Message from the Director


I am very happy to be leading the Chancellor's new arts and culture initiative. On behalf of the Campus Arts Council and the Community Arts Council, I welcome you to this new project.

Why "Illuminations"?

For art historians, illlumination refers to medieval mansucript illustration, carried out by monks in the painstaking process of transmitting knowledge in the period before print.

Illumination evokes the special radiance of aesthetic experience and the power of the arts and culture to provide insight and inspiration, both as part of academic inquiry and in response to life processes and challenges.

The UC motto is Fiat Lux, "Let there be light." Illumination, like enlightenment, emphasizes the university’s dedication to the pursuit of truth and knowledge, but highlights the affective and ethical side of that search.

Illumination also evokes local traditons of plein air outdoor painting along with youth-driven outdoor art practices associated with surfing and skateboarding.

We want Illuminations programs to combine a sense of classical tradition with a respect for enlightenment rationality. We want Illuminations to celebrate UCI’s Southern California desert/ocean/mountain plein air environment while introducing just a little urban edge. Illuminations is dedicated to celebrating human creativity, acknowledging the communicative and inventive abilities of our students, and exploring the role of art in all our efforts at self-expression and community bulding. Through the arts and culture, we learn to inhabit our worlds more fully as scholars, citizens, and human beings.

Julia Reinhard Lupton
Professor of English, Associate Dean for Research, School of Humanities,
and Faculty Director, Illuminations

Learn more about Illuminations

The Illuminations typographic design element was created by Katrina Kean, an MFA student in Graphic Design at the Maryland Institute College of Art.