Otago Polytechnic
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    Message from Head of School

    The Dunedin School of Art is committed to hands-on studio skills training in conjunction with the conceptual development of our students.
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    Artist Residence / Adjunct

    6 June – 29 August 2016
    Blaine Western is a MFA graduate from Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland University.
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    Exhibition Mark Bolland

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    Free Workshops and Open Day

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    SCOPE Editorial

    This issue of Scope: Contemporary Research Topics in Art + Design
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    “Surfing has always focussed the cultural beam towards California and the ripples move outward via the internet,” says Ted Whitaker, electronic arts technical teacher at the Dunedin School of Art.

     Download booklet

    Our three-year Bachelor of Visual Arts takes you through an introduction to several artforms, a focus on the development of ideas through drawing, research and project design and a focused study in one studio area supported by art history and theory and a course in professional practices. At the completion of the degree you will have exhibited several times in the art school gallery, have sufficient experience to exhibit in a more public situation, and you will be familiar with the wider field of contemporary art. If you already have a relevant degree, the Graduate Diploma allows you to enter part-way through this process and complete a new major in a studio subject.

    For an overview of the Bachelor of Visual Arts course outline please see this diagram.


      Bachelor of Visual Arts

      Diploma in Ceramic Arts Level 6

      Diploma in Ceramic Arts Level 7

      Glaze Short Course

  •  Download booklet

    Postgraduate programmes offer a space for increased reflection and self-directed experimentation. Candidates increase their professionalism and their capacity for independent work. The community of the art school offers professional practices, peer support and critical feedback, preparing candidates for the wider arts community both as artists and workers in the wider fields of arts and culture.

    For an overview of postgraduate course options, please see this diagram.


      Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours)

      Graduate Diploma in Visual Arts

      Postgraduate Certificate in Visual Arts

      Postgraduate Diploma in Visual Arts

      Master of Visual Arts

      Master of Fine Arts

  • Night classes run throughout the year regularly in short blocks. They are usually in the evening but we have some day classes too. They are a chance to develop new skills, refresh familiar ones, or simply enjoy doing what you love. They are not assessed but you can gain skills that may lead you toward qualifications. We have a wide range of subjects so explore the website and pick from what is on offer.


      Night classes

Our programmes are available for part-time and full-time study allowing our students to earn qualifications in their own time, at their own pace. We also have off-site flexible delivery available. Please check which option might suit you.

Make, learn and thrive at the Dunedin School of Art.

We provide a true art school experience through hands-on making in spacious, well-equipped workshops and studio facilities. Our school community is welcoming and supportive allowing you to enrich your own unique art practice and to explore career options. We offer flexible teaching methods which are designed for visual thinkers. Our lecturers are working artists with wide-ranging practices.  
Living a culture of respect and support, we value each individual for who they are – each person is celebrated. Dunedin is a student city, embracing the arts, cultural creativity and learning. The Otago region is renowned for its outstanding environmental features and exciting outdoor recreational opportunities. Why not also consider our study abroad options as part of your individual program?

Studio disciplines

The Dunedin School of Art has a number of specialist studio disciplines, ensuring that you find your niche.


Ceramics allows students to explore three-dimensional expression. Ceramic work can range from innovative, figurative and sculptural pieces to finely-made vessels. 

Study Ceramics as a contemporary art practice at Otago Polytechnic and be part of the only dedicated ceramics studio in New Zealand. You will benefit from an emphasis on hands-on experimentation in clay making workshops.

Become familiar with glaze technologies and develop ways of working that are appropriate for your artistic ideas.

Emphasis is on exploration and experimentation by extending the material qualities, processes and potential of ceramics as a medium for contemporary art practice. You will develop individual projects which explore ceramics as a medium with its own formal language, skills and history. The department has wood, salt, electric and gas kilns, electric wheels and online research facilities for student use.

Lecturers: Scott Eady, MFA, Michele Beevors, MFA. MA
Diploma in Ceramic Arts Co-ordinator/Technician and Lecturer: Rob Cloughley, MFA
Programme Advisor: Neil Grant, DFA

 Electronic arts

The Electronic Arts studio enables you to explore a wide range of approaches to art using new media and old technologies including film, video, animation, sound, online communities, augmented reality, performance, and installation. Explore the blurred boundaries between still and moving images, computer graphics and communication technologies to develop your own unique art practice in a field that is constantly shifting and evolving.

Useful links: Aotearoa Digital Arts

Studio Co-ordinator: Mark Bolland, MA (RCA)
Lecturer: David Green

 Jewellery and MetalsmithingLearn about the craft and language of adornment. Our workshops include specialist facilities for stone cutting, lost wax casting, silversmithing, screen printing, etching and anodising. Contemporary jewellery is based on interaction, communication and contact and inspires intimate or aggressively provocative work. It uses an unlimited palette of materials from precious metal and stone to recycled waste. The fundamental reference for Jewellery & Metalsmithing is indeed the human body.

The Jewellery and Metalsmithing studio offers terrific facilities in a welcoming space. Senior students have dedicated home spaces and their own work bench.  Shared facilities include:
  • A room with 18 work benches, each with jeweller's hand tools and gas torches
  • A workshop with diamond grinding and cutting machines for stone work
  • A machine room with lathe, band saw, drill press, belt sanding machines and polishing motors
  • A hearth room for melting, casting, soldering and hammering
  • A chemical room with fume cabinet.

