Department of Visual Art Department of Visual Art

Department of Visual Art

Alexa Pienaar, 3rd year Visual Art student 2017 who was the Department's winner of the Dean's Award Exhibition 2017


Dean's Merit 2018_Alexa Pienaar.jpgLinda Rademan.jpg

DoVA fourth year student Alexa Pienaar is a recipient of the Dean's Merit List                 Prof Karen von Veh opens Linda Rademan's MTech Fine Art Awards 2018. Congratulations on your achievement Alexa.                                              exhibition. Linda has received the Chancellor's Medal for                                                                                                                                                                   Meritorious Post Graduate Research, DoVA's seventh medal!   FDA9D952-69D7-49A0-8ECF-037E61DB9A3D-6350-0000050CDA110529.JPEG 2068_GFroud_640x400.jpg

David Paton wins the NIHSS Award 2018 for Digital Humanities.                   Gordon Froud's marvelous exhibition opens at the Standard Bank Gallery.


... provides an exciting academic space in which we develop our students’ artistic, creative, imaginative and critical skills and knowledge. We focus upon practical skills and academic research capabilities which will enable students to practise as artists within the diverse 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 diverse fields of the visual industries with many forging notable and successful careers as international artists.

... are particularly suited to students who desire to become practising 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 Ph.D. 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, SEVEN 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), 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), Turiya Magadlela (1999-2001), 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

The Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington DC, USA will hold its second annual African Art Awards dinner on 27 October 2017 where Alice Walton, Ghada Amer and Mary Sibande are honorees. We at DoVA are extremely proud of your achievement Mary!  
Read more about the event here 

Mary Sibande2.jpgMary.jpg 
Images: GALLERYMOMO - Posted 13 October 2017


Departmental Secretary

Elda Majola
Tel: 011 5591117