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The visual arts expand our consciousness and appreciation of the world and enhance our abililty to interact with it by presenting objects and images that excite the senses, stir the emotions and engage the intellect. The visual arts make life more vivid by providing profound experiences of great quality.

By encouraging students to experience the arts, we promote awareness and sensitivity to subtlety and nuance, and we open minds to diversity. By encouraging students to talk and write about art, we promote the development of analytical and expressive skills. By encouraging students to make art, we promote original thinking, creative problem solving, aesthetic judgment and qualitative discrimination. By encouraging the study of history and the recognition of the common ground of human experience, we increase tolerance and promote cooperation between ourselves and others.

At SFA, we are committed to instruction that helps students acquire skills and achieve understanding of the fundamentals of art production. We are equally committed to increasing the students’ ability to think critically and to solve problems creatively. We believe in the efficacy of hard work, and we trust that rewarding careers are always available to those who demonstrate excellence in their work.

Stephen F. Austin State University is a fully accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.


The mission of the School of Art is to provide high quality baccalaureate, graduate and public educational opportunities suitable for scholars, producers and viewers of art. All of the School’s programs, resources and activities are intended to fulfill this mission.

Read the university mission statement


Among its activities, the School of Art presents an extensive exhibition program through the SFA galleries on campus and an off-campus Art Center in historic downtown Nacogdoches. The School of Art sponsors the annual Texas National art competition and exhibition, juried by leading artists of the day. The School of Art provides opportunities to travel to major American and European art centers as part of its programs. Internships in students’ areas of concentration and other educational opportunities for professional development are provided both locally and in regional centers.