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Art and Design




We will be a creative and cultural hub for the greater Joplin metropolitan area as well as the four-states region by providing a relevant educational experience in the visual arts through quality teaching, experiential learning, and mentorship.

The Department of Art and Design integrates a university liberal arts education with professional training in art. We help creative individuals develop into designers, teachers, and studio artists.

Art & Design Learning Outcomes

  • Foster and focus student passion for visual art through a strong foundation program with exposure to multiple international and aesthetic experiences.
  • Provide resources and an environment that nurtures conceptual development, critical thinking and creative problem-solving in a rapidly changing world landscape.
  • Ensure graduates have deeply meaningful, immersive, educationally enriching and developmental curricular or co-curricular experiences.
  • Develop multiple pathways for student attainment of valuable and relevant credentials.
  • Promote visual art and aesthetic education as a community resource through presentations, exhibitions, judging, and active involvement in organizations.
  • Strategically grow enrollment and increase student attainment through graduation.
  • Strengthen undergraduate creative research and engage in high-quality scholarly activities.


Departmental Strengths

  • Full-time faculty have an international art experience in credentials, teaching experiences, exhibition records, and/or have led study abroad trips.
  • Graduates all take part in public, final exhibitions of their work (not just BFA majors).
  • A high percentage of graduates travel abroad to study art.
  • Our large study-collection of African art and artifacts provides immersive research opportunities in museum studies.


Offerings and Opportunities

  • Art Appreciation and History courses that fulfill the Core 42 requirement for non-art majors in the 5B Fine Arts area
  • Themed exhibitions in the department's art gallery
  • Visiting Artist and Designer Series
  • Interdisciplinary Symposiums
  • Robust Study Abroad programming
  • All 100 Level and some 200 Level art courses are open to non-art majors

The Department also offers Minors in Art History, Graphic Design and Studio Art, and Certificates in Illustration and Publication Design.

Art courses satisfy requirements for interdisciplinary credentials, including the Minor in Multimedia and Certificates of Arts Administration and Leadership, European Studies, Global Black Studies, Public/Applied History, and Equality, Diversity, Inclusion & Representation in the Performing Arts.

300-level and higher courses generally require prerequisites.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

We believe every person should have the opportunity to participate in and experience art and design. The arts are a transformative way to honor, teach, and learn about cultures and experiences different than one’s own. We are dedicated to social justice and respect for individual and group identities and therefore do not discriminate based on race, culture, age, social-economic status, religion, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy, or any other basis for discrimination. We are eager to listen, learn, and do better to undo systemic injustices that impact us all.

Acknowledgment of Osage Nation

The Department of Art and Design respectfully acknowledges our role as settlers and guests on the traditional, ancestral lands of the Osage Nation. The process of knowing and acknowledging the land we stand on is a way of honoring and expressing gratitude for the ancestral Osage people who were on this land before us. We appreciate the influence of the vibrant cultures of Indigenous peoples and are conscious of the role in colonization that institutions of learning have played.

Contact The Department

Frank A. Pishkur
Chair, Art & Design Department