University of North Texas

College of Visual Arts and Design

UNT CVAD - Images
  • CVAD Alum Carl Finch heads the two-time Grammy winning band, Brave Combo.

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  • The CVAD Art Education Doctoral Program is a nationally ranked program, #13 in North America

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  • One of every fifteen students at the University of North Texas is a CVAD major! 

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  • UNT is an institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design

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  • Art Education faculty members Chris Bain and Nadine Kalin served on the Editorial Review Board of the Journal of Art Education, one of the most prestigious journals in the field.

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  • UNT‘s MFA program ranks in the upper 25% nationally according to US News and World Report

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  • CVAD‘s Communication Design students won nine of fifteen Best of Show prizes in this year‘s Dallas Society of Visual Communication 4th Annual National Student Show.

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  • As of Fall 2008, all new CVAD MFA students will receive $1000 scholarships.

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  • In Spring 2008, CVAD donors sponsored over $50,000 in scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students!

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  • The CVAD NAEA student chapter won the 2008 Student Organization Distinguished Service award from the University

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  • The Department of Art Education and Art History prepares more art teachers each year than any other university in Texas.

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  • CVAD‘s Ph.D. program in Art Education is among the top-rated programs in the U.S.

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  • Recent graduates of the art history program have pursued advanced degrees at University of Texas, Tufts University, University of Rochester, City College of New York, University of Arizona, Southern Methodist University, and Texas Christian University.

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  • CVAD art historians were the first UNT faculty chosen to participate in UNT‘s Next Generation course redesign. This program is considered to be a national model.

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  • The Department of Art Education and Art History faculty includes presidents of three national and international professional societies and the 2006 Art Educator of the Year.

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  • CVAD offers regular opportunities to study and travel in countries such as China, England, Ireland, Russia, and Scotland.

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  • CVAD‘s Texas Fashion Collection includes over 15,000 fabulous dresses by designers such as Balenciaga, Dior, de la Renta, and many others.

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  • CVAD Art Education alum Susan Gabbard is the former president of the National Art Education Association.

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  • CVAD alum, sculptor, Jesús Moroles, is on the Board of the Smithsonian Institute

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  • “I learned a lot about the creative process for producing a complete original work.”

    - Jezzalie Gill (Drawing 1)

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  • CVAD‘s Texas Fashion Collection includes over 15,000 fabulous dresses by designers such as Balenciaga, Dior, de la Renta, and many others.

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  • CVAD Art Education alum Susan Gabbard is the former president of the National Art Education Association.

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  • CVAD alum, sculptor, Jesús Moroles, is on the Board of the Smithsonian Institute

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  • Interior Design MFA student Greta Buehrle was named one of two IDEC Foundation Graduate Scholars for 2009.

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UNT CVAD - Images

About CVAD

Art has been a vital part of UNT since it was first taught in 1894, just four years after the institution was founded. Dr. Cora Stafford, an imaginative leader who served on the faculty and as director for four decades before retiring in 1964, played a major role in guiding the art program to the reputation it maintains today. Determined to keep the program aligned with new ideas, she hired young innovators on the faculty. These included James Prestini and Gyorgy Kepes, two early proponents, in the United States, of the Bauhaus system which endeavored to relate a new design approach to the world of technology and craft. Also on the faculty were Carlos Merida, the internationally known Guatemalan painter and muralist, as well as Octavio Medellin, the celebrated Mexican sculptor and painter. Students included Ray Gough, who became a noted interior designer and UNT professor, and O'Neil Ford, who became one of Texas' most famous architects

 Third floor hallway, CVAD

Masters degrees were initiated in the 1930s and the first MS degree in art was awarded in 1937 to Ms. Ann Bookman Williams, a long-time art teacher in the campus demonstration school. UNT's modern art program has been one of continual growth. After World War II, professional pograms in advertising art, fashion design and interior design supplemented traditional studio and art education programs. Following an extensive study of the arts in Texas by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in the 1960s, North Texas was designated as a major visual arts program in the State and was approved to offer the BFA, MFA, and Ph.D. degrees beginning in 1971. With the Southwest's demographic population shift in the late 1970's and early 1980's, enrollment increased dramatically. At the same time, the department's comprehensive art programs were being recognized for their quality.

 Painting studio, third floor

By the mid 1980's, the art faculty began discussing the possibility of reclassification as a school to meet challenges of the future. With the assistance of people such as Dallas businessman Raymond Nasher and Kimbell Art Museum director Ted Pillsbury, that vision turned to reality in 1992 when the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board reclassified the Department of Art in the College of Arts & Sciences to the School of Visual Arts. The change was an acknowledgment of the quality and professional nature of art degrees at UNT.

Annually, the Patsy R. and Raymond D. Nasher Endowed Lecture Series in Sculpture and Criticism brings renowned speakers to UNT and the Nasher Sculpture Center for shared events.  Speakers have included Raymond Nasher, Matthew Collings, Peter Walker, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Michael Kimmelman, Richard Deacon, Joel Shapiro, David Bates, Brad Cloepfil, Teresita Fernandez, and this year, Nick Cave.  

Today CVAD is one of the nation's largest and most comprehensive visual arts programs with over 2300 students enrolled. Thirteen degree programs offer both undergraduate and graduate work that lead to the BA, BFA, M.A., MFA and Ph.D. including new graduate degrees in Innovation Studies and undergraduate degrees in Interdisciplinary Art and Design Studies and New Media Art and a graduate certificate program in art museum education. A nationally and internationally recognized faculty provide students with excellent role models upon which to pattern their careers. The School claims a number of internationally-known artists, designers, and scholars among its graduates.

 Voertman show

The academic programs are supported by an active exhibition program, the Design Research Center, North Texas Institute for Educators on the Visual Arts, the Print Research Institute of North Texas (P.R.I.N.T. Press), the Texas Fashion Collection, and an extensive visiting artist/scholar program. CVAD operates Fashion on Main, a gallery for the Texas Fashion Collection, and the Design Research Center in Dallas. UNT's proximity to the Dallas and Fort Worth art and design communities provides art and design students with valuable resources and expanded learning opportunities. In addition to seven major museums, there are numerous galleries and alternative exhibition venues, the World Trade Center and many advertising, fashion, and interior design businesses as well a wide variety of K-12 educational environments.

 Eagle Flight sculpture by Jonathan Snow

For daily updates, see CVAD on  FACEBOOK and for in depth articles about the faculty, staff, alumni, and students of CVAD, subscribe to Stories from the Avant-Garde, CVAD's monthly e-newsletter. 

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