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The Department of Visual Art 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), 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), Carol Hofmeyr (1997-2000), Nicholas Hlobo (1999-2002), Lerato Shadi (2002-05), Lawrence Lemaoana and Mary Sibande (2002-4/2007).
Read exciting news on our recent and past graduates here
Casper Whiteman graduated with his Masters in Fine Art (cum laude) at the April 2017 graduation ceremony. Here he is with his supervisors, Vedant Nanackchand (left) and Gordon Froud (right).
The Department’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.
Our programs are particularly suited to a student who desires to become a practicing artist as the program content is geared towards art making and its critical discourses and histories within a de-colonial framework.
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 four years, five of our Masters graduates have received the Chancellor’s Medal for outstanding postgraduate-level research. This is an unprecedented achievement in the University.
Prof. Brenda Schmahmann is the new 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 by not only Prof. Schmahmann but also postdoctoral fellows, PhD and Masters students in the Department of Visual Art and other Departments as well as others working with her.
Tel: 011 5591117