Art and Art History

A student paints the color on a dragonfly as she and others paint a mural on a wall.


The Department of Art and Art History is dedicated to developing students’ critical thinking, creativity, visual literacy, technical skills, and knowledge about the history of art. We provide high-quality instruction in art education, art history, studio art, and interior architecture. In all areas, we endeavor to create an environment that supports professional artistic activities and research in traditional and new media and methodologies.

Our faculty is committed to fostering a sense of community that enables students to be simultaneously nurtured and challenged. The faculty takes pride in being easily accessible, eager to explore ideas with students and help them realize their creative concerns. As teachers, we pride ourselves on maintaining high standards that employ both well-tested and innovative methods. We integrate the investigation of the visual with political, historical, and moral issues.

Members of the faculty are nationally and internationally recognized. Our artists, scholars, and designers have won significant public commissions and grants, shown with well-established galleries, received awards for distinguished teaching, written for key journals and presses, and been invited speakers throughout the world. In addition, renowned visiting artists, art historians, and critics introduce challenging concepts in lectures, exhibitions, workshops, and critiques of student work. We offer Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees and are National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) accredited.


The Department of Art and Art History offers state-of-the-art, well-equipped labs and studios for ceramics, drawing, digital media, glass design, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. The department also offers fully equipped wood and metal shops and a fully functioning foundry. In addition, the department offers a variety of specific academic resources including the Ira Latour Visual Resource Collection which houses digital images, slides, books, films, prints, photographs, and periodicals supporting art courses; The Jacki Headley University Art Gallery and The Janet Turner Print Museum that mount shows of historical and contemporary art every semester, as well as maintaining permanent study collections; and a student tech lab providing such services as photo-quality printing, large format printing, custom vinyl cuts, matte cutting, and dry mounting for course-related projects.


Professional degrees in art, emphasizing problem-solving and creativity, lead to an endless variety of career opportunities. Our art and art history alumni teach at all levels, own galleries, and work as studio artists, museum curators, illustrators, fashion designers, or muralists. Some become interior designers for commercial and residential design at architectural firms. Others work as market representatives, lighting designers, or historic preservation design specialists. Still more are involved with computer graphics, film and video production, art publishing, art restoration, and the design and production of high-quality crafts.

With the ever-changing world of art thriving, the world needs artists! Thankfully, with the assistance of the wonderful staff and faculty of the California State University, Chico Art and Art History Department, our students will be more than ready to answer the call.