Otago Polytechnic

Applications for 2016

Applications are open until Monday 15 February, 2016 when programmes begin.

For undergraduate advice, please contact mark.bolland@op.ac.nz

For postgraduate advice, please contact alex.kennedy@op.ac.nz

Dunedin School of Art
Riego Street, Dunedin

Kia ora and welcome to the Dunedin School of Art

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.

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
Technical Teacher: Ted Whittaker, BFA

 Jewellery and Metalsmithing

Develop your artistic eye and practical skills, along with the understanding that the fundamental reference for jewellery is the human body. Jewellery uses a visual language based on interaction, communication and contact, and may be expressive and intimate or aggressively provocative. Art, objects and adornment for the body use an unlimited palette of materials, from precious metal and stone to recycled waste. 

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 and Alex Kennedy, 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
Technical Teachers Stacey Butler, BVA


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
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 2015. 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. Please come and talk to me if you have any ideas about how we can engage ever more widely with our communities.

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

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

leoni HOS photo 623px


What level of study suits you?

  • Undergraduate
  • Postgraduate
  • Night classes

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.