The mission of the School of Art and Design is to be a leader in the education of art students through a broad understanding of art, design, and art history and to promote the visual arts as an essential expression of the human condition. Creativity, innovation, and the individual artistic development of students are central to all Visual Arts degree programs, as is an awareness of global esthetics and the appreciation of the arts as a legitimate and integral part of community life. All programs uphold national standards and cultivate artistic growth through the development of creativity, innovation, and technical proficiency. The department also offers direct experiences in the visual arts for students, faculty, and the community through quality art exhibitions, lectures, and publications.
As one of three units in the College of the Arts, the School of Art & Design offers a BFA degree with concentrations in graphic communication, drawing/painting, ceramics/sculpture, and photography/printmaking, as well as a BS degree in Art Education. Both of these are pre-professional programs, the first for aspiring artists and the second for teachers. Such degrees are demanding and students must be genuinely committed in order to be successful. Admission to the degree programs in the School of Art & Design is highly competitive. All students must pass an initial portfolio review of their studio work in order to be fully accepted as art majors. Another portfolio review is required for BFA students in order to be accepted into a studio concentration area. The department also offers a BA degree in Art History and minors in Art History and Classical Studies. An MAT in Teaching Art is also available, and provides an opportunity for individuals with bachelors degrees in art and other fields to achieve certification as art teachers while earning a graduate degree.
Over 600 declared majors are enrolled in visual arts programs. The faculty includes twenty permanent, full-time professors, and 15-20 part-time faculty members. Currently over 75 courses in art, art history, and art education are listed in the undergraduate catalog. The department is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. Our award-winning Visual Arts Building provides 32,000-square-feet of studio and classroom space with state-of-the-art equipment, including a Macintosh computer lab for students. The Visual Arts Resource Center provides faculty with teaching resources such as digital and photographic images, books, journals, videos, and other media.
The department also sponsors a nationally recognized exhibition program with two campus galleries and a new museum, as well as a permanent collection of over 200 works of art. The campus sculpture collection is the largest of any in the Georgia university system. Students regularly exhibit in the campus galleries in annual student shows as well as in their senior graduation exhibitions.