Vision, Commitment and Values

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The Department of Visual Art (DoVA)

…. is considered to be at the forefront of places to study Visual Art / Fine Art in South Africa. It provides an exciting, explorative space in which we develop our students’ creative, imaginative, technical and critical knowledge. We include both practical skills and academic research capabilities which enable students to practice as artists, work within varied domains of the visual-cultural industries, and/or to engage in postgraduate study in Visual Art and Art History.

We equip students with thorough, hands-on knowledge of art practice in diverse media including Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Printmaking, Digital Photography, Videography, Installation, Cross-, Inter- and Digital Media, Professional Practice, Work-intergrated Learning, etc., facilitating the creation of meaning through intelligent manipulation of materials and strong conceptual development. We encourage experimentation with transformative and inter-disciplinary approaches to the making, reception and analysis of art within pan-African and international contexts. Thus, our programs’ focus, on both creative and critical thinking, is demonstrated through our students’ engagement with theoretical, historical and contemporary discourses, and research methodologies.

DoVA’s highly experienced staff are leading artists, teachers, curators, academics, art historians, published authors and community project managers. With such skill and experience available to the student body, most graduates have confidently entered the diverse visual-culture industries with many forging notable and successful careers as international artists.

Our programs are particularly suited to students who desire to become practicing artists. The Bachelor of Arts in Visual Art (BAVA) is an agile 3-year Bachelor of Arts in Visual / Fine Art degree and leads to stand-alone Honours, Masters and two PhD qualifications. The Department also offers an Honours in Art Therapy and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE).

Our vision is:

“To remain on the cutting edge of Visual Arts practice and maintain constant contact with the pulse of Joburg”

To this end we are committed to:

  • Redressing access to visual arts education​
  • Providing a diverse range of academic, technological and practice-based teaching, learning and research in the visual arts
  • Leading, challenging, creating and exploring knowledge in the visual arts and associated industries
  • Engaging in the issues surrounding South African culture and identity in the visual arts arena​
  • Forming partnerships between the visual arts and campus communities
  • ​​Enabling students to confidently embark on a career in the visual arts

We value:

  • Academic excellence
  • Freedom of expression with responsibility within that freedom
  • A willingness to make strategic change when and where necessary
  • An ethos of consultation
  • As diverse a community of students as possible
  • Innovative research, conceptualisation and the practice of art production whilst being strongly committed to the teaching of traditional skills in Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture and other studio practices
  • Respectful relationships between staff and student bodies
  • A transparent and open academic environment
  • The strengths of a diverse staff body and support the development of the staffs’ academic and artistic careers
  • Transformation and community engagement