Art in Public Places
The practice of commissioning, purchasing and accepting gifts of art works has a rich history on the campus of the University of North Texas. In 2009, UNT initiated its Art in Public Places Program. UNT’s Denton campus currently displays more than 80 works of art in various media ranging from a 1920s equestrian bronze sculpture by Constance Whitney Warren to a 2015 site-specific glass design by Norie Sato. As a public institution of higher learning, UNT nurtures performance and research in art and promotes an appreciation for creative expression. New buildings and donations provide opportunities to create iconic spaces and integrate works of art into campus life. The selection of artworks that are diverse in content, genre, and media is an outward manifestation of the value UNT places on the diversity of its constituents.
Percent for Art Commission, College of Visual Arts and Design
Art in Public Places Symposium, Sept 8, 9, 11
On the occasion of the construction of an additional wing of the CVAD Building, a new artwork is being commissioned for UNT, made possible by the Percent for Art program. Five finalist artists have been invited to give lectures about their previous and current works. To kick off these lectures, a panel of public art experts will speak about how art makes a difference in public spaces and what it means to collect public artworks.
1935 Mural, Bruce Hall Cafeteria
At the start of the 2017-2018 academic year, 1935 Mural has been reinstalled in Bruce Cafeteria, where it has been displayed since 1988 and was temporarily removed during expansion of the cafeteria. 1935 Mural, painted by 14 North Texas students under the direction of art professor Ronald Williams, represents a specific historic and cultural moment for the University of North Texas, known in 1935 as North Texas State Teachers College. The campus, then part of the rural community of Denton, was greatly impacted by the economic and political climate of the period, which was dominated by the economic crises known as The Great Depression. The mural portrays campus life in the 1930s from the particular perspective of students, and the style shows influence from the contemporary art movements of American Regionalism and Social Realism. In 2015, a second mural was added to Bruce Cafeteria, titled Denton Shuffle, by the artist partners Lisa Levine and Peter Tonningsen, also depicting campus life. While many aspects of campus life have endured and are reflected in both murals, the campus has also undergone crucial changes through its growth over 85 years. The most obvious growth, aside from the campus’ physical footprint and myriad academic programs, is in our community diversity. Learn more about the creation of the mural and its content and context, please read a timeline outlining community growth from 1935-2015 and a scholarly essay, both by Isabel Lee-Rosson (MA 2017).
Essay [link to UNT Library website, coming soon]
UNT Art Path
The UNT Art Path is a guided walking tour that features artworks in public places, celebrating UNT Art Collections. Please contact us to book your tour.
UNT Artist Registry
We invite artists and designers to create a free online profile in the UNT Artist Registry. The Registry is used to select artists for commissions and purchases of artworks through the UNT Percent for Art Program. Artists are able to create a profile and upload CV, statement, and images of works as well as indicate specific projects for which you wish to be considered. Full instructions are available along with the online profile form by clicking the link above.
Contact: Tracee W. Robertson