Message from the Dean

Greetings students, prospective students and parents.

Welcome to the College of Fine Arts at the University of Arizona.

Our high-ranking, professional Schools—School of Art, School of Dance, Fred Fox School of Music and School of Theatre, Film, & Television—are grounded in the long, rich tradition of excellence that extends to all corners of this Fine Arts institution. It is a true privilege to welcome more than 1,600 undergraduate and graduate arts majors this fall semester. Many of you are returning, some new, but all areset to enter our classrooms and studios in the pursuit of an exciting arts degree program.

There is much for which we can feel a collective sense of pride. Our Schools provide a world-class arts education built upon strong curricular foundations. We believe in a “best-of-both-worlds” approach to learning, where programmatic excellence in every discipline is combined with experiential learning outside the classroom. These two spheres of activity work in tandem to prepare students for the ever-evolving professional world they will face once diplomas are in hand.

Further, our faculty are celebrated artists, scholars, and educators who inspire and model success on a daily basis. Through their knowledge and encouragement, they embolden students to excel. Beyond this immersion in the arts, our majors have their pick from an extraordinary array of academic courses university-wide that ultimately serves to broaden the vision for each.

The CFA alumni are also crucial components to our success. Many have gone on to achieve meaningful careers in the arts as university professors, educators, dancers in major companies, film producers, orchestral players, scenic designers, actors, photographers, opera coaches, museum curators, celebrated recording artists and beyond. Our alums are actively performing and presenting in major venues, including Broadway in New York, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Carnegie Hall, the Venice Biennale and more. Many have received top prizes in distinguished international competitions, and others are leaders in their field, passionately advocating for the Arts within their communities and professions.

As the semester progresses, your craft becoming further honed, you’ll be steps closer to filling the shoes of those who came before you. It’s an exciting time, one in which every challenge has the potential to become a rewarding experience that will last throughout your lifetime, and every engagement can serve to sharpen and shape your artistic identity.

As Dean of the College, I leave you with this: seize each moment as if your future depends on it, because it very well might. Never forget that the CFA family of faculty, staff, donors and alumni are here to support you. And always remember that while there is no road map for success, especially in the unpredictable art world, you can remain open to the new. For what is new is filled with promise.

Tannis Gibson

Interim Dean, College of Fine Arts