The Citadel Fine Arts Program
“Art is a nation’s most precious heritage. For it is in our works of art that we reveal to ourselves and to others the inner vision which guides us as a nation. And where there is no vision, the people perish.”
–Lyndon Johnson, on signing into existence the National Endowment on the Arts
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The Citadel’s mission is to produce principled leaders in all walks of life who are capable of both critical and creative thinking about the issues, ideas, and values that are of importance to society. “Art,” the word itself derived from a root meaning “to fit together,” is about understanding and creating images, sounds, and words to discover the multitude of ways that humanity fits together on a complex array of aesthetic, social, economic, political, and historical levels.
Through a wide variety of offerings and opportunities, The Citadel’s Fine Arts program is intended to deepen an appreciation for and encourage a lifelong engagement in the fine arts, including painting, sculpture, photography, music, film, drama, and creative writing. Guest speakers often visit the classrooms to share real-world insights on their professions as painters, printmakers, ceramicists, photographers, art auctioneers, museum curators, and gallery owners.
Cadets are also encouraged to engage with the broader artistic community of Charleston through participation in events, internships, exhibitions, and performances. Cadets have interned at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park, Ella Walton Richardson Gallery, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, and numerous others as well as volunteered with arts organizations such as the Charleston Alliance for the Arts and the Charleston Art Auction.
Corporate partnerships, such as ours with Nikon, provide cadets with the right equipment as a proper foundation in their photographic pursuits. Using their Nikon digital cameras for class assignments has greatly strengthened the quality of the cadets’ work, and now photographs by the cadets are on view at locations around Charleston.
Outstanding student artists and photographers are recognized each semester with the awarding of the Stacy L. Pearsall Citation for Photographic Excellence and the Cooley Art Prize, each created by local art patrons to encourage and support the growth of arts education at The Citadel.