Art Practice

University of California, Berkeley


UC Berkeley’s Department of Art Practice provides professional art training within the context of a world-renowned public research university. The department offers innovative, interdisciplinary courses leading to BA and MFA degrees. As practicing visual artists, the faculty of the Department of Art Practice hold as a principal goal the representation and analysis of human experiences through creative research in visual art. In making art, faculty members seek to expand the boundaries of cultures and the limits of perceptions through rigorous experimentation with art forms, media, and content. Considering human experiences from an experiential standpoint, experimentation leads to questioning beliefs, rituals, and philosophies as well as social, economic, and institutional structures. In teaching, the mission is to help students pose profound questions by developing their creative voices, mastering their practices, relating to their audiences, and connecting to histories of art and cultures.

Four goals underlie the teaching in the Department of Art:

  1. To advance the body of knowledge of human experience through aesthetic investigation.
  2. To help students learn to think visually.
  3. To help students understand the strategies that artists have devised to deal with aesthetic problems in both traditional and nontraditional methods of art-making.
  4. To help students develop creative intelligence through practicing a visual arts discipline.

Facilities and Resources

The Department of Art Practice facilities include six studio spaces: Printmaking Studio, Painting and Drawing Studio, Wood and Metal Sculpture Studio, Digital Media Labs (for photography, video, audio, and animation productions) in the Anthropology and Art Practice Building, the Ceramics Studio, and Project Lab in Wurster Hall.

Located in 116 Anthropology and Art Practice Building, the Worth Ryder Art Gallery (WRAG) has served as the Department’s cultural and artistic hub for graduate and undergraduate students, faculty, and the Bay Area arts community for over 40 years. The gallery serves primarily as an exhibition platform for emerging contemporary art practices and methodologies.

The Garron Reading Room, located in 346 Anthropology and Art Practice Building, houses a collection of books, periodicals, and digital media.

Undergraduate Program

Practice of Art: BA, Minor

Graduate Program

Practice of Art: Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

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Art Practice

Contact Information

Department of the Practice of Art

345 Anthropology and Art Practice Building

Phone: 510-642-2582

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Department Chair

Ronald Rael

Department Manager

Erik Nelson

Phone: 510-642-4190

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