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We view art as a way of navigating the world, a lens through which to probe and critique contemporary culture.

By developing engaged artists, we investigate and critique contemporary social landscapes. Thanks to the diverse interests and expertise of our faculty, our program is robust with a variety of possible specialties and themes: spatial discourse, social justice actions, aesthetic and public performance, cross-boundary collaborations and innovative communication. Our strength is in our wide range of backgrounds, our creative diversity and in the vitality of our cultural investigation. Here students are inspired to master techniques and employ them toward the visually new and challenging.



The Art Department understands that diversity is integral to our achievement of excellence. We are committed to cultivating, supporting, and promoting the expression and creation of culturally diverse experiences and perspectives within our department. We believe diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) deepen both the educational experience and the scholarly environment. A growing body of research shows that having diverse faculty, staff, and students improves research and teaching and increases community, creativity, innovation, and problem-solving.

Our first priority is to reflect and address the needs of our increasingly diverse student body. We embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion and anti-racism as core values of our practice. We actively oppose all forms of discrimination. We see DEI as essential to an art education, preparing students at UCSC for creative participation in the world.


The Art Department:

  • Promotes a community ethos and environment that supports, encourages and demands a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion among all faculty, staff and students.
  • Listens to feed back and concerns by including diverse voices in department policy, relations and pedagogy.
  • Cultivates a welcoming and safe environment for diverse points of view, dialog, and art-making as research.
  • Celebrates publicly the research and creativity of diverse experiences and narratives of our students and faculty within the University and the greater community.
  • Respects and empathizes with the diverse perspectives and experiences of our students, faculty and staff.

Our DEI Practices:

  • Integrate our DEI policies throughout our curriculum, learning, pedagogy, syllabi and learning objectives.
  • Prioritize FTE hiring of faculty whose research and practice investigates, reflects on and articulates diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Expose students to the work of arts professionals whose practices, research and creativity decolonize the canon,reflecting creative perspectives of non-traditional communities throughout the curriculum.
  • Host and promote events, lectures, symposia and exhibitions that promote DEI and educate theArt Department and the larger community.
  • Include diverse faculty, undergraduate and graduate students in various departmental decision-making processes and governing.
  • Evaluate, analyze and evolve our ongoing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion through feedback from faculty, staff and students.
  • Innovate through our unique MFA in Environmental Art and Social Practice that teaches students the value and importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in their practice and research and through working with communities beyond the university.
  • Communicate our commitments to and the importance of DEI throughout the department, university and broader community.
  • Support minority students in financial need, BIPOC, first generation and other underrepresented students through programs, student organizations, teaching and scholarships. (Appendix A).