Art & Design
Students immerse themselves in a rigorous studio art environment while also pursuing core liberal arts studies within a Big Ten research university. At Rutgers, there are approximately 100 majors and minors in which Art & Design students are eligible to double major or minor, including art history, cinema studies, philosophy, women’s & gender studies, environmental studies, Africana studies, engineering, and business, among countless others. Our dedicated, 18 full-time Art & Design faculty work in different media, disciplines, and critical perspectives and are passionately engaged in their respective artistic fields. Nationally and internationally distinguished, six are winners of the prestigious Guggenheim fellowship. Our faculty exhibit work, mount performances, and present screenings in galleries, museums, and exhibition spaces around the world—from the Whitney, Met, and MoMA in New York City, to the Pompidou Center in Paris, and venues in Turkey, China, Japan, India, and throughout Europe, and elsewhere. With a campus less than an hour from New York City—and just over an hour from Philadelphia–students gain exposure and access to the resources, programs, and vibrancy of one of the key international centers of the art world.
Learn more about what stands out in Art & Design:
The Visiting Artists program is central to Art & Design and includes weekly lectures, studio visits, and critiques by leading artists, curators, and writers working across a wide spectrum of practices and critical perspectives. Students across all programs are invited and encouraged to attend these public lectures, which take place throughout the academic year. All visiting artist talks are free and open to the public.
Previous visiting artists have included:
Alex Da Corte
Wickerham & Lomax
Farah Al Qasimi
Jennie C. Jones
Sara Greenberger Rafferty
Layqa Nuna Yawar
Matthew Day Jackson
Mary Walling Blackburn
Malik & Alexandro Segade Gaines
Art & Design Thesis Critics
Each year, Art & Design invites a range of critics to attend the BFA and MFA Thesis Exhibitions. Students benefit from prominent curators, artists, and critics who work in the art and design fields and offer valuable feedback on student work.
Critics from previous years include J Lax, David Everitt Howe, Jocelyn Miller, Colleen Asper, Jennifer Gross, Nora Khan, Simone Subal Dumbadze, John Pilson, Ben Davis, Aria Dean, Roxana Fabius, Allison Cooper, Jasmin Tsou , and Alan Gil.
Design Lecture Series
The Design Lecture Series brings design practitioners and scholars to the department to address seminal issues in contemporary design through presentations and discussions. Each lecturer presents their critical perspective and how their unique practice addresses the current landscape. Students have an opportunity to connect with these speakers in intimate classroom conversations. All design lectures are open to the department and serve as a valuable meeting point for students in different programs. Previous visiting lecturers include:
Ayham Ghraowi and Matt Wolff
Federico Pérez Villoro
E Roon Kang
Young Sun Compton
Caspar Lam and YuJune Park
McCandliss and Campbell
Rutgers Printmaking Studio
The Rutgers Printmaking Studio is host to a research-driven Print Collaboration Program with professional artists and students. It serves to cultivate an environment for publication, education, and the advancement of prints and multiples. The studio fosters experiential learning—not addressed through traditional structures, but instead implemented into the curriculum through hands-on class participation.
Professional Print Collaborations are integral to the Graduate Print Class and undergraduate classes. Projects help the development of critical problem-solving abilities. The studio provides invited artists the environment to research topics based on current social issues in the art world and world at large through the catalyst of student interaction and experimentation, while expanding and enhancing the student’s insight into the creative research process of the professional artist.
The objective of the studio is to allow students to witness how professional artists develop their ideas and conduct critical research, and then bring those ideas to fruition. The creative process, for many undergraduate students, is a nebulous/elusive endeavor that needs illuminating.
The Rutgers Printmaking Studio promotes national and international recognition for Rutgers University. The studio has ongoing relations with multiple institutions in China, which is opening international doors in South Africa, Chile, Belgium, Italy, Nepal, Bulgaria, Poland, and elsewhere. International visiting artist exchange residencies are under way.
Mason Gross Presents
Mason Gross Presents is a year-round event series produced by special funding from the Mason Gross School of the Arts and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. The series combines the educational and community outreach missions of the conservatory through special performances in theater, music, and dance, along with Department of Art & Design exhibitions and other arts events that enhance the educational experience of students while also bringing quality programs to the community. Past guest artists and scholars have included Jeffrey Gibson, Nayland Blake, Coco Fusco, Vija Celmins, John Cohen, Nicole Eisenman, Latoya Ruby Frazier, Glenn Ligon, Antoni Muntadas, Catherine Murphy, Pepon Osorio, Martin Puryear, Michael Rock, Joan Semmel, Richard Serra, and Philip Taaffe, among others.
Recent visiting critics for thesis exhibitions include American Artist, Jennifer Bernstein, Tamara Shopsin, J Lax, David Everitt Howe, Jocelyn Miller, Colleen Asper, Jennifer Gross, Nora Khan, Simone Subal Dumbadze, John Pilson, Ben Davis, Aria Dean, Roxana Fabius, Allison Cooper, Jasmin Tsou, and Alan Gil.
