Message from the Chair

Richard Gray

Welcome to the Department of Art, Art History & Design at the University of Notre Dame. We are a multidisciplinary department offering programs of study in Studio Art, Art History, and Design at both the undergraduate and the graduate levels. The mission of the department is to provide students with intellectually informed, hands-on instruction in creative studies within the context of a liberal arts university.

Throughout history, one of the shared features of great civilizations and cultures has been the creative and critical influence of their art and design. One of the inherent values of visual art is that by giving tangible form to the social, political, and private aspects of human existence, it makes visible the invisible; it provokes the expansion of intellectual boundaries, gives form to complex ideas, reveals deep but abstract emotions and extends our capacity to comprehend the lives of others.

Students with a degree in creative studies are uniquely competitive among job-seeking graduates today. It is well recognized that creative study fosters methods of scholarship and production that employers and research institutions alike find compelling. A creative person draws on innovative approaches to solve problems; is willing to take initiatives in the face of ambiguity and uncertainty; is able to accept critical feedback to revise or expand an idea; can successfully communicate the value of their approach to others; and has the ability to mobilize resources to realize their ideas in an original form. In short, creative study is essential to the educational preparation needed to compete in the complex world culture we work and live in today.

Our classrooms and studios are located in primarily in Riley Hall and West Lake Hall. While each program is marked by its own special skills and training, it is the conversations and synergies that emerge from our interdisciplinary encounters that makes our department central to the creative energy that can be found on the campus of Notre Dame.

As you consider your educational options at Notre Dame, I encourage you to explore our website, meet with our faculty advisors, and talk with your family and friends about the value of becoming a major or incorporating creative studies into your college experience.

-Professor Richard Gray, Department Chair