A+D Mission Statement

The School of Art + Design at Portland State University consists of designers, educators, and art historians actively engaged in their respective fields and with the extended community. As part of an urban university, the School of Art + Design is dedicated to helping students understand and experience ways that artists and their works are involved in a larger social context, both in the contemporary world and in the course of world history.

The foundation of the School of Art + Design is the development of a visual, verbal, and critical language of the arts for future artists and scholars, as well as for members of the community. Since visual arts are a form of communicatiion related to all other forms, understanding the theoretical bases and critical interpretations of this communication is a crucial component of our curriculum. At the same time, because the visual arts are a unique form of communication, students are trained in the necessary technical skills, the terminology and processes specific to the production of the visual arts.

The School requires all students to both study the history of art and to have studio experience. The School of Art + Design supports the full integration of art/design studio practice with art history and theory. Whether in the studio, computer lab, lecture hall, or seminar room, students have the opportunity to forge connections between traditions of visual art and their own developing imagination and expression.