In the name of art

Following a thorough vetting by faculty members and the Faculty Senate, and approval by the president and Board of Regents, the WSU Department of Fine Arts is now the WSU Department of Art.

The name change reflects the breadth and depth of the artistic areas available at WSU, yet the use of the singular “art” is intentional. The term “fine arts” encompasses visual arts but also is often understood to include disciplines such as music, poetry, film, and dance. Art, singular, on the other hand, is broadly understood to refer to visual, physical, or experiential creative works, which is the realm of the WSU Department of Art faculty artists.

“Our new moniker better reflects the wide range of disciplines we cover and the limitless possibilities that art offers to enrich our lives and our world,” said Squeak Meisel, chair of the department and professor of sculpture. “The system-wide name change also affirms WSU as an inclusive space where individual creative expression and visual communication is nurtured and can flourish.” (Read Meisel’s full message on the department website.)

Across three campuses, the Department of Art provides exceptional-quality education, mentorship, and resources and supports a vibrant community of artists, thinkers, and innovators. Areas of creative focus include ceramicsdigital mediadrawing, paintingphotographyprintmaking, and sculpture. Undergraduate students may also specialize in art history for their major or minor.

“The new name for the Department of Art reflects the creativity, practice, and teaching our faculty have pursued for some time,” said Todd Butler, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “Art can be found, made, studied, and experienced by people of all walks of life and in settings of all manner. Such openness is vital for today’s global society and is central to our land-grant mission of providing access to education in art in all its forms.” 

The Department of Art invites community members to regularly visit the galleries in the Fine Arts Center—the name of the building will remain unchanged for now—and to follow the department on Facebook and Instagram to see student and faculty work from across the WSU system.

In addition to the department name change, the department’s website address has a new URL:

By Joanna Steward, College of Arts and Sciences