The Art Department encourages and promotes independent, original, creative and critical thinking skills and prepares students for a career in art. The department endeavors to provide an environment of artistic and academic excellence in the visual arts. By design it provides the student the opportunity to explore, research and master skills needed for many art careers. The department serves a vital community role in enriching the Alaskan humanities through the promotion of all aspects of visual arts, from traditional to contemporary including Alaska Native art and history.
The department designs, develops and implements programs that encourage and foster new ways of seeing as part of the Alaska aesthetic. Department faculty teach the means, modes and history of art to encourage independent, original, critical and creative thinking. Students enrolled in art studio classes are provided technical skills and access to facilities required to create fine art in varied disciplines in diverse media. Students are prepared for careers in art and the department operates a gallery for the presentation of student, faculty and special exhibitions The gallery provides opportunity for academic and career development with an emphasis on professional presentation of works. The department also serves as a resource center for artists and arts groups. Emphasis is placed on Alaska Native Arts, given the university’s location and the diversity of Native cultures represented in the student body and the value placed upon Alaska Native culture and art in the North.