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
A curtain of floating ginkgo-tree leaves, which once sprinkled Sarah Dahl’s front yard, fluttered overhead as visitors stopped by UC Santa Barbara’s Glass Box Gallery to admire the hovering city maps of places Dahl has called home. Dahl, a senior Physical Geography and Art double major, displayed her installation, titled “Please Forward, No Longer at This Address,” in the Art department’s student-run gallery exhibit “Body of Proof.” The installation was created as an ode to all of the places where Dahl has lived, and who she has become as the memories have begun to fade.
In a recent interview, Dahl spoke about her work, where she plans to take it, and what receiving an award as a Honors in Art student meant to her.
Japanese artist Aisuke Kondo recently spoke about his Diaspora Memoria exhibition from his Matter and Memory series, which explores the idea of reconstructing memories of self and history.
“In doing research about your own history, you come to see how the larger societal history has developed,” Kondo said Thursday in a talk hosted by UC Santa Barbara’s Theater and Dance department. Kondo’s work explores the history of his great-grandfather who immigrated to the United States and was then forced to stay at the Topaz internment camp in Millard County, Utah.
“Collecting is very expensive but it’s money well spent,” said UC Santa Barbara alum Tomás Sanchez at the walkthrough of his collection, ¡Chicanismo! Sanchez’s collection will be on display until December 8 at UCSB’s Art, Design and Architecture Museum in honor of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Chicano/a Studies Department.
Prints! The Joan and Stuart Levin Collection showcases contemporary works on paper and printmaking from the 1960s, from artists like Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns who were revolutionary in this form of artistic expression. Sarah Banes, a UCSB PhD student in the History of Art & Architecture, discusses her experience with curating this exhibition in an interview with Writing student Vanessa Tang .
This series of videos, produced by UC Santa Barbara students, showcases the creative talent of students, faculty, and alumni from Humanities and Fine Arts.
“Museums need to cater to all people,” says Selections from the Permanent Collection at UCSB’s Art Design & Architecture Museum (AD&A) collections manager Susan Lucke.
Approaching its Dec. 2 close, this show makes for a perfect opportunity to learn about art history and how the value of art differs based on the context in which it is shown. It displays art from all reaches of the fine arts collection normally held underground in the archives at UC Santa Barbara. Of the roughly 900 items usually held in storage, the exhibition shows us pieces ranging from Belgian Congo headdresses to modern abstract paintings by UC Santa Barbara alum Richard Serra. This juxtaposition of art across different places and time periods allows visitors to see a Pre-Colombian era sculpture and a still-life painting by Northern Europe’s Cornelis Mahu in the same room.
“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.”
Los Angeles multidisciplinary artist Rafa Esparza spoke about the progression of his creative identity during an installment of the Fall 2018 Arts Colloquium last week. Esparza’s performance art, often involving adobe bricks and Aztec dance, engages with topics like indigeneity and colonialism as he critiques harmful power structures.