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Mission Statement

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.