UW-Madison Art Department - Department Overview



Main Office

UW-Madison Art Department
School of Education
6241 Humanities Building
455 North Park Street
MadisonWI  53706

Tel: 608/262-1660
Fax: 608/265-4593

Email: artinfo@education.wisc.edu
or by contact form

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Art Department Overview

Photo of the Humanities BuildingLocated in the George L. Mosse Humanities and Art Lofts buildings, we are part of an internationally known research university with a remarkable history. We are proud of the accomplishments of our faculty and alumni and of the creative promise in our students. A wealth of resources on campus, in the Madison arts community and abroad, enable us to bring established artists to meet with our students and faculty.

Photo of the front entrance.We are especially excited about the recent move of our papermaking, ceramics and photo facilities to the renovated art lofts and plans for an adjacent art building that will eventually house the department in a single, contemporary site. We invite you to come and explore the inspired, creative world of the UW-Madison Art Department.

Degree Offerings

B.S., B.F.A., M.A., & M.F.A. in Studio Art 
B.S. in Art Education

Mission Statement

The Art Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is committed to teaching art in the context of a major research university and a vibrant intellectual community. Its mission is based on the premise that art is the nexus of all the humanities and that creative expression in the visual arts has provided some of the most enduring contributions to society and culture. The art department strives to provide both a fertile and challenging environment for aesthetic and critical engagement, and the technical skills necessary for the practice of art in the changing landscape of the twenty-first century. It encourages innovation and cross-disciplinary activity, and believes that students should utilize the vast academic resources of the university to inform and deepen their artistic vision.

At UW-Madison, education in the visual arts is provided by an outstanding faculty of accomplished practicing visual artists supplemented by an ongoing and active visiting artist series that presents both emerging and established artists. Disciplines are taught in well-equipped studio facilities that include the areas of painting, printmaking, graphic design, sculpture, ceramics, metalsmithing, glass, furniture-making, papermaking, photography, digital media, video, and performance. Both students and faculty cross these disciplinary boundaries easily and without hesitation, and students are encouraged to find their creative voice either within or outside of these boundaries. Artistic practice is defined by attitude, modes of inquiry, and processes of conceptualization—material and media are seen as a means to this end. 

Drawing class with Gail Simpson

Expanding the parameters of art-making in a continued effort to remain current and relevant is part of the Department’s mission. However, the Department is equally committed to maintaining the more traditional art forms that have proven their ability to remain relevant throughout centuries of change.

The Department has a distinguished history of providing exceptional education in the visual arts in a stimulating, nurturing and diverse community. We, as a department, believe that the arts can make a difference on the local, national, and international level, and that the arts play a vital role in the future of the global community.

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