Art Practice

University of California, Berkeley


UC Berkeley’s Department of Art Practice provides rigorous practical, conceptual, critical, and professional training within the context of a world-renowned public research university. The department prepares students for professional lives within contemporary art, while acknowledging that these can take multiple forms and approaches. The department emphasizes an ethical, global scope, with a necessary encouragement of diversity of viewpoints and modes of practice. It offers innovative media-specific, and interdisciplinary courses leading to BA and MFA degrees. Studio and seminar courses provide essential skills within conceptual and critical frameworks. The faculty consists of national and internationally recognized artists working across a range of media including painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, sculpture, installation, performance, video, animation, sound, social practice, and the newly emerged fields of programming, game design, and virtual and augmented reality.

Five goals underlie the teaching in the Department of Art:

  1. Acquire and develop practical production skills across different disciplines, e.g. digital media, painting, photography, sculpture, video, etc.

  2. Gain knowledge of art histories and how art discourses and practices have adapted into current understandings and forms.

  3. Gain conceptual and critical skills in generating and evaluating artistic work.

  4. Develop the above skills as part of, or within social and ethical practices.

  5. Convert all the above towards professional and career development.

Facilities and Resources

The Department of Art Practice facilities include six studio spaces: Printmaking StudioPainting and Drawing StudioWood and Metal Sculpture Studio, Digital Media Labs (for photography, video, audio, and animation productions) in the Anthropology and Art Practice Building, the Ceramics Studio, Project Lab, and Platform Art Space  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 Programs

Art Practice: Major (BA)

Graduate Program

Art Practice: Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

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Practice of Art

Contact Information

Department of the Practice of Art

345 Anthropology and Art Practice Building

Phone: 510-642-2582

Fax: 510-643-0884

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Chair/Associate Professor

Ronald Rael

Student Services Advisor

Onisha Barham

345 Anthropology and Art Practice Building

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