School Councils

AUArts has four Schools for it’s degree programs - The School of Craft + Emerging Media, The School of Visual Art, The School of Communication Design, and The School of Critical + Creative Studies.

Each school has a School Council which serves as the School’s senior academic governing and advisory body on the academic affairs of the School, subject to the authority of the General Faculties Council.  The School of Continuing Education and Professional Development offers non-degree programming.

Terms of Reference 

The four schools

Our degree programs are housed within The School of Craft + Emerging Media, The School of Visual ArtThe School of Communication Design, and The School of Critical + Creative Studies.

School of Craft + Emerging Media

The School of Craft + Emerging Media is a unique combination of material and immaterial forms of practice and expression. Home to AUArts’s four craft programs, (Ceramics, Fibre, Glass and Jewellery + Metals) and the Media Arts program, the SC+EM provides both a rigorous and experimental environment that charts new territories in how materials, technology, and ideas connect to objects and experiences. Our team of faculty and technicians includes three Governor General’s Award winners, inspiring our students and re-defining the boundaries of art, craft, design and technology.

Our vision is focused on making, experimentation, collaboration, exploration and the development of a new form of knowledge. To achieve this vision, we participate in his focus in a variety of initiatives, including:

  • Turangalila – a collaboration between Media Arts students, faculty and the Calgary Symphony Orchestra

  • Tex(t)ech – interactive laboratory initiative with the Banff Centre In(ter)ventions Residency

  • Delicate Spaces – a collaborative student show at the John Fluevog Peanut Gallery, Calgary

  • Materiality and Embodiment, Symposium, Workshops, Studio Visits, Presentations – featuring Gwendolyn Yoppolo, Jocelyn Prince, Thomas Tucker and Nicole Burisch

  • Underwater Basket Weaving – Alumni Panel on Entrepreneurship and Creativity featuring AUArts alumni Tim Belliveau, Natalie Gerber, James Jensen, Jennie Vallis and Kari Woo

  • Public Art as Negotiation – a lecture by Jørn Mortensen plus a panel discussion featuring Quyen Hoang, Rodney LaTourelle, Jørn Mortensen, Sans façon and Amery Calvelli

Operationally, the school continues to grow and develop through the establishment of the Academic Growth Plan and the development of new and engaging curriculum. In 2015, SC+EM welcomed Martina Lantin, as a new permanent faculty member in the Ceramics program, and launched the Medalta Residency Award, a month-long residency at Medalta for a 3rd or 4th year undergraduate Ceramics student.

This coming year, SC+EM will prepare for the renovation and expansion of the Jewellery + Metals facility. In September 2015, SC+EM welcomed its first cohort of graduate students into AUArts’s inaugural graduate studies program, a Master of Fine Arts in Craft Media.

Number of Students: 131


  • Ceramics major, BFA, MFA
  • Fibre major, BFA
  • Glass major, BFA, MFA
  • Jewellery + Metals major, BFA, MFA
  • Media Arts major, BFA

School of Visual Art

The School of Visual Art (SVA) engages students in the exciting, ever-evolving world of visual art. SVA incorporates strategies that stimulate students’ knowledge of theory, criticism and material making though the areas of drawing, painting, print media, and sculpture.

The SVA has initiated a series of program evaluations, as well as incorporating a minor structure to its development plans. This allows for future academic growth and development within the school, and provides students greater access to cross-program opportunities in the future.

The faculty and technicians of SVA facilitate creativity and innovation in our students by supporting artistic expression and imagination within the boundaries of our ethics and principles. Through the Symposium Steering Committee, SVA organized and presented a symposium on Research Ethics, Academic Freedom and Artistic Creativity in 2015.

Number of Students: 251

Visiting Artists:

  • Ushio Shiriohara and Noriko Shiriohara
  • David Mach
  • Eleanor King
  • Jennifer Marman and Daniel Borins
  • Mike Hein

Site Visits:

  • Art Gallery of Alberta Geoffrey Farmer exhibition
  • Banff Centre


  • Drawing major, BFA
  • Painting major, BFA
  • Photography major, BDes
  • Print media major, BFA
  • Print media minor
  • Sculpture major, BFA

School of Communication Design

The School of Communication Design (SCD) program offers a professional degree in design, preparing students for successful careers as culturally aware, responsible professionals and leaders in the disciplines and practice of design, advertising, illustration and character design. The relevance of curriculum and program standards for professional practice is aligned to industry, and industry standards as defined by relevant professional organizations.

The SCD's curriculum contributes to a culture of entrepreneurship, cultural and social awareness, and independence, within the context of the creative economy. SCD is also expanding its number of community initiatives which create real-world project experiences for students.

In the 2013–14 and 2014–15 academic years, SCD students collaborated with a range of stakeholders on a variety of exciting public and private projects, including graphic and motif designs used by Bobsled Canada on their Olympic sleds in the Sochi Olympics, window displays for the Holt Renfrew luxury department store and J.Crew – a first for Calgary – and illustrations for Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, and Ralph Klein Park in partnership with the City of Calgary. Future opportunities include the creation of interpretive panels for the City of Calgary Parks and Recreation and an exciting partnership with Innovate Calgary.

SCD’s work on streamlining degree requirements and improving curriculum mapping has successfully optimized programs. The School of Communication Design develops opportunities for interdisciplinarity through collaborations with other programs within AUArts, as well as the creation of an Illustration Minor and future Graphic Design Minor. These developments will provide future students with greater opportunities to grow within the current curriculum.


School of Critical + Creative Studies

The School of Critical and Creative Studies (SCCS) provides students with a wide variety of non-studio academic courses, which collectively comprise a quarter of total required credits in the Bachelor of Fine Art and Bachelor of Design degree programs. SCCS Faculty members represent a wide breadth of disciplines and experience, and their teaching practices are rooted within their active professional engagement. The diverse courses offered in SCCS – Art History, Visual Culture, English, Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Professional Practices – provide students with an historically aware, critically engaged, and socially responsible understanding of the study and practice of art and design in the contemporary world.

SCCS is further strengthening its curriculum by developing a range of school-specific and cross disciplinary minors, expanding upper-level course offerings, and establishing the necessary graduate level academic courses to support AUArts’s Master of Fine Arts.

The upcoming academic year will see The School of Critical and Creative Studies actively exploring the possibility of offering collaborative degrees in SCCS’s areas of specialization – art history and visual culture. This new enterprise for SCCS will further develop relationships with other provincial institutions and promote AUArts as leader in art education throughout the province.

Faculty in SCCS helped organize and participated in the ACADFA/AUArts sponsored public symposium FIELDWORK: Artistic Research, Ethics and Academic Freedom. Faculty participated in a wide range of academic conferences nationally and internationally, and published extensively in peer reviewed journals, reviews, and books.