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School of Music, Art & Design

 FINE ART (incorporating Ceramic Design)

Studio Arts is the parent department which combines all the Fine Art disciplines together with those of Ceramic Design. Although each discipline is presented and taught within its traditional name, the contemporary art world and current practice has seen a blurring of the edges of the disciplines, to the extent that a student practicing painting might well actually be constructing boxes from found objects and presenting these ala Cornell. This open and fresh approach enables all students irrespective of discipline to engage with any specialist on the teaching staff of the department in discourse about their work.

Design created from works by Lillian van Aarde, Estie Fourie and Su Opperman

The solid foundation skills learned by the students in their first year makes the transition from Introductory Studies Art and Design seamless, because it is these skills of the two-dimensional and three-dimensional which are built on and developed in their second year.

Art History/Theory and the intellectual discourse pertaining to issues of the future, present and past, are an integral element of the teaching practice at all levels of the Fine Arts. This is applied within the context of the studio situation as well as in formal lectures, tutorials, student/staff criticism and review sessions, one-on-one student/lecturer discussion, as well as informally during the general day-to-day working in the studio.

Drawing skills and processes are considered paramount to the development of the artist in training and these continue to be taught in both the second and the third years. The third year of study in whichever chosen discipline, is the year of experimentation and exploration in the search for artistic identity and relevance.

The fourth year of study is dedicated entirely to development within a specific discipline and successful completion is rewarded with a degree. Further study towards the achievement of a professional Masters qualification is currently found within the MTech degree. This will change its name but not necessarily its nature as the department re-curriculates for the ever-changing art and academic world of the future.

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Contact information
Mr David Jones
Director: School of Music, Art & Design
Tel: 27 41 504 3494 / 3256
David.Jones@nmmu.ac.za