More than 100 study opportunities throughout the globe are offered by semester, as well as winter and summer programs. Students are advised to plan ahead with the undergraduate advisor regarding coursework abroad.
Students interested in pursuing art-specific courses have applied to “Summer: Rutgers Art History in Rome”; “Summer: Rutgers Art in Paris: Spaces, Places, and Pictures”; and Florence University of the Arts in Italy.
VISUAL ARTS MENTORSHIP PROGRAM
The department cultivates close connections between our graduate and undergraduate populations in order to encourage dialogue, collaboration, and camaraderie across our diverse student body. This is nurtured through the Visual Arts Mentorship Program that partners graduate students with undergraduates in their senior year. Graduate student mentors meet periodically with their undergraduate student mentees to offer guidance, feedback, exposure to advanced graduate study, and support as their mentees prepare for their upcoming thesis exhibition, consider graduate education, and ponder life after school.
Established in 2011, the Tepper Family Endowed Chair in Visual Arts at Rutgers University is the first of its kind at Mason Gross School of the Arts. The role may be taken on by artists who have demonstrated consistent excellence in their work. The inaugural Tepper Chair was Catherine Murphy from 2012 to 2015, whose engagement with graduate and undergraduate students took the form of studio visits, group critiques, and guest lectures.
Kara Walker has recently completed a four-year term within the Department of Art & Design, through spring 2019. At Rutgers she has created a graduate think tank around the themes of “Memory, Monuments and Memorials.” These cohorts have undertaken research projects and trips to Atlanta, Georgia, and New Orleans, Louisiana; published artist books; and hosted public events featuring exhibitions and performances open to all. Professors from around the university have been invited as guest lecturers to the Department of Art & Design in recent years, speaking on a rich array of topics related to this theme of Memory, Monuments and Memorials.
Park McArthur holds the current Tepper Chair and will work with undergraduate and graduate students to explore critical questions about the practical and conceptual decisions artists face in their careers. McArthur is organizing a series of meetings, lectures, seminars, and presentations on campus by an array of dynamic artists, curators, and performers “to rethink the normative presumptions and practices that habituate artists’ relationships to their own self-determination.”
While the approaches of each Tepper Chair have been very different, they consistently serve as an inspiration to students as models of artists working at the highest level. The Tepper Chair in Visual Arts is made possible through the gracious support of Marlene A. Brandt and David A. Tepper.
DIVERSITY & INCLUSION
In the Department of Art & Design, academic excellence and artistic relevance are incumbent upon engendering, applying, and supporting inclusive and diverse perspectives to research, pedagogy, service, and leadership in the academy. We passionately support a broadly diverse student body and faculty dedicated to fostering equity and accountability in the academic and social life of our programs and greater community. We cultivate this by deeply valuing and sharing the rich backgrounds, differences, experiences, and identities of our students, faculty, staff members, and programming. The department is committed to modeling a deeply inclusive community that welcomes creative voices from often-underrepresented groups in higher education, including but not limited to artists of color, individuals of diverse gender identities and religious backgrounds, first-generation college students, artists and scholars with disabilities, and those with non-traditional and exceptional pathways to the arts.
Students are eligible to apply for internships via e-blasts throughout the semester, featuring various opportunities for internships and jobs. An internship involves supervised work outside the department and must fulfill an academic purpose; be supervised outside of Mason Gross; and include an evaluation by the outside person who is supervising the student.
Students must complete and submit an internship proposal form before undertaking the internship in order to receive credit. An internship is considered a studio elective or may be used toward VAP (Visual Arts Practice) credit.
Students have worked with various companies and programs including:
- Walt Disney Studios
- Elle magazine
- Marvel Comics
- Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia
- Gray Projects NYC
- NBC Universal
- Johnson Atelier
- Newark Museum
- Mana Contemporary
- New York City galleries and museums
- Embrace Kids Foundation
- Art education
- Art therapy
ZIMMERLI ART MUSEUM
The Zimmerli Art Museum is one of the largest and most distinguished university-based museums in the country. It collects, preserves, researches, and exhibits world-class works of art to provide the university community and diverse regional, national, and international audiences with direct experience of the visual arts. Scholarly activities make art accessible through exhibitions, publications, and educational programs. The museum is headquartered in a 70,000-square-foot facility and has a collection of 60,000 objects ranging from ancient to contemporary art and featuring particularly rich holdings in the areas of French art of the nineteenth century, Russian and Soviet nonconformist art, and American and European works on paper, including prints, drawings, photographs, and rare books.
RUTGERS ART LIBRARY
The Rutgers Art Library, located on Rutgers University–New Brunswick’s College Avenue Campus, was established in 1966 and supports research and teaching in art history, photography, architecture, landscape architecture and visual arts. It holds over 90,000 volumes and provides access to a host of print and electronic journals related to the arts. The Rutgers Art Library also serves as a venue for events and exhibitions with a particular emphasis on Rutgers students, faculty, and local artists. Visit the Art Library online at libraries.rutgers.edu/art.