Painting + Drawing / About

The Painting + Drawing program provides the intellectual, creative, and physical environment that best fosters excellence in painting and drawing for students and faculty. The first step to successful work in painting and drawing is a firm basis in the fundamentals of drawing.

From that basis, the program provides comprehensive education in drawing and painting, which stresses both breadth and depth. An awareness of the breadth of what has been done in the past and what is being done in the present encourages students to relate their own practice to both history and the contemporary context.


—Develop written, intellectual, and creative strength and plan for future careers within the specific academic context of the visual arts while benefiting from broad study across diverse learning communities at the University of Washington.

—Build technical proficiency, skill, and contextual knowledge of traditional and non-traditional areas of artistic practice, art history, visual culture, and criticism.

—Engage in and explore the diverse and influential issues raised via the study of visual literacy and the practice of the creative process.

—Understand and practice an experimental approach to problem solving.

—Build a strong awareness and knowledge of the power and transcendence of visual images and their ability to communicate ideas, excellence and understanding across gender and age boundaries, culture and language barriers.

—Learn to research, question, organize and synthesize information about existing ideas and practices, develop new ideas and areas of inquiry, write about and articulate issues to peers, faculty and the community at large.

—Combine critical thinking and problem solving with the development of ideas and conceptual skill.

—Understand working methods and develop the ability to translate a conceptual idea into a creative solution.

—Develop a close familiarity with the notion of ‘research’ and the blending of theoretical and material practice.

—Apply a self critical, articulate, and individual approach to finding aesthetic solutions to visual issues and challenges.

Assessment and Outcomes

Art majors complete a senior year series of 400 level capstone courses culminating in public shows of graduating student work in the Jacob Lawrence Gallery.

Students prepare and deliver public source presentations and are responsible for participating in group and individual exhibitions in the CMA and Sand Point galleries and/or in other public spaces in Seattle.

Portfolios and written artist statements are prepared by students and reviewed by faculty.

Courses in professional practices are completed with an eye to recognizing the learning accomplishments of students.

“The foundation classes in drawing helped build my visual vocabulary, so now I feel more confident painting the figure.”

Adrian, P+D BA

“You can tour the graduate studios and see what they’re working on…it’s really inspiring to be around that level of artisitic inquiry. It helps me project what that could be like for me.”

Sean, P+D BFA