The Department of Art and Art History is committed to the study and practice of the visual arts as these relate to:
(a) Creative research in art practices (studio);
(b) Educational practice and theory (Art Education); and
(c) Critical study of art in its diverse historical and cultural settings (Art History).
The Department offers the four-year BFA and BFA Honours (Visual Studies) degree, the four year BA in Art History, and a five-year concurrent degree program with the Werklund School of Education, leading to the BFA (Visual Studies) and Bachelor of Education degrees.
Students in the four year BFA and BFA Honours (Visual Studies) are involved in creative research and visual art practices that engage with contemporary society. The courses of study enable the student to develop conceptual understanding in the visual arts, to develop a foundation of knowledge and practice of artistic self-sufficiency, to develop creative processes of planning in order to carry out their various studio interests, and to teach art in the elementary or secondary school systems or to work as art specialists in other settings. The program enables the individual student to determine through studio practice the understandings and insights that support their own artistic and intellectual development. The Honours degree in Visual Studies is an advanced undergraduate program for students seeking a more focused studio experience, aspiring to careers as practicing and professional artists, or considering further graduate level study in an MFA program. A high standard of creative achievement is required for admission, continuation, and completion.
Students in the BFA or BFA Honours (Visual Studies) may choose a Concentration in Art Education. A concentration in Art Education does not provide students with the credentials required to teach in the public school system in Alberta. It is meant to provide students with skills and knowledge that would prepare them to teach art in informal, community-based settings.
The Visual Studies program provides a core of work in the theory and methodology of art education, as well as a foundation in studio art and Art History. Students interested in teacher certification should pursue the concurrent degree program with the Werklund School of Education, which offers three years of study in the Visual Studies program and two years in the Bachelor of Education program.
The BA (Art History) engages students in critical and creative analysis of art objects and cultural forms in a variety of historical, geopolitical, and cultural contexts.
The Minor in Museum and Heritage Studies program is intended to develop a critical and analytical perspective on the issues and future of museum and heritage resources. These encompass national parks and heritage sites, museums and art galleries, archives and historic buildings.