Works and Ideas

Dean Celine Parreñas Shimizu

At UCSC, the Arts Division is home to students, faculty and staff who work towards transforming the world through the power of artistic production and the critical, historical and analytic study of the arts. We are creating new knowledge that impacts the world through innovation that is inclusive and excellence that is equitable.

Our students develop their highest critical, analytic, historical, theoretical and practical capabilities and learn how to think within social and historical contexts so they may imagine new institutions and find the most effective ways to contribute to our society. Faculty advance knowledge and develop new technologies while offering a curriculum that shines a light on the historically marginalized. Staff contribute to the university’s mission at the forefront of our efforts in student success.

This year, we pay attention to the role of mentorship and establishing best practices in our institution as we diversify the faculty, decolonize the curriculum and continue to create pipelines of collaboration across and beyond the university. Our success in securing grants from the UC-Hispanic Serving Institutions Doctoral Diversity Initiative (UC-HSI DDI) and the UC Office of the President Advancing Faculty Diversity (UCOP-AFD) affirms our efforts in becoming a leader in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion through the Arts. The Arts Professional Pathways program demystifies careers and provides financial support for internships and the dissemination of student work. 

Our Institute for Arts and Sciences, the Arts Research Institute and the Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery offer research, exhibitions and community engagement to the public beyond the campus. Our Third Thursday Sesnon Salons join together faculty, staff, students to celebrate the latest and greatest achievements of our departments and programs. And our newly formed Arts Advocacy Council, composed of outstanding leaders in the arts, including Arts Division alumni, help us to enact our future, informed by their expertise, experience and care for public higher education.

We will not experience the full power of the arts unless access to the means of representation is available to all. And we will not realize the full power of the arts if our iconographies and methodologies are dictated by the very few. So, I am driven to expand access so that authorship, critique and the shaping of what we know can be driven by all, and what we take for granted or natural can shift, and to keep our definition of the arts, fervently open. 

Join us in our efforts to deploy the power of the arts to transform the world!

Fiat Slug,

Dean Celine

Celine Parreñas Shimizu, M.F.A., Ph.D.
Dean of the Arts Division
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 Fri, Jun 30, 2023, 12:00 am
  • Join Laurie Palmer, artist and professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, for a walk that invites us to look closely at lichens. How can a tiny organism transform our understanding of big structural problems and human relations?

    Sat, Mar 25, 2023, 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm
    Institute of the Arts and Sciences: 100 Panetta Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
  • Join Luke A. Fidler, Curator, for a walkthrough of the two exhibitions, Ashley Hunt: Degrees of Visibility/Ashes Ashes and Sky Hopinka: Seeing and Seen, currently on view at the new Institute of the Arts and Sciences Galleries on the westside of Santa Cruz.

    Sat, Apr 8, 2023, 2:00 pm
    Institute of the Arts and Sciences: 100 Panetta Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Arts People

Patrick Michael Ballard

Patrick Michael Ballard, a “fool magician” with a poet’s sensibility, pursued creative endeavors spanning visual arts to performance before landing at UC Santa Cruz this year as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Performance, Play and Design. 

James Gordon Williams

For James Gordon Williams, music is a calling, not a choice. It’s a sonic art that can close distances between people in a divisive world. 

Meredith Dyer

From Lima, Peru, Rio de Janeiro, and Mexico City to Florida and Washington, DC, Meredith Dyer, the department manager for the History of Art and Visual Culture (HAVC) department at UC Santa Cruz, has lived a culturally rich and fascinating life. The daughter of educators, her father was a professor on a Fulbright fellowship when he brought his young family to Lima, Peru.

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