The Department of Art is committed to educating its students as contemporary artists with a solid foundation in both traditional and current practice. With in-depth core disciplines, we advocate interdisciplinary and integrated approaches to making art. We reach out to the campus, the community, and the professional art world. Collaborating with other programs and organizations, we enhance our students’ education and seek to enrich the lives of those beyond our department by investigating new thinking and modes of expression for ourselves and others. Centered within a research university, we seek to interact creatively with the performing arts, humanities, and sciences. We prepare our students to become active professionals in the creative economy of for-profit and non-profit arenas of the art world. As a public university, we are dedicated to being a cultural resource for the greater New Orleans metropolitan community and recognize the inherent value of the visual arts as central to a dynamic environment. Diversity in all respects is vital to us as a creative community as we strive to build an inclusive faculty and student body. We seek to develop in our students critical thinking, and skills as image makers and object makers that will equip them to realize their creative ambitions over a lifetime.
With large studio facilities and access to the necessary technology, Fine Arts students have the freedom and engagement to make just about anything a reality. Art students have access to a fully equipped animation studio offering all the latest image editing software. We offer a printmaking and darkroom facility that allow us to do a wide range of technical image making processes. Our sculpture fabrication facility provides both metal and wood working tools. Our facilities allow us to offer unique classes dedicated to exploration and experimentation that are meant to get students creating faster and with confidence.
Graduates of our program include internationally known artists such as Wayne Gonzales, Peter Halley, Lucky de Bellevue, Dan Tague, and more. The Fine Arts department runs a professional gallery space in New Orleans. The gallery has featured national and internationally recognized artists and brings in exhibitions that help our students understand contemporary art in a broader context. The on-campus gallery allows students access to an exhibition space that allows our students to develop a real sense of community with each other and the larger local arts community.
We promote our students through exhibition and professional learning opportunities for the greatest chance of success. Classes in professional practice bring students to various sites and organizations, like Antenna Gallery and Prospect New Orleans. Internship courses place students in institutions like New Orleans Museum of Art, the Contemporary Arts Center, and with Prospect New Orleans. These opportunities give students an advantage in the professional art world by introducing them to employers and showcasing their talents in a multitude of situations.
The University of New Orleans, School of the Arts, is the only local university to maintain an off-campus art gallery. Situated in the St. Claude Arts District, it is in a unique position of community outreach to its neighborhood, as well as other institutions and organizations in the fields of the arts. Its mission is to advance “shared knowledge” and add to our region’s “culture and economy.” As a non-profit academic resource, the gallery culturally enriches the metropolitan area with presentation of contemporary visual arts. It represents the visual arts at UNO to the city and to its peer institutions.