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The Visiting Artists Program (VAP) at UCSC hosts public presentations by artists each year in lectures, symposia, performances and screenings as well as studio art courses taught by a Visiting Artists in Residence twice a year. It is a diverse new program that showcases artists working in all media including sound, video, performance, painting, sculpture, print media and photography, in addition to the work of curators and art critics.

The primary mission of the Visiting Artists Program is to educate and foster a greater understanding and appreciation of contemporary art through discourse. VAP curates a theme-based lecture series, “Issues and Artists” each winter quarter, hosting visiting artists on a weekly basis. In curating programs for the course, VAP maintains a commitment to ethnic and gender diversity that supports socially engaged and theoretically informed aesthetic dialogue.

The Visiting Artists in Residence Program invites an art professional for a 10-week residency during fall and spring quarters. During the residency the artists teach two unique and originally-themed courses, enabling students to work collaboratively with the visiting artists. These courses are designed by the artists and approved by the art department as a means to create a dynamic culture of community through active research within the studio art program at UCSC.

The Art Department, in collaboration, with the new Center for Art and Visual Studies, is committed to bringing national and international artists and curators to UCSC to teach, lecture and involve students in theories and practices surrounding current and shifting topics of interest within the art world. The lectures are free and open to the public.