Art Program Vision & Mission

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To guide it through the coming decade, the Abington College Art Program is dedicated to the following vision:


As one of the newest art schools in a metropolitan area that hosts some of the oldest in the nation, the Program aspires to be recognized as a regional leader in liberal-arts-oriented professional art and design education. It wishes to thus distinguish itself through innovative curriculum modeling combining traditional and contemporary approaches toward art making, excellence in developing students’ artistic expression and professional skills, and the ability to foster qualitative analytical and critical thinking.


The Program wishes to contribute to the evolution of theoretical developments in the fields of art and design through faculty and undergraduate research, creative work, publications, exhibitions and other programs that contribute to the body of knowledge in our disciplines.


Through increased outreach to the campus and larger community, the Program wishes to make significant regional contributions to and with partners including art institutions, other educational entities, visiting artists and professionals.



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The Art Program places professional art instruction within the solid framework of an affordable, high quality, intellectually stimulating liberal arts education. The Program develops strong foundational understanding of visual art elements, principles, history and theory through a common core of study prior to admission in the major. It engenders a broad understanding of media through exposure to a cross-section of studios at the intermediate level. It culminates with specific media concentrations for students to gain expertise in Drawing and Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture, Ceramics, or New Media. Through this balance of studio work, theory, criticism, art history, and general education, the Program helps future artists and designers prepare for graduate study, professional careers, and personal growth in the art and design fields.


As an essential component of human culture and therefore an indispensable element of liberal arts education, art balances the curriculum to develop the whole mind. Thus, the Program offers courses introducing art, art history and studio experiences to the entire academic community. These encounters encourage appreciation for aesthetics, creative problem solving, self-expression, knowledge and understanding of other cultures, qualitative analytical and critical thinking, and visual literacy in a world now dominated by instantaneous and global visual communication. These are but a few of the transferable skills enhancing all areas of study in a liberal arts environment, thereby developing the most important intellectual needs for a balanced and forward-thinking society.


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The four goals of the Abington College Art Program are:


  1. To educate future artists, designers, and art scholars through a combination of professional training and liberal studies.
  2. To contribute to the visual culture of the college and community through the creation and exhibition of art and design.
  3. To create a body of scholarly knowledge pertaining to the theory and practice of art.
  4. To integrate a general education in the visual arts with other areas of study pursued in the college.


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The objectives of the Abington College Art Program are based on the four goals.


To educate through professional and liberal studies, the Art Program:

  • Maintains and awards a Bachelor of Arts in Art (BA) degree.
  • Develops a strong understanding of the foundation of visual art elements, principles, history, and theory through a common core of study, prior to admission in the major.
  • Expands broad understanding of media through exposure to a cross-section of intermediate-level studios, prior to admission in the major.
  • Offers specific media concentrations for students in the degree program to gain expertise in Drawing and Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture, Ceramics, or New Media.
  • Participates with and contributes to the Bachelor of Arts in Integrative Arts (BA) degree program.
  • Encourages students to enroll in courses that have high synergy with studio work.


To contribute to the visual culture, the Art Program:

  • Administers a program of art exhibitions that includes student, faculty, and visiting artist work, along with work produced in other programs in the community.
  • Via a jury process in conjunction with the Bertha Lear Exhibition, bestows awards for the best student work, including a purchase award for the permanent campus art collection, and recognizes these students during campus award ceremonies.
  • Partners with Abington Art Center to create a professional-level, off-campus venue for exhibition of graduating student work.
  • Partners to bring the best work created in local high school art programs to a college venue.
  • Encourages the local community to visit and view gallery exhibitions.
  • Maintains an accessible online presence through web-based galleries, blogs and, where appropriate, course content.


To create a body of knowledge, the Art Program:

  • Expects faculty to be active in the creation and dissemination of original works of art, research, exhibitions and publications.
  • Gives faculty flexible opportunities to develop and evolve course content in their area of media concentration.
  • Encourages students and faculty to partner in undergraduate research (ACURA) projects, exhibitions, and publications.


To integrate general education, the Art Program:

  • Delivers courses in art appreciation, art history and studio work that are open to the entire academic community.
  • Encourages faculty to participate in First Year Experience, Learn at Lunch, ACURA and similar programs aimed at the general campus audience.
  • Opens lectures and exhibitions by visiting artist to the entire community.


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Art Program Strategic Plan 2013-23


Creating a Twenty-First Century Art Program

In the Spring and Summer of 2012, the Art Program faculty conducted a strategic planning process that responds and contributes to the overall Abington College Strategic Plan.


The Plan demonstrates the faculty's committment to creating the finest, most affordable art program with a liberal arts focus in the region, one that honors the mission, vision, goals, and objectives outlined above.


Click here to download the Abington College Art Program Strategic Plan

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