The Art of Education

Terry Tyler.

Terry Tyler.

Terry Tyler is the President of the Kentucky School of Art at Spalding University. Founded just a few years ago, the Kentucky School of Art (KSA) has experienced explosive growth recently, and Terry joined as President last May.  On Dec. 6 the KSA will host an open house for our community to learn more about the programs offered to college students. Terry recently shared details about KSA and the event with me.

Lori Kommor: Why was the Kentucky School of Art (KSA) started?
Terry Tyler: The Kentucky School of Art at Spalding University was founded in 2008 by Churchill Davenport, a Louisville native and artist who has taught and served as an administrator at some of the best art schools in the country. KSA started as a grassroots community-oriented program offering artist lectures, workshops and art appreciation classes. Today, Kentucky School of Art at Spalding University is an innovative art and design school with a fully accredited Bachelor of Fine Arts program and nearly 100 students. We are on track to be five times that size by 2018 and 2,000 students by 2025.

Kommor: As President of KSA, what is your vision for the school?
Tyler: Our vision is to build one of the top art schools in the nation. We open the door to students from all backgrounds who wish to lead a creative and productive life through a higher education in the visual arts. It has been proven historically that art schools play a major role in the revitalization of urban spaces as well as in the development of new commerce opportunities. Businesses must engage creative capital to maintain a competitive edge. The Kentucky School of Art at Spalding University is educating regional artists and designers and adding this talent to our already rich business and arts community.

Kommor: What programs are offered at KSA?
Tyler: Kentucky School of Art at Spalding University students can earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts in five majors: Digital Media, General Fine Arts, Graphic Design, Interdisciplinary Sculpture and Painting & Drawing. Courses include: Color and Design, Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Photography, Video and Animation.  Unlike other art schools, KSA awards studio space for all students – freshman, sophomores, juniors and seniors. We offer a study abroad program and require students to complete an internship in their junior or senior year to help ensure job placement as a KSA graduate. 95% of our students receive some combination of financial support through private scholarships, government aid and institutional student aid.

Kommor: The school campus resides on the same property with Spalding University. What is the affiliation with Spalding?
Tyler: The Kentucky School of Art is an affiliate of Spalding University and is located at the Spalding University campus in the South Broadway neighborhood. KSA students are also Spalding University students and have all of the amenities afforded a Spalding student. Spalding on-campus housing is available to KSA students.

Kommor: What makes your faculty unique?
Tyler: We have a dedicated group of faculty members who have education and experience at 7 of the top 10 rated art schools nationwide.  Our class size is small allowing teachers to work with students one-on-one.  We offer a 12-1 student-teacher ratio.

Kommor: How has KSA helped with the renewal of the South Broadway neighborhood?
Tyler: We are proud to be taking the lead on the 4th Street corridor expansion that will connect downtown to the airport. By partnering with Vision Louisville and Mayor Fischer, the Kentucky School of Art and Spalding University have been a positive catalyst for change in the South Broadway neighborhood and the city of Louisville. Our students will become artists, designers and creative thinkers who will be business and cultural contributors to our community.

Kommor: Are there exhibits of the artist’s work on campus?
Tyler: Student art is displayed on campus in our 849 Gallery at different times during the year. In addition, we invite four, nationally recognized artists to our Visiting Artist Series every year.  The artists teach a six-week class, display their artwork at 849 and conduct a lecture for our community. The current exhibition is “Land and Sea” photography by Annie Langan and Michael Cevoli. The 849 Gallery is open to the public Thursdays and Fridays 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. and during special events.

Kommor: What is the best way for our community and potential students to find out more information about the Kentucky School of Art at Spalding University?
Tyler: Join us for our Open House on Saturday, Dec. 6 from 1-3 p.m. at our 849 Gallery, 849 South Third St. Our faculty and current students will be in the gallery to provide campus tours, answer questions and review portfolios. Additional information is available at www.kentuckyschoolofart.org or by calling 502.618.4600.