The WVU division of art and design’s master of fine arts program is ranked among the top 100 best fine arts programs in the country, according to the 2010 U.S. News & World Report’s Best Graduate Schools edition.

“The division of art and design is proud to be in the top 100 Master of Fine Arts programs in the nation. This ranking recognizes our professional-track degree in studio art, placing us ahead of many well-known programs twice our size,” said Alison Helm, professor and division chair.

“While gaining teaching experience, graduate students at WVU have the opportunity to be mentored by highly motivated faculty and resident artists. We also encourage professional research and discourse through the development of each student artist’s personal vision. Graduates of our MFA program are teaching at institutions across the country and are enjoying many successes as professional artists.”

“This is a wonderful and well-deserved recognition of the achievements of our division of art and design faculty and staff. Their leadership as artists and teachers clearly has earned them the respect of their colleagues from around our nation,” added Dean Bernie Schultz.

The Master of Fine Arts program at WVU includes the study of painting, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, graphic design, photography and inter-media.

The department of drawing and painting was first established at WVU in 1897. By the early 1970s, what was then known as the division of art, had moved into the Creative Arts Center and witnessed an enrollment surge that prompted a major building addition with new art studios and classrooms and new programs in ceramics and graphic design.

Recently, the name was changed to the division of art and design to better reflect the influence of design in all areas of art study. It is currently an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

Faculty in the division have responded to the rapidly changing culture of the arts by integrating emerging technologies into the studios and classrooms, establishing international programs and expanding the curriculum to prepare students for professions of the 21st century.

In addition, the division of art and design’s visiting artist and exhibition series brings outstanding visual artists, historians and critics of national prominence to WVU, while many divisional programs take WVU students abroad.

In the only program of its kind in the United States, in affiliation with the Jingdezhen Ceramics Institute, WVU sponsors fall and summer ceramics courses in China. In 2006 the division celebrated the opening of its own building complex on the Jingdezhen campus.

The division also offers painting classes through partnerships with the Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing and the Nanjing College of Art in China, as well as art history and graphic design courses at La Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti in Milan, Italy.

Students can participate in a signature program, Disegno Italia, where they study art, art history, design and Italian culture at il Sillabo School in San Giovanni Valderno, Tuscany.

The Art Museum at WVU, set to open in 2012, will foster appreciation of the arts for future generations of students and local residents. It will also allow students and visitors to engage in visual literacy, develop personal relationship with art and understand cultural and historical perspectives about the world.

The U.S. News & World Report ranking is based solely on the results of a peer assessment survey. The current rankings were completed in 2008, based on data from a survey sent out in the fall of the previous year to art school deans and other top art school academics.

The WVU division of art and design has made the top 100 list each year since 2003.



CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts
304-293-4841 ext. 3108,

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