Welcome to the School of Art
The School of Art in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University provides an environment where you can develop and hone your artistic skills, have the freedom to grow aesthetically and opportunities to stretch your limits.
The School of Art in Arizona State University Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts is one of the largest comprehensive art programs at a public research university in the United States. The School of Art supports a broad range of art practices and research, several nationally ranked programs, and a growing faculty of world-class artists and scholars. Furthermore, the breadth of disciplines and instruction in fine arts, fashion, art education, art history and museum studies are seldom equaled by other institutions. The School of Art provides students with the opportunity to establish a professional record including exhibitions, publications, presentations, awards and grants. At the School of Art, students also gain access to a professional network supported by a robust visiting artist and scholar program and are mentored individually from the start of their academic career through to their capstone experience.
Room to grow
The School of Art is committed to cultivating interdisciplinarity while supporting vibrant and productive partnerships between the university and communities that are local, regional, national and global. The School of Art curriculum is designed for students to develop and deepen their technical skills and knowledge on a range of topics, including climate change, emergent technologies and decolonizing museums. At the School of Art, students will have opportunities to pursue their interests and passions, exploring creativity fully while developing their ideas and aesthetic sensibilities. The Herberger Institute’s cutting-edge ASU Art Museum and Ceramic Research Center in conjunction with the School of Art galleries (Harry Wood Gallery, Gallery 100, Northlight Gallery and Step Gallery) provide space for students to pursue and reflect on their research interests. The School of Art also offers students professionalization experiences that expand beyond the studio and classroom with internships, student teaching experiences, study-abroad programs, exhibition opportunities and collaboration with arts professionals within a spectrum ranging from the local to the international.
Inspiration and connection
Exceptional lighting, striking landscapes and mild winters have attracted people to Arizona for more than a century, establishing Arizona as home to one of the nation’s largest metropolitan cities. Within this culturally rich environment there exists a diverse arts ecology, where students can connect with artists and the natural environment and visit major museums and galleries for aesthetic and professional inspiration.
The School of Art is a nationally ranked institution embedded in a Research I university. Our mission is to support students in becoming engaged and socially responsible artists, scholars and educators who support the production of groundbreaking and impactful research. At the School of Art, we cultivate an environment where students can be heard, exchange ideas and develop long-lasting relationships that extend beyond the university. Our world-renowned faculty encourage students to be curious, compassionate, collaborative and situated. The school’s curriculum is designed to create new knowledge, insights and strategies for addressing today’s pressing challenges across diverse perspectives, backgrounds and histories. Our students graduate with the skills and knowledge to participate in and influence systems that define our world and shape the cultural narratives that will come to define our time.
In 1958, the Department of Art approved its first degrees, which were an MA in art as well as art history. In 1965, the Department of Art, which had been a unit of the College of Liberal Arts, joined the new College of Fine Arts under the direction of Harry Wood, who was the Chair of the Department. In 1970, the Department of Art moved into a new building that offered spacious studios and lecture halls. By that time, the art faculty had doubled in size from 13 to 26 faculty members. As the 1980s began, the Department of Art became the School of Art, and the position of chair was replaced with a director. Later in the decade, the Art Warehouse was built to contain course areas that used hazardous materials. This, in turn, freed up space in the Art Building for other needs.
In 2009, the School of Art became part of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, with the merger of the Katherine K. Herberger College of the Arts and the College of Design. In 2014, the school's graduate programs began to move downtown to the newly renovated warehouse space, Grant Street Studios. Nearly a decade later, the School of Art has grown to occupy nine buildings across two campuses (downtown Phoenix and Tempe). The School of Art is the primary occupant or co-occupant of six buildings (Art Building, Art Warehouse, Grant Street Studios, Matthews Hall, Fusion on First and ASU Performing and Media Arts building) and a non-primary occupant of three additional buildings (Mirabella, Design South and Sun Devil Hall). Future spaces of occupancy reside within the Omni Hotel new parking structure and the Arcadia Residential building.
Today, with 20-plus staff members and 80-plus tenure/tenure-track/career-track faculty, the school offers online and in-person courses in art history, art education and studio art, leading to degrees of Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Master of Arts, Master of Fine Arts and Doctor of Philosophy as well as minors in three areas and certificate programs. The school has over 2,500 undergraduate student majors, 1,000-plus student minors and more than 60 graduate students.