School of Fine Arts

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School of Fine Arts student's performing dance routine.

The School of Fine Arts offers varied degree programs, grounded in the liberal arts, in three academic departments -- Art & Design, Music, and Theatre – where performance and exhibition are part of the learning experience.

SFA serves the greater community by preserving and promoting the arts and our heritage through our non-academic units: The Tweed Museum of Art; Glensheen, the Historic Congdon Estate on the shores of Lake Superior; SFA also supports artists and researchers through the VizLab and MMAD Lab; and through the Fine Arts Academy, provides community arts education for people of all ages and experience.

Department of Art + Design

A creative life grows out of inquiry, is nurtured through diversity, and strives to engage the world, reinventing and renewing itself over time.

At the Department of Art and Design, we understand the creative life. We aim to stimulate and provoke students as independent thinkers and creators who explore various media and methods, under the mentorship of distinguished faculty who – like a mosaic – become a whole comprised of many distinct, yet connected parts. We can show you how to reinvent and renew yourself over a creative lifetime beginning with coursework that will challenge you and prepare you for careers limited only by your own imagination.

Department of Music

The Department of Music at UMD offers you the variety and quality of musical instruction that you expect from a place three times larger with the individualized instruction and care of someplace half the size. Come join us in Duluth; a town nestled just against the lapping shores of the largest of the Great Lakes, Lake Superior, and home to a vibrant community of art and artists. The Department of Music offers you the opportunity to continue your musical career as a music major, or your participation in ensembles as a non-major as well. We offer five different undergraduate degrees and four different graduate degrees in music as well as the minor in music and jazz studies.

Department of Theatre

Collaborative, interdisciplinary, and ephemeral by definition, theatre is a medium that challenges us to engage with one another and with an ever-changing world.

The Department of Theatre invites students with a passion for the performing arts to join its academically and artistically rigorous program. We pride ourselves as much on individual mentorship of our student artists as on the artistic merit of our productions. Offering degree programs for both the Bachelor of Arts (BA) and the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), the department enables students to choose the path that best suits their individual aspirations and talents. Students in both programs are supported by rich and varied production opportunities that will prepare them for careers in the performing arts and a wide range of related professions.

Glensheen Historic Estate

Come see why Glensheen Mansion, perched on the shore of Lake Superior, is the most visited historic home in Minnesota. Our 7-acre estate features gardens, bridges, and the famous 39-room mansion built with remarkable 20th century craftsmanship, telling the story of the Duluth region.  Chester and Clara Congdon built Glensheen between 1905 and 1908 as their home. This influential family is known for opening up iron mining in this region and setting aside land for public use, such as the North Shore Scenic Highway and Congdon Park.

Glensheen was donated to the University of Minnesota and opened as a historic house museum in 1979 and, here’s the amazing part, the collection is intact. The top hat in the closet? That was Chester Congdon’s. The letters in the desk drawer? Those were written by Clara. The sheets in the linen closet? Organized by the Congdons’ 2nd floor maid nearly 100 years ago. And that’s just inside the mansion….

Tweed Museum of Art

Tweed Museum of Art, University of Minnesota Duluth, functions as an art collecting and teaching institution that promotes learning through collection stewardship, research, and by presentations in the visual arts for the engagement program of the University and surrounding communities. With a permanent collection of over 9,000 art objects representing a range of cultures and periods of art history, the Tweed Museum of Art on the campus of the University of Minnesota Duluth is a major cultural and educational resource for the Upper Midwest.

Fine Arts Academy

A professional unit within the School of Fine Arts, the Fine Arts Academy offers high quality arts instruction to students ranging from infants to adults, and encompassing every skill level. Led by an experienced faculty of teaching artists, programs include early childhood music and movement courses, advanced opportunities in art and design for youth, and music programs for all.

The Fine Arts Academy is a member of the National Guild for Community Arts Education and our music programs are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.

Viz Lab | MMAD Lab

The Viz and MMAD (Motion and Media Across Disciplines) Labs are exciting resources for faculty, graduate, and undergraduate student research, pedagogical development, and creative exploration across the campus of UMD. Currently our labs are hosting multidisciplinary collaborations among faculty in theatre, digital arts, exercise science, mechanical engineering, and computer science. These are just a few of the diverse fields that take advantage of these unique resources, helping drive the interdisciplinary conversations that reflect the complex world we live and work in. These Labs build on the School of Fine Arts long-standing record of research support for UMD faculty and students, while consistently providing access to new and emerging technologies.