The University of Minnesota promotes creative expression and conceptual development through a broad range of art disciplines and practices. Initial experiences emphasizing traditional methods are supplemented at intermediate and advanced levels by experimental processes. Here in the Department of Art, you will find an environment that cultivates creative expression alongside critical inquiry in the visual arts. Our students have the opportunity to enroll in courses throughout the University enriching their artistic practice and broadening their global perspective. All faculty in the Department of Art are working artists who are committed to providing quality educational experiences for undergraduates while mentoring graduate students in the three-year MFA degree program. This year, we celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of two mid-career faculty: Associate professor, Tetsuya Yamada, was the recipient of the 2011 Gyeonggi International Ceramix Biennale Grand Prize (this $50,000 award is the largest of its kind for ceramic artists internationally) Associate professor Christine Baeumler who in 2011-12 received a McKnight, Bush, Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship and CLARFS for her work in environmental art; was named Scholar of the College by the College of Liberal Arts. The addition of two new faculty, in 2011, has also generated momentum within the department. Internationally recognized photographer, Paul Shambroom joined the department as assistant professor and Lamar Peterson, returning to the U.S. from a Terra Foundation residency in Giverny, France, was hired as a visiting professor in painting. Both bring a diversity of experience to the program while providing new opportunities for our students engaged with documentary photography and narrative painting.