The Department of Art offers a dynamic and challenging learning environment that emphasizes interdisciplinary research as well as artistic production. We are committed to investigating contemporary and historical approaches to cultural expression in a continually changing world.
Our renowned faculty is deeply committed to both teaching and creative research. We attract students who are self-motivated, visually and conceptually inventive, and interested in being part of an outstanding community of artists within a world-class research institution. At UCSB, emerging artists develop the means to express themselves and practice the critical thinking essential to their future roles within society. Faculty, students, and alumni actively participate in local, national, and international exhibitions, symposia, and conferences.
Our interdisciplinary curriculum benefits from close association with the Media Arts and Technology Graduate Program, the College of Creative Studies, and the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center. Please visit our links for updates to the Art Colloquium speaker series and exhibitions, both of which open to the public.
The Art, Design & Architecture Museum both a teaching museum, committed to the development of critical thinking and visual literacy, and a resource for the wider Santa Barbara community.
Art News & Features
“Contrary to popular belief, I was not born under some auspicious sign, playing Mozart and doodling hyper-realistic portraits since I was two days old,” explains Marc Rusli of his passion for the arts as he majors in physics. “I developed each skill slowly during some period in my life…Doodling was the only option I had to relieve boredom…I sometimes wonder whether I would have any amount of drawing skill if I had been born five years later, whether I would entertain myself with an iPad rather than pencils and paper.”
Michelle Sharp, a double major in Art and Mathematics who graduated this spring, decided to branch out from her background in mathematics to expand her repertoire in the arts. Sharp is among a growing number of UCSB students who are combining STEM majors with those in the Humanities and Fine Arts.
Sharp exhibited much of her photography in the Glass Box Galleries, which feature student and faculty creative work on campus. And she created an animated short, “Agnus’ Front Lawn,” for one of her film production classes, which is a comedy about an old woman trying to win the neighborhood’s lawn competition.
After exploring the ins and outs of various creative departments, Sharp is finding her passion in animation. She finds it is easy to get jobs in art-related fields, saying it takes hard work but if you are dedicated it isn’t much different than finding jobs in STEM related fields.
UC Santa Barbara’s master’s students in visual arts readied themselves for their next professional “moves” at a reception to exhibit their MFA thesis projects last week. The group titled its exhibition “The Chess Club” because they will apply the strategies they have learned in the program to sustain their future work and their careers.
The MFA Thesis Exhibition Reception took place at the Art, Design & Architecture museum on campus and featured the artwork of seven graduates. The free event filled up quickly, with attendees including faculty from different departments and divisions, as well as other graduate and undergraduate students.
Robert Brian Huerta places himself in a long line of artists who are considered rebels in their own generation as they explore new directions in their work.
At his recent Glassbox exhibition, UC Santa Barbara’s student-run exhibition space, Huerta invited several punk rock groups to perform within the space. He titled the exhibition Tresspassing: punks in the glassbox.
At the event, Huerta encouraged a clash by having conventional art pieces surround a group of people drinking, singing, and dancing to a live, black-clad punk band.
UC Santa Barbara Art professor Jane Callister is a featured artist in the Thomas Fire Artists’ Recovery Exhibition, taking place at Porch Gallery in Ojai, California until March 11th. Callister is a 53-year-old professional artist who has exhibited works of paintings, drawings, and installations.
Originally from the Isle of Man, she has been a full-time faculty member of the Art Department at UC Santa Barbara for more than 20 years. She donated one of her paintings, the acrylic Turmoil (2017), to the exhibition to help raise funds to benefit local artists who were victims of the fire.
In this edition of the Cool Courses series, we asked students of a variety of majors, such as Film and Media Studies, Art, and English, within the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts to describe their most memorable class experiences.
UCSB constructed the AD&A Museum in 1959 for its art education department and now it is a fully independent gallery free to anyone who wishes to visit. The small size of the museum allows for a warm, personal ambience that can be difficult to find in the larger, more popular exhibition halls of major cities. The type of art shown in the galleries varies from photography to paintings to sculpture and even video.