choirUpdate on our 2020-2021 Season

The College of Fine Arts has always been committed to providing the highest quality in arts programming. We recognize, however, that current circumstances necessitate changes in the presentation of this programming. Some may be live with limited audience participation, and some will be totally presented on virtual platforms.

Our promise is to keep you informed of these changes as we navigate this situation together – through our website, newsletters and social media. We appreciate your continued support and feedback.


125th logoCelebrating 125 years of Wichita State

In September 1895, Fairmount College, the forerunner of Wichita State University, held its first classes just northeast of 17th Street and Hillside. Now, 125 years later, we celebrate the ever-expanding role of our institution as a pillar of cultural and academic excellence, a vital engine of economic growth and a positive force in the lives of millions.

Wichita State will celebrate the Quasquicentennial with a host of events, activities, stories and history.

"Dr. M" shows how to pronounce "Quasquicentennial"--just in time for WSU's 125th celebration

Ever wondered just how to pronounce this seemingly-complicated word, meaning 125th anniversary? Don't worry, "Dr. M" is here to help! 

Hall of fame medalsAnnouncing the 2020 Hall of Fame Recipients

Each year, the College of Fine Arts honors distinguished alumni, mentors, and patrons with induction into the College of Fine Arts Hall of Fame. This year, due to COVID-19, the recipients are being announced virtually. Read their bios and view their acceptance speeches here:

Hall of Fame 2020

Amy Huser with her Exhibition, "Casually Not Okay"Graduate exhibitions go on despite COVID-19

Students found creative ways to install and share their work this spring, as the Kansas stay-at-home order derailed thesis exhibition plans.  

Graduates of the graphic design program in the School of Art, Design and Creative Industries (ADCI) pivoted to an online format and Zoom-based reception for their BFA show. Read more about how the students adapted, and view their virtual exhibition at 

MFA graduates Amy Huser and Chuck Purviance each installed their work and then conducted their oral defenses via Zoom. The shows are still on view at ShiftSpace and the Clayton Staples Gallery.  

Wichita State galleries will continue to exhibit the work of students and visiting artists despite the challenges presented by social distancing. The number of people permitted in each gallery will be limited, and visitors will be required to wear masks.  

“If we’ve learned anything from this experience, it’s that our students and faculty are incredibly capable,” said Jeff Pulaski, ADCI director. “I’m confident that as we move forward, we’ll continue to show art in innovative ways.” 

(Pictured: Amy Huser with her MFA Thesis Exhibition, "Casually Not Okay")

David MacDonald

School of Music Assistant Professor composes piece on social distancing

David MacDonald, Assistant Professor of Music, wrote Music for Social Distancing during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

"During this time, musicians are struggling to find ways to perform music together while also respecting the critical importance of remaining in their separate physical places. Limitations of the available technology (and physics) currently prevent us from performing together, listening to one another, and responding with care and immediacy in the ways that we are used to," MacDonald says.

MacDonald's piece has been performed by three groups (one high school string quartet, one university orchestra, and one professional chamber ensemble.

"...(V)ideoconferencing platforms have quickly become socially ubiquitous. Music for Social Distancing is intended for performance over a remote videoconference and adapts to some of the unique challenges of that performance environment. Players still listen carefully and react to one another, but in a different way than they would in a traditional chamber performance."

You can find Music for Social Distancing on MacDonald's website.


Dance Seniors create a virtual Capstone Showcase

When COVID-19 caused the world to implement social distancing, the Dance Seniors got creative to bring their research, choreography, and performances to the public.

Seniors Natalie Ashbrook, Aviance Battles, Summer Brandley, Haydee Carlson, Audrey Dimitt, Elleigh McClelland, Megan Pierson, Randi Reinert, Abby Tyson, and Coral Weis each filmed their research or original choreographed performances, which were combined into one video for their virtual debut.

Under the direction of Cheyla Clawson Chandler, Assistant Professor of Dance and Coordinator of Assessment and Research for the School of Performing Arts, the Dance Seniors were able to showcase the culmination of their undergraduate work to thousands of viewers online.

The Senior Capstone can be found on the School of Performing Arts YouTube Channel.

College of Fine Arts commencement motorcade a success

With the University commencement ceremony moved to a virtual format, the College of Fine Arts devised a plan to congratulate and celebrate 2020 graduates in a safe, socially-distanced manner. 

Faculty, staff, students, friends, and family alike decorated their vehicles with positive messages for recent graduates, and took part in the first ever commencement motorcade on campus. This video, taken by the Ulrich Museum of Art, shows the long line of students and their supporters as they paraded down Perimeter Road on an overcast Saturday afternoon.

Congratulations again to the Class of 2020, whose resilience allowed them to accomplish their goals, even in these challenging times.