Creative U summer camp students and faculty standing outside near trees
  The inaugural Creative U Summer Arts Camp at CVAD was a resounding success!


Welcome, Friends, to your CVAD Update!

Message from Dean Hutzel

Aug. 15, 2023

Hello, Friends,

Save the Date, Oct. 28, 2023, for CVAD Celebrates 130/30I am pleased to greet you with lots of wonderful news from CVAD! Before you read about our great summer, please save the date to join us for the second annual CVAD Celebrates on Oct. 28, with activities from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. This year, we will celebrate 130 years of teaching art and 30 years as a separate art school when we became a stand-alone academic unit — the School of Visual Arts. Note that Oct. 28 is also UNT Homecoming, so please find us on the opposite side of campus for our celebration and an exceptional exhibition by Cey Adams in the main Gallery, with student art and design exhibitions throughout the Art Building and Art Annex. We will have special rooms for alumni gatherings, a bounce house, other activities for children and much more. Our faculty will be here to answer questions, chat about new research or walk down memory lane with you — more details to follow. Please join us!

Congratulations to Erin Joyce (2010, B.A., Art History), writer, educator and curatorial advisor to the Arizona State University Art Museum in Tempe, Ariz., who is among nine writers to receive one of this year’s Rabkin Prizes for visual arts journalism with a $50,000 award for her work. Read more about Erin in our Alumni in Touch section.

Also, be sure to link to CVAD News and Views articles about recent faculty promotions, photos of commencement and online senior shows from the Department of Design. We also hope you'll check on our collaboration with the Dallas Cowboys for a Minority Creative Workshop at The Star in Frisco, Texas.

If you follow us on Facebook or Instagram, you may have noticed that CVAD Graphic Design students recently walked away with 77 Graphis New Talent Awards. As CVAD's social media presence stretches to reach 5,000 followers on Facebook and Instagram, please accept credit for boosting our Instagram account to be the second-highest following of an academic college at UNT!

Stay cool; fall weather is coming soon!

Karen written in cursive handwriting


Karen Hutzel, Ph.D.
Dean and Professor

College of Visual Arts and Design
#UNTCVAD Facebook | Instagram | YouTube

Back of students facing the stage at 2023 commencement
Exhibition: "Cey Adams, Departure: 40 Years of Art and Design," Aug. 22–Dec. 15, 2023, UNT Art Building, CVAD Gallery, free and open to the public. 

  Alumni in Touch

Catch up here with a few alums in the spotlight. Let us hear from you through the CVAD Alumni Update form
Erin facing forward looking, long wavy hair

Erin Joyce

2010, B.A., Art History
M.A., Museum Studies, The John Hopkins University

One of nine recipients this year, Erin Joyce recently received the prestigious $50,000 Rabkin Prize from the Dorothea and Leo Rabkin Foundation for her work in visual art journalism. Read more about Erin.

Cory smiling, shaved head, glasses, beard, khaki shirtCory Say

2007, B.F.A., Communication Design: Graphic Design

A senior designer, lettering artist, and illustrator at Hallmark in Kansas City, Mo., Cory Say freelances and teaches various typography classes at Texas A&M-Commerce, Commerce, Texas. Read more.

Beatriz facing forward, smiling, long curly hair, yellow top
Beatriz Galuban

Ph.D., 2021, Art Education with a Museum Education Certificate

Beatriz Galuban specializes in empathy programming in museums with a research focus on narrative inquiry and storytelling. Read more Connections/Reconnections program leader at the Meadows Museum.

Mallory, left, and Macy Cowden
Macey and Mallory Cowden

B.F.A., 2023, Communication Design: Graphic Design

CVAD rarely gets a double dose of talent from one family in the same year and the same program, but at this year's commencement, we were proud to send off the Cowden twins, both prepared with B.F.A. degrees in Communication Design with a concentration in Graphic Design and both magna cum laude. We're sure Macey and Mallory will continue to get double looks for their beautiful graphic designs. Read more about this design duo.

R'Bonney, 3/4 view, hair in an updo, large earring
R'Bonney Gabriel

B.F.A., 2018, Fashion Design
Miss Universe
Lead sewing instructor, Magpies & Peacocks, Houston

Six months into her reign as Miss Universe 2022, R'Bonney Gabriel is still designing, sewing and touting the benefits of recycling and upcycling clothes. Traveling worldwide, Gabriel continues to advocate for ethical practices in the fashion industry. Her message of transforming unwanted textiles and fabrics from landfills into new fashion collections has become her worldwide mantra. Read more about her work as a global ambassador for the power of good. 

