Chair's Message

Welcome to the CSUSB Visual Arts Center. This unique self-contained facility, nestled in the foothills of the mountains just North of San Bernardino, California, is home to the Department of Art, the Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art (RAFFMA), the Visual Resource Center (VRC), and Arts Connection (the Arts Council for San Bernardino County). Between us we teach, advise, support and inspire a broad community both within the university and well beyond in the local and regional areas that CSUSB serves, as well as a nation-wide and internationally with our community of partners. We have around 500 innovative and imaginative students per year, all working toward a BA or MFA in Art and/or Design. With our world-class facilities and workshops (painting, drawing, printmaking, wood, metal, ceramics, glass, furniture design, chemical photography, digital photography, video editing, web authoring, digital fabrication, and arts education) we literally have the tools to help you create art and design work in any medium, in any format, and at almost any scale.

This vibrant creative environment is a place where you can pursue your personal educational and artistic goals, whilst developing your skills, knowledge and experience in art and design practice, history and theory, broadening your understanding of visual cultures all around us in the world.

The complexity of today’s social ecology that we all inhabit is increasing driven and held together by visual languages. Human societies have always relied on different forms of visual communication, but today we experience, consume, digest and produce more visual communications than ever before. For example, digital electronic communications technologies touch all our lives in one way or another, and their principal mode of communication, their language, is visual imagery; whether icons, apps, signs, photographs, GIFs, TIFFs, JPEGs, QuickTime files, or other still and moving images these are the media that we use to communicate more than ever before. Also, the designs that make up the physical environment of our homes, our workplaces, our streets and our cities, most everything that we live with, owe their very existence, their shape and form, to the innovations in the history of art and design. Equally, the developments and innovations in the fine and applied arts allow us to experience new and sometimes strange ways of thinking through looking, by making, and in experiencing complex and unexpected objects and imagery; helping us to challenge our own view of how we think and experience the world around us. All of these ways of participating in the world of art and design can literally help us understand better, and actively change, the ways in which we interact, communicate and operate as a society.

As a student, learning to interpret, operate and productively challenge these creative visual and material languages involves gaining skills and knowledge that are a powerful currency in industries well beyond the art and design spheres, and these also filter down into all our everyday activities in exciting and surprising ways, enriching all our lives. Also, the global communities of the contemporary art, applied arts, and design worlds are today bigger than ever, providing a huge range of jobs, career paths and lifelong learning experiences in their own right.

The outstanding faculty and staff at the CSUSB Visual Arts Center are here to help and support you succeed in this exciting and dynamic learning environment, where, should you choose to start the journey, you will be introduced to a broad universe of creative ways of seeing, making, thinking and learning.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Professor Matthew Poole,
Chair, Department of Art, CSUSB