University at Buffalo
Department of


Art & Design

Art History

Visual Studies

About Art at UB

“Different people see things differently.” The Department of Art at the University at Buffalo is dedicated to developing the creative skills of students in studio and post-studio art and graphic design, as well as their academic skills in aesthetics, critical theory, and art history in order to enable students to represent their unique visions within the contemporary cultural environment.

Some of us engage painting, sculpture, video, photography, performance and a host of new digital technologies to explore the richness of the imagination and the diverse possibilities of experience. Others of us pursue the same investigation in academic prose. But what unites us all is a belief that the pursuit of knowledge and the power of creative acts contributes to the development of our consciousness and aids us in optimally engaging the cultural, social, and political questions and conversations of our times.

Students in Art at UB benefit from the combination of a rigorous studio curriculum and the study of contemporary critical art theory within the context of a wide ranging university education. These skills can be transferred to a wide range of applications and career paths.

Michel Foucault, 1971

Michel Foucault at UB, 1971. Photo by Bruce Jackson.

Since its founding, the University at Buffalo has been dedicated to shepherding the new, whether in terms of artistic practice or novel forms of academic analysis. When Michel Foucault first taught at an American university, it was at University at Buffalo, and in so doing he joined the likes of Leslie Fiedler, dean of American literary critics; poets such as Robert Creeley or Charles Olson; composers like Morton Feldman — in short, the cutting edge.

To this day, Buffalo carries on this rich tradition of progressive scholarship (Joan Copjec directs our Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Culture) and artistic practice (Tony Conrad, Professor of Media Study, began several decades of teaching at UB in 1979, and Bruce Jackson, SUNY Distinguished Professor, James Agee, Professor of American Culture, Affiliated Faculty of Visual Studies, is a leading documentary photographer and progressive activist.) The University at Buffalo is a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB’s more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs.

202 Center for the Arts, North Campus
Buffalo, New York 14260-6010
(716) 645-6878
(716) 645-6970 fax