, Metal, Painting & Drawing, Printmaking, Photography & Related Media, and Sculpture. Our MFA programs maintain a tradition of excellence, involving cutting-edge artists, historians, critics and curators. New Paltz is regularly included among the best schools in the Northeast and its Metals program has consistently been ranked as the best in the nation.
As a major educational center for the visual arts and art education, the Art Department at SUNY New Paltz embodies a community that values curiosity, scholarship, and imagination. A dynamic, responsive curriculum, productive artist/teachers, community engagement, and a highly regarded student-organized guest lecture program support these qualities and objectives. Our educational objectives balance the mastery of specific professional skills and techniques with the ability to think, talk, and write about art. This program is meant to serve students who are optimistic about the role of the arts in society and who see art as a vital, integral part of their lives.
Art majors come from all social strata and have an appreciation for the support, stimulus, and challenges this faculty provides. The Art Department extends the visual arts to the entire student body through lectures, exhibitions, and courses specifically offered to non-majors. Our access to the arts and culture of New York City gives students exposure to current issues and ideas in the arts. We number among our graduates some of the top artists working nationally and internationally today.
The Art Department is guided by the belief that art makes a unique contribution to society by offering a visual language of expression and investigation. Art plays an important role in expanding the public imagination by engaging the viewer in visual and intellectual dialogue. Through the synergistic relationship between the visual arts and the liberal arts and sciences at SUNY New Paltz, our students and faculty participate in the larger intellectual, political, and social life of the community.