The college views the study of the arts as a vital part of a liberal arts education and shows this commitment by offering many state-of-the-art facilities and venues for the creation, display, and study of art.

For art majors, the beautiful Katherine and Tom Belk Visual Arts Center serves as the academic heart of your experience at Davidson.

Belk Visual Arts Center

Organized around a central, light-filled atrium, the 43,000 square-foot Katherine and Tom Belk Visual Arts Center offers abundant teaching, studio, office, meeting, work, storage, and gallery space. This magnificent facility was designed by the architectural firm of Graham Gund and Associates of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and opened in fall 1993.

The centerpiece of the atrium is Auguste Rodin's life-size statue Jean d'Aire one of six figures from his famous monument of The Burghers of Calais sculpted in 1886.

Van Every/Smith Galleries

Located at the front entrance to the Belk Visual Arts Center, the Van Every/Smith Galleries provide 2,000 square feet for faculty, student, and guest exhibitions.

Permanent Collection

The college's 2,700-piece permanent collection includes works by such artists as: Rembrandt, Picasso, Matisse, de Kooning, Motherwell, Bearden, Kollwitz, and Hockney. The works are cataloged and housed in climate-controlled quarters located within the Visual Arts Center, with adjoining rooms for preparation and materials storage.

Academic & Studio Spaces

Art history courses are taught in the 50-seat lecture hall, the Mary D.B.T. Semans Auditorium, with complete audio-visual capability. The adjacent seminar room also provides digital access to workstudied in each currently offered course. 

Card access allows this and other work and study areas of the Visual Arts Center to be available to art students 18 hours a day. The slide and digital collection of more than 70,000 images is managed by a visual arts curator and available as a resource to students.

For the study of studio art, the Visual Arts Center contains separate shops for etching and lithography, including one of the finest collections of lithographic stones in the country. The 6,500 square-foot sculpture area enables students to work in wood, clay, plaster, metal, and features an outdoor bronze foundry and 3D printing capabilities. On the second floor are large classroom studios for painting and drawing, as well as a state-of-the-art digital lab.

Senior studio art majors are granted individual studios on a competitive basis. Faculty offices with adjoining studios and a comfortable student-faculty lounge complete the Visual Arts Center's space.

Professor and student dressed in protective gear pour liquid bronze at the bronze foundry.

Bronze Foundry

The outdoor bronze foundry is located off the Belk Visual Arts Center. Sculpture students have the opportunity to cast works in bronze through the lost-wax process, essentially creating hollow wax models of their pieces, which are cast in ceramic molds to be replaced by liquid metal. The foundry contains a furnace and kiln.

Student is painting a canvas in his studio at the Visual Arts Center

Individual Studio Spaces

Art majors with an emphasis in studio art are granted individual studio spaces on a competitive basis beginning junior year. Majors use this space for coursework and to prepare for their senior solo exhibitions, which they host in the Smith Gallery.

Two students work with machinery that cuts wood for a sculpture at the Sculpture Lab

Sculpture Lab

Basic and advanced sculpture courses take place in the 6,500 square-foot sculpture area at the Belk Visual Arts Center. The equipment enables students to work in media such as wood, clay, plaster, metal, and 3D prints.

Student admires 3D printed snowflake created in Studio M

Studio M

The campus maker & innovation space regularly hosts gatherings that allow students in all courses to experiment with 3D printing, laser cutting, deconstructing and rebuilding objects.