Works and Ideas

Dean Celine Parreñas Shimizu
As Dean of the Division of Arts, and as a film scholar and filmmaker, I believe in the power of the arts to transform lives.

The arts possess the distinctive ability to express our most intimate ideas in ways that can change deeply held and seemingly fixed perceptions, moving us to care for others across difference. My mission as a leader is to help our faculty, staff, students and alumni to deploy the ability of the arts to create new and needed narratives, to bring communities together, to imagine and make real new worlds not yet here, to amplify an abundance of voices, and to keep the definition of the arts fervently open. 

In world-class facilities located in the redwood forests on the bluffs of the Pacific Ocean, the Arts Division offers innovative ways to practice and engage in critical, historical and theoretical studies of art and culture. Join me in supporting our departments where students work with extraordinary faculty and devoted staff in exploring a multiplicity of expressive languages beyond the textual. Find out more about the latest in our Departments and Interdisciplinary Program: 

Film and Digital Media (FDM)
History of Art and Visual Culture (HAVC)
Performance, Play and Design (PPD)
Program in Digital Arts and New Media (DANM)

Composed of artists, historians, critics and theorists, our award-winning faculty work across disciplines and across campus within a transnational context.

They achieve global renown in how they unexpectedly bring together deceivingly incompatible ideas and in doing so, articulate new sensibilities that herald the future. 

The Division of the Arts historically aspires and ambitions toward equity, inclusion, and social and environmental justice in our processes and productions. A central aim for me as Dean is to encourage innovation and inclusion informed by the knowledge that excellence cannot be achieved without equity. Find out more about our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) efforts, including the recent appointment of our first Associate Dean for DEI.

Peopled by a talented staff devoted to student success, internship and career opportunities are demystified in the Arts Professional Pathways program. Robust support in research funding applications is provided by the Arts Research Institute. Notable programming resides in the Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery and Institute of Arts and Sciences. The Arts Dean’s Fund for Excellence and Equity supports faculty revisions to re-imagine the curriculum, student research that envisions the future of arts in the academy and community, and the centrality of staff in delivering the mission of the university. 

Join us in the Art of Change at the Division of Arts at UCSC!

Dean Celine

Celine Parreñas Shimizu, M.F.A., Ph.D.
Dean of the Arts
Distinguished Professor, Film and Digital Media

Arts Events

  • Interviews and conversations with Arts Division movers and shakers.

    Listen to the episodes here      

    Sun, Nov 1, 2020, 12:00 am to Sat, Dec 31, 2022, 12:00 am
  • A print exhibition, including a selection of prints by Glenn Ligon, showing at the Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery at UC Santa Cruz, with a concurrent showing at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History in downtown Santa Cruz.

    Thu, Apr 14, 2022, 12:00 am to Sun, Aug 14, 2022, 12:00 am
    Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery and the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History
  • The mummy awakens in Amduat: The 12 Hours of Ra, an immersive multi-media theater experience, where humans become gods and museums come to life.

    Fri, May 20, 2022, 7:30 pm to Sun, May 29, 2022, 3:00 pm
    Theater Arts eXperimental Theater (UCSC)

Arts People

Women's Work is Never Done, 1995 screenprint by Yolanda Lopez

The Faculty Gallery at Porter College, UC Santa Cruz, is exhibiting for the first time a stunning display of ten prints by ten renowned contemporary women artists.

Susan Moren

Several years ago, finding herself on her own as a single mother, UC Santa Cruz Arts Division development assistant, Susan Moren, decided to take what for many would be an overwhelming situation and forge ahead to earn a degree in computer engineering.

Mari Mafnas

After visiting the Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery in 2018 on the UC Santa Cruz campus, Marian (Mari) Mafnas knew that UCSC was the place for her.

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