Gina smiling, brown curly hair, beige shirt
Gina Lecca

B.F.A., 2020, Communication Design

We're always delighted to hear from alumni, especially when they're sharing good news, so we congratulate Gina Lecca upon hearing of her new job at Fossil. Read more about Gina. 


  Alumni Challenge: Can you name that faculty member?

Black-and-white image of faculty, year unknown

Small version of an old photo of faculty from the 1980s.As we plan for CVAD Celebrates 130 / 30, we've pulled some photos from yesteryear. Can you name that faculty? We enlarged this photo in case reading glasses aren't nearby. Name at least 10 faculty correctly for a CVAD T-shirt or other swag! Send your answers and snail mail address to

  Strategic National Arts Alumni Project, SNAAP

snaap, strategic national arts alumni project, tracking the lives & careers of arts graduates

In 2022, CVAD again participated in SNAAP, the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project, a survey that explores the lives of arts alumni in North America. The results have recently been shared with us.

More than 61,220 alums responded from 120 institutions nationwide; two-thirds reported on their undergraduate coursework, and one-third reported on their graduate coursework. Most of the 385 CVAD respondents reported on their undergraduate coursework and graduated in the last 20 years. Eighty-four percent rated their overall experience at UNT as excellent or good, and 87% of CVAD alums would recommend the college to another student. 

CVAD continues to prepare its students well for their future careers: 81% of CVAD alum who participated in the SNAAP survey feel that their career very much or to some extent draws upon skills and abilities developed during their time at UNT, while three-fourths of the respondents feel that their current career is closely or somewhat related to their field of study at UNT. 

Two other positive notes relate to the COVID-19 pandemic and diversity: half of CVAD alumni report that their income has increased since March 2020, while 70% indicate that their workload has remained the same or increased since the pandemic’s onset. 

Finally, CVAD respondents overwhelmingly indicated that the college expanded their worldviews.

  • 98% of them learned about creative works from diverse cultures or creators.
  • 96% stated that they learned from faculty, instructors, and visiting professionals who represent a diversity of identities.
  • 85% learned about racial justice or social equity within their coursework.

Special thanks go to our alums who participated in this vital instrument of feedback for CVAD.

   Meet our New Advancement Board Members

Samson looking forward smiling, gray hair and beard, black t-shirt

Daisha Board

Curator, educator and owner of the Daisha Board galleries
Website: Daisha Board Art Gallery
Instagram: Daisha Board Gallery
Winner of D Magazine's 2023 Best Satellite Gallery in Downtown Dallas

Facade of the Daisha Board Gallery in West DallasDaisha Board owns a contemporary art gallery Daisha Board Gallery, 2111 Sylvan Ave, Dallas, representing BIPOC, LGBTQ+ and disabled artists locally and abroad in various mediums, including mixed media, sculpture, photography, installations, performance art and digital media. The Daisha Board Gallery focuses on optimum visibility, inclusion, and acquisitions for marginalized artists. Board has curated, juried, and collaborated on exhibitions and projects throughout Dallas's traditional and non-traditional art spaces. To name a few, The Arlington Art Fair, The Other Art Fair, African American Museum of Dallas, Dallas Contemporary, 500X Gallery and the City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture.

Atinuke standing next to Daisha BoardIn April 2023, Board opened her second location in downtown Dallas: Daisha Board Gallery at The Joule Dallas Hotel, 1604 Main St, Ste. 100, Dallas. It is the first Black woman-owned contemporary art gallery in downtown Dallas, furthering opportunities for visitors to engage with a full roster of extraordinary artists. Her third location is set to open later this month in the Tin District of West Dallas. Check the DBG website for more information.

Board believes the most important part of the artist's experience is the gaze and what that feels like to be seen. A graduate of Bethune-Cookman University, a historically Black university in Daytona Beach, Fla., Board holds a B.A. in political science and African American studies.

Images: Portrait of Daisha Board; Board standing in front of her downtown Dallas gallery; Board with newly signed artist and CVAD alum Atinuke Adeleke represented by the Board galleries.

Samson looking forward smiling, gray hair and beard, black t-shirt
Philip Samson

Alum: M.F.A., 2022, Studio Art: Scultpure
CVAD Advancement Board
Instagram: Phil Samson Art
Research & Innovation: Creating Sculptures

From the farm fields in Nebraska, sifting and cultivating through data at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, to gardening and plant science exploration, biodiversity has turned into Phil Samson's muse.

