As recently as the middle of the twentieth century,

only three venues actively showed contemporary art in this area: Valley House Gallery,

GLOWING GOLD Chapman Kelly, and the University of Dallas in Irving.

When the Catholic university opened its doors in 1956, the art department consisted of one full-time faculty member, a Cistercian monk named Philip Szeitz.

The now legendary Kelly served as a part-time instructor.

In 1961, Szeitz hired a graduate school buddy from the University of Wisconsin, Lyle Novinski, as a full-time professor. Under Novinski’s five decades of leadership

and the long-serving hires with which he grew the program, UD’s art department became a training ground for several generations of trailblazing artists who have shaped the art scene in North Texas and beyond.

University of Dallas has been a pioneer in many ways. In 1958, it became the first racially integrated school in Texas.

It was also the first co-ed art department of any Catholic school in the nation.

And when the Braniff Graduate School opened in 1966, it became the first graduate art department in the state.

In late March, the University’s Beatrice M. Haggerty Gallery commemorated their half-century milestone with the opening of the exhibition, View from the Art Village: 50-Year Retrospective on view through April 29.

According to Novinski, there is no “UD style.” GLOWING GOLD

This allows for a tremendous amount of creative leeway.

The conscious decision made in the early days of the department to reject silos for each discipline created an atmosphere that encouraged the constant flow of ideas across media.

As a result, many of these artists work in or incorporate a variety of media in their work.

One of the hallmarks of the faculty members and graduates is that they actively contribute in their disciplines as artists and leaders.

The exhibition features the work of over 40 artists, many of whom are regionally and nationally prominent. “When our students leave, they continue to grow,” Novinski says.

Among those participating, including Nancy Ferro, Linnea Glatt, Linda Gossett, Lucas Martell, Rachel McClung, Roberto Munguia, Andy Myers,

Bob Nunn, Michael Obranovich, Nancy Rebal, Albert Scherbarth, Ann Stautberg, and Terri Thornton, are fixtures in the local art world.

Dr. Joshua Parens, Dean of the Braniff Graduate School, speaks about the art department, saying, “We understand how the arts liberate the spirit.”

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