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Welcome to the OU School of Visual Arts

The OU School of Visual Arts at the University of Oklahoma cultivates a vibrant intellectual community that fosters the greatest possible excellence in the study of the visual arts, design, and art history.  The School was established in 1915, and is the oldest and most comprehensive school of art in the state of Oklahoma.  Through civic engagement, we endeavor to meet the artistic needs of Oklahoma’s citizens and promote the growth of culture.  We offer the BFA and MFA in Art and the BA, MA, and Ph.D. in Art History.  We strive for excellence in teaching, publishing, and creating art and design at the highest level.  The School prepares our students for success nationally and internationally as artists, designers, scholars, teachers, and influential patrons of all the arts.

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MFA Inclusive Exhibition 2021

SPOTLIGHT: Art Exhibitions


The Lightwell Gallery is pleased to present Justine Emard : INSIDE opening January 31, 2023. Justine will present a lecture on Jan. 31 at 4:30 p.m. with a gallery reception to follow at 5:30 p.m. Fred Jones Center, room 205, OU School of Visual Arts.

Justine Emard is a visual artist. She lives and works in Paris.

Her artworks explore the new relationships that are being established between our existences and technologies. By combining different image medias – from photography to video and virtual reality – she situates her work at the intersection between neurosciences, objects, organic life and artificial intelligence.  In 2017, she was a winner of the residence Hors-les-murs by the Institut Français for a project in Tokyo.

Her work had been exhibited at the Moscow Biennale of contemporary art and in museums like the NRW Forum (Dusseldorf), the National Museum of Singapore, the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, the institute Itaú Cultural (São Paulo), the Cinémathèque Québécoise (Montréal), the Mori Art Museum (Tokyo), the MOT Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, the Irish Museum of Modern Art (Dublin), the Barbican Center (London), the World Museum (Liverpool) and the Karachi Biennale (Pakistan).

In 2020, she attended a residence at the ZKM, Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, and she is a winner of the national photographic commission «IMAGE 3.0» by the CNAP (National Center for Visual Arts) and the Jeu de Paume in Paris. In 2021-22, she is an artist-professor invited to Le Fresnoy, Studio National Des Arts Contemporains, in France.

Charles M. Russell Center for the Study of Art of the American West


Tuesday, February 14 at 3 PM

Shyanne Dickey and Dr. Kalenda Eaton, “Unveiling a Hidden History: Two Perspectives on the Exoduster Movement,” part of the Black Artists of Oklahoma Project (organized by Olivia von Gries and Robert Bailey), followed by an opening reception of Black Artists of Oklahoma, Series 3: Shyanne Dickey’s Unveiling a Hidden History, OU Spotlight Gallery, Fred Jones Jr. Center

Tuesday, February 23 at 3 PM
Drs. Farina King (Diné), Michael P. Taylor, James R. Swenson, book talk on Returning Home: Diné Creative Works from the Intermountain Boarding School (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2021).

Tuesday, March 21 at 3 PM
Dr. Spencer Wigmore, Associate Curator, Amon Carter Museum of Art, workshop sharing ongoing exhibition project on Charles Russell and tactility for Fall 2024

At the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
Friday April 21 – 9:30 AM-4:30 PM
11th biennial Russell Center Symposium, Transnational Wests, featuring photographer Jeremiah Ariaz; Denver Art Museum curator Jennifer R. Henneman, photo historian Emily Voelker, and women and gender studies scholar Danika Medak-Saltzman (Turtle Mountain Chippewa), Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art Auditorium, with breakfast from 8:45-930 and reception from 4-5:30 in the Russell Center.

The Charles M. Russell Center for the Study of Art of the American West is located at the University of Oklahoma Old Faculty Club Building, 409 West Boyd, Norman, OK 73069 

Karina Cunningham's Playhouse- Art Exhibition


Black Artists of Oklahoma Project

Karina Cunningham’s Playhouse
Sept. 17-Oct. 8, 2022
Spotlight Gallery

The main focus of Karina Cunningham’s art is the exploration of the liminal space between childhood and adulthood. Her works often convey mature narratives while utilizing objects and spaces associated with childhood nostalgia. The artificial characters stand at odds with the weight and reality of the topics investigated. The toys and characters are often altered by adult content through words, actions and expressions. Her paintings offer a visualization of the way adult hood spills into childhood as people grow.  

The Black Artists of Oklahoma Project is a multiplatform effort based in the School of Visual Arts at the University of Oklahoma that aims to celebrate the history of African American art in Oklahoma through research, exhibitions, publications, and related programming . At present, work is underway on a directory of artists intended to assist scholars, curators, teachers, and community members who want to know more about the history of Black art in the state. This exhibition series is the first outgrowth of that directory: four solo exhibitions highlighting the work of emerging African American artists with ties to Oklahoma that will run in the Spotlight Gallery during the 2022-2023 school year.