He serves on four boards, including his recent nomination and unanimous approval to join the College of Visual Arts and Design Board of Directors. He also volunteered to be a part of the alumni relations committee of the board. Phil credits his first important career decision to enter the business consulting industry to his mother and father. They challenged his active mind during his formative years with significant science, art, history, and nature exposure.  His second big career decision to retire from his consulting practice and pursue a formal art education came after realizing that his passion for expressing complex ideas through artmaking brought him the most joy.  As is his process, he consulted with his spouse, UNT art faculty and administration, and friends in the North Texas art community before enrolling in 2017 as a full-time UNT CVAD art student.

Phil's client engagements with PricewaterhouseCoopers often involved extensive travel. He often sought out local art museums, galleries and public art during client trips.  He was fortunate to have one of the largest global art auction houses as a client, giving him a behind-the-scenes view of an art world participant.  He also had large clients with extensive corporate art collections, which he often found a way to tour.

Sculpture named "Anamolous" by Phil Samson, green abstract formPost-retirement, Phil returned to college to earn another degree. Phil graduated from Texas A&M, College Station, Texas, in 1984 with a B.B.A. in business analysis and research, but upon his return to college, he chose to pursue his passion for art. From 2019–2022, he was enrolled at the College of Visual Arts and Design, pursuing an M.F.A. in Studio Art with a concentration in Sculpture.

His art practice is focused on visually stimulating scientific bodies with partially abstracted biological shapes. He said his goal is to expound upon scientists' minds' creative and innovative capacities as they work to impact our future positively.

Phil currently interacts with UNT‘s genetic engineering scientists as they seek to make plants more resilient, useful and bountiful. Using their research, processes, and results to influence his sculpture’s design, Phil manipulates, massages, and mixes contemporary mediums, such as acrylic plastic and resin, with traditional sculpture, fiber, and paint. See Phil's M.F.A. 2022 catalog entry in CVAD News & Views

  Staff Member Highlight

Jerry, short brown hair, glasses, arms folded, smilingJerry Aul

B.A.A.S., 2023
Senior Administrative Coordinator, CVAD

If you worked here or graduated in 1998 or later, you may know Jerry Aul, our senior administrative coordinator providing yeoman's work in the Dean's Office. If you need some help, Jerry is tenacious and can be counted on to see the job through. He was with us through the name change from the School of Visual Arts to the College of Visual Arts and Design in 2004, working in the Department of Design and briefly in Advising before moving to the Dean's Office. Jerry is known for his friendly voice, ready smile, and determination to get work done.

USS Curtis Wilbur, guided missile destroyer, in the Pacific OceanNot only providing yeoman's work for CVAD, Jerry was an actual yeoman for the U.S. Navy as a petty officer aboard the USS Curtis Wilbur, a guided missile destroyer named after the 43rd Secretary of the Navy. After the ship was built in Bath, Maine, it was underway to San Diego, Calif., for commissioning in March 1994, allowing Jerry to go through the Panama Canal, a highlight of his Navy career, he said. One detriment to shipbuilding can be exposure to hazardous materials, which, along with military downsizing at the time, hastened Jerry's separation from the Navy and eventually brought him to Denton, Texas, to be near family.

Jerry wearing his graduation cap and gown in May 2023In 2002, with GI Bill benefits, Jerry started his college career at UNT — until the benefits ran out in three years. He was a bachelor out of college until he met and married Tracey in 2005 and continued his work at CVAD.

Over the years, Jerry has always been tenacious about learning new technology, adapting to change and helping new employees. He said he has seen tremendous growth in the college, especially in the number of faculty, staff and students. The biggest change of all, he said, is the $70 million renovation and construction of the Art Building that was completed in 2019. Working constantly with faculty and higher education students motivated Jerry again to take up where he left off in his senior year of college. But the biggest motivators, he said, were to complete a long-term goal and be a good role model for his granddaughters, Ava, 12, and Alexandria, 9, who now live with Tracey and him.

"I wanted to show my granddaughters that taking up a difficult challenge at any age and seeing it through is worth the hard work and effort." Congratulations, Jerry Aul, Class of 2023! We salute you! #CVADproud

Caption: The guided-missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur, DDG 54, is underway in the Pacific Ocean. Curtis Wilbur is assigned to the USS Kitty Hawk Carrier Strike Group, 7th Fleet. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate Airman Stephen W. Rowe

  Creative U Update

Creative U students and faculty

In June 2023, CVAD launched its first-ever summer arts program Creative U. The program, in development at the college over the last few years, is a collaboration between the CVAD Foundations program and the Onstead Institute for Education in the Visual Arts and Design.

