Department of Visual Art

Welcome to Visual Art

The Department of Visual Art at KU functions as a creative laboratory where students, mentored by a faculty of internationally recognized artists, explore a broad range of media and disciplines.

Housed in a major university, the department encourages the development of a unique artistic voice through critical inquiry and research. Students have the additional opportunity to pursue interdisciplinary and collaborative work across the School of the Arts, as well as the University at large.  The University of Kansas is the school of choice for ambitious art students throughout the region. The Department of Visual Art provides students with the technical skill and cultural awareness essential to the careers of professional artists, scholars, teachers or administrators. Seminars on specialized topics, a strong visiting artist schedule, trips to major cities, and study abroad possibilities all enrich students studying Visual Art at the University of Kansas.

The University of Kansas is a member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. The entrance and graduation requirements in this catalog conform to the published guidelines of those organizations.


Visual Art students have access to excellent facilities and close mentoring from the Visual Art faculty. Coursework includes practice, discussion and critiques with faculty, advisors, and visiting artists. Cross discipline investigations are strongly encouraged and many courses are team-taught. Exhibition and installation spaces are readily available throughout the community of Lawrence. Kansas City with its rich history in the visual arts is just a short drive away.

Chalmers Hall, a 130,000 square foot mega structure, houses a full range of studio facilities including THE COMMON SHOP — a fabrication shop with two full time technical assistants ready to assist students. The well-equipped SCULPTURE FACILITIES include a foundry, metalshop, and woodworking studio. The EXPANDED MEDIA FACILITIES include digital imaging facilities as well as sound and projection equipment, upgraded annually as those technologies evolve. The PRINTMAKING FACILITIES include space for intaglio, lithography, and serigraphy studios, as well as large format presses and equipment for papermaking and book arts. The CERAMICS FACILITIES include gas and electric kilns, and a separate complex for wood-fired kilns. The METALSMITHING/JEWELRY FACILITIES offer casting, soldering, enameling equipment, a digital mill, and 3-D printer. The TEXTILES/FIBERS FACILITIES include floor looms, printing and dyeing labs, multiple sewing machines, and a computer lab. The PAINTING FACILITIES include three enormous group studios equipped with easels. The Department of Visual Art places great emphasis on drawing and maintains four large drawing studios. The department also offers individual workspace for upper level majors. The ART & DESIGN GALLERY presents student, faculty, visiting artist and thematic exhibitions. 

Highly Qualified Faculty Scholars and Artists

The faculty of the Department of Visual Art is comprised of internationally recognized artists and scholars with interests that span a broad range of media and disciplines. Dedicated to educating the next generation of artists, award-winning teachers prioritize mentorship, offering students individual attention and small class sizes. 

Most courses in Visual Art are studio, practice-based courses. Studio classes are typically capped at 15-20 students. All areas have classes that are open to non-majors. Three-credit courses normally meet in class for six hours weekly for 15 weeks of fall and spring semester; another nine hours of work is expected outside class. Studio areas are open and accessible.