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Department of Visual Art 

... provides an exciting explorative space in which we aim to develop our students' creative, imaginative and critical knowledge. We include both practical skills and academic research capabilities which will enable students to practise as artists within the domains of the visual-cultural industries, and/or to engage in postgraduate study in visual art.

We equip students with a thorough, hands-on knowledge of art practice in varied media including Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Printmaking, Digital Photography, Videography, Installation, Cross-, Inter- and Digital Media, Professional Practice 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.  
Our programmes focus on creative and critical thinking and our students engage with art theory and art historical discourses, theories and research methodologies to better contextualise and inform their art practice. 

DoVA's highly experienced staff are leading artists, teachers, curators, academics and community project managers. With such skill and experience available to the student body, most graduates have confidently made their way into the diverse visual industries with many forging notable and successful careers as international artists.

... are particularly suited to students who desire to become practicing artists. From 2017 the new Bachelor of Arts in Visual Art (BAVA) is offered. This is the first 3-year Bachelor of Arts in Visual / Fine Art degree in South Africa and leads to stand-alone Honours, Masters and PhD. qualifications. The Department also offers a BEd (Art and Design) degree as well as a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE).

Since becoming the University of Johannesburg in 2005, the Department's research projects and outputs have grown exponentially while also producing postgraduate students of the highest calibre. In the last few years, EIGHT of our Masters graduates have received the Chancellor's Medal for meritorious postgraduate-level research. This is an unprecedented achievement in the Faculty.
Prof. Brenda Schmahmann is the SARChI Research Chair in South African Art and Visual Culture which is hosted in the Faculty. This prestigious position serves as a forum for initiatives in research for Masters, Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellows.  

DoVA is one of South Africa’s oldest art schools, having begun as the School of Arts and Crafts in 1926. It has been the home of some of the country’s finest artists and scholars. 

The Department counts amongst its alumni: Walter Battiss (1927/1929), Terence McCaw (1930-33), Sidney Goldblatt (1940), Douglas Portway (1940-41); Cecily Sash (1943-48), Dirk Meerkotter (1944), Cecil Skotnes (1946), Claude van Lingen (1949-52), George Boys (1950-53 ), Lionel Abrams (1951-53), Hannes Harrs (1957-1960), Trevor Coleman (1958-1960), Wendy Vincent (1960-61), John Meyer (1960), Geoffrey Armstrong (1963), Paul Stopforth (1964-67), Johan Moolman (1970-73), Dr. Willem Boshoff (1970-74/80-84), Willem Strydom (1972-75), Philippa Hobbs (1973-75), Doris Bloom (1974), Clementina van der Walt (1976-77/83-84), Wilma Cruise (1984-85), Peter Mthombeni (1984-87), Günther Herbst (1988-91), Robin Rhode (1995-98), Dr. Carol Hofmeyr (1997-2000), Turiya Magadlela (1999-2001), Nicholas Hlobo (1999-2002), Dr. Same Mdluli (2002-05), Lerato Shadi (2002-05), Lawrence Lemaoana and Mary Sibande (both 2002-4/2007) and Lebohang Kganye (2014-16).

Read exciting news on our recent and past graduates here