York University's Department of Art and Art History offers a comprehensive, balanced program of creative work and academic studies, combining scholarly work with practical training in a broad range of artistic media.
Throughout the program, courses in art history, theory and criticism are offered alongside intensive studio courses in drawing, print media, photography, time-based media, painting and sculpture. In the studio and classroom, both traditional and contemporary concerns and processes are addressed, including new digital applications in the visual arts and issues such as contemporary critical theory applied to art-making and interpretation. Guest lectures and workshops by visiting artists, historians, curators and critics round out the program.
Visual Arts students have many opportunities to exhibit their work in galleries on campus. Each studio area mounts an annual group show in the Department's in-house gallery, or in other settings. In addition, Visual Arts students frequently present their own solo or group exhibitions. York University's annual mural competition, which commissions site-specific works of art for temporary or permanent installation on campus, offers students a unique opportunity to become involved in the public art process.
The Department of Visual Arts is part of Ontario's only Faculty of Fine Arts, which also houses degree programs in Dance, Design, Film, Music, Theatre, and Fine Arts Cultural Studies. Cross-departmental activities are strongly encouraged, and Visual Arts students enrich their educational experience by drawing on courses and resources in these areas as well as the University at large.