“Art is the signature of mankind,” wrote G. K. Chesterton, and the faculty of the Department of Performing and Fine Arts believes that, in their diversity, these signatures give rise to the organic health of our many cultures.
In that light, we are united in our mission to guide our students in both the making of their own art and in their conceptual, historical, social, and professional understanding of our many arts, which vary widely in our multi-disciplinary Department. Included are drawing, painting, sculpting, and computer-imaging; musical composition and performance; theater design and its crafts, along with directing and acting for the stage; and the effective communication of ideas, beliefs and of the self through the rhetorical arts, especially for business, the professions and for public service.
Our standards of excellence match the scope of the Department. From personal discipline and responsibility; to the intellectual, emotional, and imaginative rigors of creativity; on to technical and formal execution of a high order: we expect our students to "maximize their humanity", as Aristotle said. Freed from the bondage of artistic disengagement and cultural provincialism, they are able thus to make their own telling signatures, to appreciate their own and other cultures, to gain happy livelihoods, or - as we would prefer and as many choose - to do all three.
Finally, and integral to our mission, is our leadership in the cultural life of the College. Whether they are art exhibitions, plays, concerts, readings, lectures, workshops, or our weekly community jam sessions, these cultural events bring joyful enrichment to York College and our community in Jamaica, Queens.