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The School of Visual Arts and Dance is relatively young within the history of the University. Founded in 1973, the school has existed largely as presently constituted since 1978 when the Department of Dance faculty joined the other components of the school: the Department of Art, the Department of Art History, the Department of Art Education, the Department of Interior Design, the Institute for Contemporary Art, and The Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts. In 1990 the school assumed administration of the Appleton Museum of Art. These academic units offer an extensive program of instruction in all areas of the visual arts and dance. In fact, every level of undergraduate and graduate degree that a university can offer in these areas is represented within the school, including the established terminal degree in each discipline. Accordingly, the school is unique in the state of Florida.
Enhancement of the fine and performing arts is one of The Florida State Universitys specific goals as presented in its mission statement. The comprehensive nature and consistent quality of the school may be credited in large part to the recognition and support for the arts evident in the University. The very idea of arts training within a university context is held to be fundamentally important to an individuals education in todays society. The School of Visual Arts and Dance shares much in common with an independent art school, but the differences are more important than the similarities. The University strives toward education of the whole person, and it has a great variety of cultural and curricular resources to reach this end. Therefore, art students have the opportunity to benefit from the entire University, a warm and friendly residential college and major graduate research institution. There is no substitute for this environment.
The school promotes the visual arts and dance within this community. Its goal is to provide a broad-based liberal arts education for students, while at the same time training them to be dancers, artists, scholars, teachers, or other professionals in the field. It functions to enrich their lives and to provide them with the means of self-expression in an increasingly complex and impersonal technological society. The study and practice of art are viewed as a necessary link in the educational system, both as a learning process and as a means of personal fulfillment. Measures are applied within the school-and indeed throughout The Florida State University campus-to keep the spirit of open inquiry vital and productive.
Regardless of the department of a students major, the School of Visual Arts and Dance provides an unusual opportunity for working with a distinguished faculty of nationally and internationally recognized artists and scholars, all of whom teach undergraduate as well as graduate students.
By and large the school has few requirements which go beyond those stipulated by the University. As appropriate, these requirements are provided in the narratives describing the individual departments and programs. No minor is required by the school, although minors are offered. Two programs grant degrees categorized as limited access in the sense that they are proficiency based: 1) the bachelor of fine arts (BFA) and master of fine arts (MFA) in art (studio); and 2) the BFA and MFA in dance. Entrance is gained through portfolio review or audition.
In addition to the lecture rooms, general classrooms, seminar rooms, and media-specific laboratories (e.g., printmaking, electronic imaging, fibers, ceramics, sculpture, photography, and the like), two specialized facilities merit particular mention. First, art students in designated degree programs are provided individual studios in two large warehouses at the edge of campus, making it possible for them to work in a healthy environment that promotes the cross-fertilization of ideas and constructive debate. Students at different stages of development learn from each other as well as from their professors, who regularly come to their studios for tutorials and critiques. Secondly, dance students train in spacious, comfortable studios and perform in their own dance theatre, a fully equipped professional facility located in the same building as their major classes.
The School of Visual Arts and Dance offers honors in the major in several departmental and interdepartmental programs. For requirements and other information, see the University Honors Program and Honor Societies section of this General Bulletin.
The study centers located in Florence, Italy, and London, England, are open to all qualified students in the State University System. Operated by The Florida State University, they provide the opportunity for a truly rewarding educational and cultural experience. Representing as it does a collegial body of students of art, the School of Visual Arts and Dance has a particular affinity for the Florence program, one which has led to a history of involvement since the founding of the program in 1966, largely through the efforts of the art history faculty. In every year that it has existed, at least one member of the school faculty has taught in Florence, and the school has significant representation among the students studying there. More recently, greater emphasis has been placed on the opportunities at the London Center. Students of art, dance, design, and art history flourish in the rich, humanistic environments of these magnificent cities and cultural centers. This they can do usually without disrupting their sequence of courses and without loss of residency since the Florence and London campuses are true extensions of the Tallahassee campus.
The School of Visual Arts and Dance is a leader in the development of Florida State Universitys museum studies certificate program. Open to graduate students of all departments, the program offers theoretical, practical, and methodological training in museum management, curatorship, fundraising, collections management, education and interpretation, marketing, exhibition development, and other museum topics. Museum studies curriculum includes courses taught by full-time faculty and practicing museum professional, internships, and special museum projects. Emphasis is placed on career guidance and finding a position in the museum profession. Students have opportunities for firsthand experience at the Schools Museum of Fine Arts and the Appleton Museum of Art and in other regional and national museums. FSUs international programs offer museum internships at international institutions in cities such as London and Florence.
On the undergraduate level, students studying art history may obtain a concentration in museum studies.
The Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts is first and foremost an extension of the teaching mission of the school. Large, modern, and spacious, it houses the permanent collection and several times a year hosts student and faculty shows. In addition, the school faculty and museum staff pride themselves on originating shows of national prominence, documented through professional and scholarly catalogs. The Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts is a community resource of regional significance in the Southeast.
The latest complement to the academic and cultural components of the University administered by the school is the Appleton Museum and Collection. Located approximately three hours from Tallahassee in Ocala, Florida, this beautiful museum was constructed in 1987 to house the extensive collection of the donor, Arthur I. Appleton. Works of art bridging many cultures over thousands of years form the core of the schools outreach program in central Florida and provide rich source material for students of art and art history. The museum was expanded in 1996 through the addition of the Edith-Marie Appleton Wing, which provides facilities for changing exhibitions, classes, workshops, and other educational activities.
The School of Visual Arts and Dance is fully accredited according to discipline as appropriate by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, the National Association of Schools of Dance, the National College Association for Teacher Education, and the Foundation for Interior Design Education Research.