expansion based on great programs
and the arts have always been synonymous. Founding artists such
as Victor Higgins, Kenneth Adams, Nicolai Fechin, W.H. Buck
Dunton and Ernest L. Blumenschein found inspiration in this
area. So have their contemporaries such as Dennis Haggerty,
Judith Hilmer, Lori Malott and others. The arts community and
Taos have, historically, supported and encouraged each other.
continues at UNM-Taos where the Academy of Arts and Culture
is the schools bread and butter, according
to James Rannefeld, UNM-Taos dean of Instruction.
offers several certificate and associate programs in the arts.
They are degrees that allow individuals to become self-employed
or work for other artists. Some students transfer their work
into studio arts programs at UNM main campus, others to national
art schools, he said. Since the school combines theoretical
and practical art skills, students can also use computers to
become graphic artists or gallery owners.
provide them with a well-rounded education. In the Associate
of Applied Science program students may take math, languages,
and history as well as their art coursework, said Rannefeld.
And some students use art to help others. We are proposing
an art therapy course through general studies, he says.
strong Academy of Arts & Culture as well as other academies
Business & Computer Technology, Health & Human
Services, Professions & Liberal Arts, Sciences and, finally,
Trades & Industry UNM-Taos needed to expand.
Klauer Campus, located on 88 acres of land, was donated to the
university by the Klauer family. It will provide the school
with the much-needed expansion room. Funded by a $2 million
GO Bond, Phase I was started in 1997 and it is now complete.
It gives the school 8,000 sq. ft. of classroom and laboratory
space in the Padre Martínez Building as well as 3,500
sq. ft. for a woodshop and computer lab in the Fred Peralta
for the new art center took place recently for Phase II. It
was funded by a $1.25 million GO Bond. The 8.900 sq. ft. center
will house painting, drawing, printings, ceramics, photography
and a metal arts studio within it.
has also received money through a Perkins grant for vocational
courses. We cant use the funds for studio arts,
but we can use it for applied arts, said Rannefeld. Our
computer labs are equipped with both PCs and Macs because graphic
artists make use of Macs. The computer room furniture
was designed and built by students in the woodworking shop.
is scheduled to be funded by GO Bond B going before the voters
in November. Classrooms, science and computer labs will fill
the 15,000 sq. ft.
UNM-Taos will address campus landscaping if they receive the
$3.152 million should the bond issue pass.
is still in the planning stages and includes a library, a student
center, a physical plant and a trades building.
former interim campus director of UNM-Taos, involved the staff
and faculty in planning the new facilities. We have been
able to establish what we need out of the gate rather than retrofitting
it at a later date, which is much more difficult, said
Larry Torres, Head of the Academy of Arts & Culture. Torres
also doubles as a lecturer, visual artist, performance artist,
cultural historian and linguist.
at UNM-Taos were invited to share their input in the new art
building design. Their suggestions included such things as clay
traps instead of grease traps in the ceramics rooms, directional
lighting with each fixture on its own switch for painting and
drawing, floor drains in dry storage and photography rooms and
appropriate air in-take/out-take valves for printing and monotype.
All address specific needs of artists in the building.
is the facility expanding, so is the faculty.
we have 17 art faculty and theyre all adjunct. We will
be hiring 15- 20 fulltime faculty in the next five years in
all disciplines. Two were hired last year and we expect to hire
an additional three this year, Rannefeld said, noting
that the plan is to add a faculty member to each field to provide
some long-term stability.
the Klauer Campus has helped the school in its successful bid
to become a full-fledged UNM branch in 2003. Increased funding,
$750,000 over the next five years, is one of the driving forces
behind the schools ability to hire new faculty.
branch campus has associated costs, too. We pay fees to
main campus for legal aid, facility planning, bookkeeping, fiscal
advice, and they provide administrative support, said
has seen a 400 percent increase in funding over the last three
years. After the county passed a 2 mill levy, we received
grant funding and had tuition increases. We run a tight ship.
The community has always supported UNM-Taos so we stretch their
money as far as we can, he said.
acknowledges that the school will reach a plateau in its enrollment.
are only 20,000 people in the county and we have almost 1,600
students enrolled. In the future, if we intend to grow, we will
need to court students from outside of the community and begin
to build student housing. he said.
the art courses that UNM-Taos offers include pottery, ceramics,
two and three-dimensional design, figure drawing, landscape
painting, portrait painting, watercolor, printmaking, jewelry,
blownglass, photography and art history. These classes are all
in response to requests from the community.
classes are capped at 12 to 15 students in order to ensure the
quality of the education, said Torres. When we were
limited to art studio classes we could only attract between
50-60 students. Now, with applied arts on board, we can attract
as many as 250 students per semester. Thats roughly a
quarter of our total student enrollment.
is a relatively new offering within the curriculum. Dale
Chihully is a pioneer in blown glass. He introduced glassblowing
in Taos. Now we offer glass blowing at UNM-Taos. Despite the
$250 course fee most art classes ordinarily have fees
between $25 and $40 glassblowing classes continue to fill
up, even to the point of bringing in students from other states!
the furniture in the art classrooms was designed and built by
the students in woodshop classes. The woodshop students get
credit and practical experience and the arts program gets equipment
at the cost of materials only.
a win/win situation, said Rannefeld. He also adds that
more than 600 students have gone through the woodworking program
in the last four years.
says that the UNM-Taos course catalog cover features work by
students in the art program. At the annual student art
show students get to exhibit their work. A blue ribbon panel
of judges selects two pieces to grace the cover; one for the
fall and one for the spring. The winner gets professional exposure
of his work and that students bio appears in the catalog.
Its a great incentive, he said. It also shows
how we are different from UNM-Albuquerque and from the other
always about creating a masterpieces; its about stretching
creativity past the limit. Thats what UNM-Taos is all