The School of Art is a stimulating but intimate environment to practice, understand and advance the visual arts. With a solid grounding in traditional art-making practices, we encourage innovative and interdisciplinary approaches. In the program, students develop critical thinking tools, understand artistic practices and learn technical and creative skills necessary for work in the art professions or for graduate studies.
Each student is challenged to develop the highest professional standards in concept, technique and presentation and we promote active involvement in the community as a part of good studio practice. Because of small classes and easy access to faculty, students will get individualized attention as they shape the program to their needs.
The School of Art offer courses in a variety of artistic media – painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, graphic design, printmaking and ceramics – as well as in art history. Our purpose is to give all our students a firm grounding in the foundations of art, including drawing. The curriculum is designed to encourage students to explore a variety of media techniques, and later to specialize in one.
Art on Campus and in the Community
Professional Art Opportunities
Visiting Artists and Professionals
The School of Art routinely brings nationally and regionally recognized artists to campus. These artists provide seminars on their methods and practice, work with students to develop their portfolios and provide critiques of student work. Recent visitors have included printmaker Tom Huck, curator and writer Jennifer Samet, Guggenheim Fellowship winner Jen Liu and sound artist Nathan Young.
Students from the School of Art travel to local and regional collections to see and experience art in person. Classes often meet at the Philbrook Museum of Art and the Gilcrease Museum, both located in Tulsa. Students travel to Oklahoma City and Crystal Bridges to hear lectures and see shows by artists like Marina Abramović and Kehinde Wiley. Every year, the School of Art takes an overnight field trip to a city where students explore collections, meet arts professionals and learn about new developments in the arts world. Previous trips have included: Dallas/Fort Worth, Kansas City and St. Louis.
Brady Arts District
Located only minutes from TU’s campus, the Brady Arts District is a vibrant and growing arts scene. Museums, galleries, shops and pop-up exhibitions mingle in downtown Tulsa, and on the first Friday of every month, thousands come downtown to participate in the Art Crawl. The Zarrow Center, a gallery operated by The University of Tulsa, is located in the Brady, affording students the opportunity to work and learn in a dynamic arts center.
Third Floor Design
Third Floor Design is a unique internship program that offers students in their junior and senior years the opportunity to work on professional design assignments. Founded in 1992, Third Floor Design program matches student designers with clients from the Tulsa non-profit community. Assignments range from small jobs to full-scale annual reports, including the design of posters, logos, letterheads, brochures, corporate identity items, T-shirts and magazines. Students leave the Third Floor Design internship program with professional-quality portfolios.
Students from the School of Art pursue a wide variety of internships in order to provide them with hands-on experience in their chosen field. Art History and Arts Management students routinely intern in the curatorial and education departments at the Philbrook Museum of Art, the Gilcrease Museum, the Tulsa Art Deco Museum and the Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art. Design students have interned at prestigious local and national firms such as RBMM, Brothers and Company and Cubic Inc. Finally, the D’Arcy Internship has allowed students to work at galleries in the downtown Brady Arts District.
Gussman Juried Student Exhibition
Each year students in the School of Art enter work into the Gussman. A curator, gallerist, or prominent artist from outside Tulsa comes in to judge the work and award prizes. The Gussman provides students with experience in selecting and entering finished work in the fast-paced world of juried shows.
Stylus is a student-run journal featuring art, fiction, poetry and plays created at TU. Students in the School of Art can submit work for publication as well as participate in the production of the journal by serving on the editorial board. Stylus allows students to gain familiarity with the publishing world and showcase their work at the same time.
The School of Art encourages students to participate in Study Abroad programs in their junior or senior years, exposing students to different cultures. To offer students a wide choice, they can use the extraordinary resources of the Center for Global Education. To date, School of Art students have taken coursework in London, Edinburgh, Sydney, Turin, Florence, Rome, Venice and Cortona, Italy.
The School of Art has several clubs and organizations that provide ways for students to get involved on campus and in the community. Art Student Society and the Ceramics Club both hold yearly sales of work to fund student research and travel. The Photo Club partners with the Kendall Whittier GROW Garden to teach local children about photography. DigiCo provides a collective of students interested in digital media and gaming.
The School of Art offers ten undergraduate scholarships up to $6,000 a year for four years. Students interested in applying for funding in Art History or Studio Art should prepare a portfolio of artwork or writing to be submitted in February or March before their first year at TU. Students must also take part in an interview with the Director of the School of Art, either in person or on the phone. Other portfolio review times may be available by special arrangement. Students must be accepted to The University of Tulsa before they can be considered for an undergraduate award. For more details, download the Scholarship Application.
Graduate Teaching Assistantships
The School of Art offers five graduate teaching assistantships for students pursuing an M.A. or M.F.A. Students who receive a Graduate T.A. work closely with one or more faculty members and learn to develop courses, work with students and materials and install gallery shows. Prospective students interested in applying for a T.A. should contact both the faculty member they want to work with as well as the Director of Graduate Students.
For more information on majors and funding in the arts, please call the School of Art office at 918-631-2439 or the TU Office of Admissions at 1-800-331-3050.
Jerri Jones Research Award
The School of Art also offers the Jerri Jones Research Award to support travel, supplies, participation in summer workshops or other resources necessary for student research. Students must be enrolled in the School of Art at the time of application. Both undergraduate and graduate students are eligible for the award.