It is critical that art faculty have access to meaningful professional development in order to continue to set the standards of excellence in art education for which the Art Department is recognized regionally and nationally. Unlike other disciplines, for which attending lectures and conferences may constitute an effective form of professional development, in the visual arts the on-going development of craft skills in the utilization of materials, critical thinking skills relative to self-critique and problem solving in the origination of the work of art, and the studio as an environment for learning how to teach particular aspects of art-making, are the critical forms. As practicing and exhibiting artists the art faculty are in a position to set an example for art majors: Art majors are required and expected to devote 8 hours, per studio course, each week to working outside of class time on art projects and assignments. This is not only a crucial part of the learning process but also the beginning of a work ethic leading to the development of a true studio/work practice.
To help meet these instructional goals, the full-time art faculty dedicate at least one full work day each week to maintaining an art practice within their studios. The fruits of this labor are visible through the annual art faculty exhibit at the beginning of each fall semester, other exhibits the faculty participate in throughout the year, and in the coursework produced by students in studio courses.