The Foundations program encompasses a coursework track to provide a framework for visual problem-solving and critical-thinking strategies. It incorporates the study of culture, history, and practices of various art and design forms across disciplines to prepare students for rigorous college courses in visual art, design, art education and art history. The Onstead Institute provides services and resources for the college’s K-12 art and design education efforts. The two units partnered to establish Creative U, which welcomed 20 aspiring high-school artists to the college for two weeks of studio activities and on-campus excursions.

10 Creative U students working on art projects at tablesCreative U students undertook several projects in the program, allowing them to gain exposure to various aspects of drawing, color theory, collage, design, and production of small artbooks called zines and other artistic elements, techniques, and practices. Students were enthusiastic about their experiences in the program. One student remarked, “This camp has helped me improve how I see art. I often move too fast. I am learning to slow down and fully analyze the piece I am looking at.” Another observed, “The program is so interactive and free to allow us to explore and connect. I love my instructors and peers.”

In addition to nurturing the talent of young artists, the program also allowed them to experience the university setting. Students had lunch daily at Bruce Hall, one of the campus’s signature dining areas. They also enjoyed trips to Special Collections and The Spark, a maker's space within Willis Library, and the Texas Fashion Collection. CVAD Galleries Curator and Director Stefanie Dlugosz-Acton also met with students to discuss curatorial practices and exhibition spaces.

For making this inaugural event a success, special thanks go to Peter Hyland, Onstead Institute director; Binod Shrestha, associate professor and Foundations director; Eric Ligon, professor and senior associate dean for administrative affairs; Kim Willis, senior administrative coordinator; Jennifer Stanley, teaching fellow; and Marcela Reyes, adjunct faculty assistant.

Building on the success of the inaugural year, CVAD plans to offer Creative U annually each summer. Information about enrolling in 2024 will be available later this fall.

  Community Art & Design Supply and Book Shelves

For students who have or need art and design supplies, CVAD has set up two locations in the Art Building where supplies can be dropped off or picked up. Donations of art and design supplies and books are gladly accepted.

Special thanks to our inaugural donors who make this project possible.

    David Brooks
    Cohn Drennan
    Susan Gabbard
    Independent Financial
    Amy Kelly

Anita & Kevin Moran
Lena Morris
Richard Riccardi
Monica & Phil Sampson
Debbie Stafford

Debbie Stafford
James Tippit
Katherine Wagner
David Wilgus
Jim T. Wilson

To drop off supplies or books, please contact Facilities Manager Jeff McClung,, 940-369-7237. To donate to the supply fund, contact Senior Development Officer Felicia Lewis,, 940-369-8042.

CVAD Community Art and Design Supply Shelves

Two men looking at art supplies with shelves in the background.

  CVAD Students & Alums featured at Meow Wolf

Meow Wolf's newest immersive art experience in Grapevine, The Real Unreal, features the work of several students and alumni listed below."The North Texan" caught up with some of the UNT artists. "The North Texan" caught up with some of the UNT artists to learn more about their innovative works, which can be found everywhere in The Real Unreal, from the Glowquarium to the Neon Kingdom. Meow Wolf, founded in 2008 and headquartered in Santa Fe, N.M., is an arts and entertainment company that creates large-scale interactive and immersive art installations with its fourth permanent location in Grapevine, Texas.

    Brooke Chaney
    Jacob Dominguez
    Leah Flook
    Hallow Geffert

Eric Grasham
Morgan Grasham
Loc Huynh
Dan Lam

Carmen Menza
Adam Palmer
Alexander Revier
Jose Vazques

  On the Calendar

Aug. 21–Dec. 15: Fall Semester
Aug. 22–Dec. 15: Exhibition: "Cey Adams, Departure, 40 Years of Art and Design"
Oct. 28, 9 a.m.–3 p.m.: CVAD Celebrates 130/30!
CVAD Upcoming Events | UNT Alumni Calendar | UNT Events Calendar | Gallery Exhibitions

#UNTCVAD animated gif

Gif courtesy of alumna Megan Motown, Class of 2010

CVAD News and Views

CVAD Marketing, Office of the Dean, produces this e-newsletter.
Questions, comments or suggestions? Contact us.
Email: | 940-369-5249
Mailing address: 1155 Union Circle #305100, Denton, TX 76201
Physical address: 1201 W. Mulberry St., UNT Art Building, Room 101, Denton, TX 76203-5017