Studio Co-ordinator: Andrew Last, MA (FA)
Lecturer: Johanna Zellmer, MA (VA)
Technician: Brendan Monson, BFA


Develop your skill in painting, and make your artwork relevant to today’s society and to national and international contemporary practice. Investigate painting movements and methodologies of recent centuries and apply them to your own work.

Each stage of the Bachelor of Visual Arts programme presents an organised and measured understanding of the techniques, theories and approaches available to artists today. We offer individual studio spaces for year two and three students, while year one students share a new studio space.

Studio Co-ordinator: Graham Fletcher, Doctorate in Fine Arts
Lecturers: Michael Greaves, BFA, BA (AH/T), BTchg(Sec), Clive Humphreys, DipAD (Hons), Michael Morley, MFA
Technical Teacher: Colin Howes, NZC Sc (Geology), DFA (Hons)


Develop a photographic practice that is critically engaged both with the world of images around you and the other aspects of your life, your community and the place you live. Learn how to make informed and appropriate choices about the range of technologies available to you, from darkroom to digital, to communicate your experiences and ideas.

The photography department is equipped to enable you to explore the photographic in all its forms using darkrooms, large-scale colour printing, computer labs and a lighting studio.

Studio Co-ordinator: Mark Bolland, MA (RCA)
Lecturer: Rachel Allan, MFA


The Print Studio comprises a large, workshop facility enabling an engagement with a comprehensive range of print processes and techniques. Traditional media such as metal plate etching, relief printing and screen printing sit comfortably alongside contemporary digital print and image development technologies. This facility is certainly one of the best equipped studios of its kind in New Zealand.

Experienced and award-winning staff guide and encourage students to develop critical approaches to image making though directed research and a hands-on exploration of the materials and methodologies related to the studio/workshop.

Studio Co-ordinator, Neil Emmerson, MVA
Lecturer, Marion Wassenaar, MFA
Technical Teacher Steev Peyroux, DFA, BA (Dance)


Contemporary Sculpture encompasses; Installation practice, site specific art works, public sculpture, performance, live art and the object in relation to the commodity and the handcrafted. Sculpture at the Dunedin School of Art examines the contemporary context and relational field through an emphasis on history, theory, communities and material cultures.

Students work on individual programmes of study through self-directed practical and theoretical research.

The workshop is equipped to international standards with separate workshops for wood, metal, plaster and clay, plastic, bronze.

The department emphasises a practical approach to problem solving, and to philosophical and critical understanding of the position of the object within western culture today.  

Useful links

The Otago Sculpture Trust; set up to foster and develop sculptural practice across Otago and beyond.

Studio Co-ordinator Michele Beevors, MFA. MA www.michelebeevors.org
Lecturer Scott Eady, MFA
Technical Teacher Jamie Oliphant, BFA


Discover Textiles in a visual arts context, and examine the value of cloth and its relationship to the body, different genders and classes, and material culture. The field of textile practice can encompass many approaches, such as sculptural, 2D and site-specific artworks.

We specialise in print and construction processes that employ a variety of surface treatments, such as screen-print methodologies using pigment ink, dye, discharge; and burnout applications, manual and digital embroidery and 3D sewing.

Useful links: Suture Self - an exhibition curated by Victoria Bell with Neil Emmerson and Clive Humphreys.

Studio Co-ordinator: Victoria Bell, MFA
Lecturer: Clive Humphreys, DipAD (Hons) 
Technician: Brendan Monson, BFA

Is a career in art for me?

Are you creative and imaginative? Do you believe you have talent? If you are able to think laterally and independently, are motivated, have a good work ethic, and are willing to be open-minded and adaptable – art could be the ideal choice for you!

> Message from Head of School Leoni Schmidt

Dear students, colleagues and friends of the Dunedin School of Art,

We are looking forward to a productive and creative 2016. I invite you to attend our weekly seminars, regular exhibitions and other events – these are free of charge and all are welcome. Please view the news and events at the top of the page and our facebook page to see what’s going on amongst our community of artists in the School.

The Dunedin School of Art is committed to hands-on studio skills training in conjunction with the conceptual development of our students. We aim to prepare students for lifelong work and participation in a wide range of arts-related fields. Our graduates are able to engage with the art world of the 21st Century and they make valuable contributions to communities wherever they find themselves.

I’m looking forward to working with you all through the new year, to seeing exciting work in progress by students and colleagues, and to welcoming visitors to our community and our events. My door is always open for students, parents, and all those interested in what we do in the Dunedin School of Art.

Professor Leoni Schmidt Head: Dunedin School of Art. leoni.schmidt@op.ac.nz

image: Prof. Leoni Schmidt at the Rudolf Stingel exhibition, Venice 2013

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Student exhibition galleries

See image galleries above for a selection of art works from our annual completing student exhibitions; SITE.

For all other student exhibitions see our exhibition archive pre-2013

flickr badge 256   or flickr galleries post 2013  or see featured videos on our home page.