The Art Building at UNT is a 4-story tower of power located toward the South End of Fry Street/Ave A. This building houses art students and their easily breakable art bags, as well as a sculpture shop, several painting studios, spray booths, lecture rooms, a metals workroom, gallery spaces, and more.
Note speak of “the old art building” from professors and alumni; the following entry is prior to the building’s massive renovation:
“The entire building has a very distinct smell, and it is NOT recommended to go without shoes here. Charcoal dust, especially on the third floor, permeates everything. There are bike racks in convenient places outside the doors, as well as benches for smokers.
The first floor of the building contains the galleries, administrative offices, metals classrooms and the sculpture studio. The second floor has the computer lab, most of the classroom spaces and a lecture hall, as well as some professors' offices. The third floor is more professors' offices and studio spaces for design, watercolor, drawing and painting classes. There are two staircases and one slightly uncomfortably old elevator in which you will probably lose reception if you're on your phone. It takes forever for the elevator to get anywhere.”
The building has been updated massively, including an extension to create a central courtyard, a 4th floor on one side, a separate ceramics building, and a Bagel Bros. Much of the original building remains, but was updated to keep with the renovation. There are now 3 elevators and many more stairway options. The old elevator still remains and is still slow. Departments for classes have shifted massively thanks to the new designated spaces.
The first floor still contains 3 galleries. The Dean’s Office is next to the Cora Stafford and Paul Voertman galleries. The Metals and Sculpture departments have special sections of the first floor to themselves for equipment space.
The second floor holds the Fashion Collection Research Gallery which displays and stores cool old clothes. The Printmaking and Fashion departments are here, alongside foundations rooms and lecture halls.
The third floor is primarily for design and media oriented classes, and there is a photography facility with a darkroom. It also holds the Fablab which allows students to fabricate their art in a lab.
The fourth floor houses top-lit atriums for drawing and painting classes, like senior studios and figure classes. This floor can only be accessed by stairs or elevators on the S Welch side of the building, identifiable by its big chunky windows. It also has a nice rooftop space overlooking the courtyard.
In 2022, the new Ceramics building was established, removing a third of student parking lot 54.
Paul Voertman Gallery (Formerly called Lightwell Gallery)
Through the center of the building is a lightwell which goes through all three floors. On the bottom floor in the lightwell are frequent student works on exhibition, changing sometimes as often as every week. These shows vary in content: work by groups of students related to a particular class or major is often up, but just as often one can find solo exhibitions from both graduate and undergraduate students. The name was changed to honor Paul Voertman, who committed $10 million to the school when he passed in 2017.
Cora Stafford Gallery (Formerly UNT Art Gallery)
(main article: The UNT Art Gallery) This gallery is also on the first floor, in the space between entrances. It's a nice, large space which hosts some good shows, including the annual Voertman's Show and some graduate work.
CVAD Art Gallery
This is the third and last gallery, the nicest and furthest from the others. Located at the mouth of the art building along Welch with a presentable vestibule entry for public access. Some of the more “serious” stuff goes here.
Gloria and Bruzzy Westheimer Texas Fashion Collection Research Gallery
A different kind of gallery where they show clothes instead of pictures. Located on the second floor, up the main stairs on S Welch.
North Gallery (Lost to Time)
The North Gallery is what the UNT website calls intimate and what most people call tiny. It's located on the first floor of the art building near the staircase on the opposite end from the Dean's office, and its focus is primarily senior and graduate works. [Pending research, this is likely referring to the vending machine nook.]
Like every other lab on campus, you'll need an ID. The lab employees are generally nice, but mostly a little strange and awkward in the same way most art students are. All the Macs have Apple and Windows options. The computer lab also contains lots of normal printers and several very fancy large-format printers which are usually taken by stressed-out Communication Design majors. You may need to schedule a lot of time to use one of these. The computer labs have been updated with 3D printers, and some labs have more advanced printing and machining options. The Fablab has advanced offerings like resin printers, laser cutters, and more smart art technology.
Studios, Storage, and Locker Space
For those with large works, there are plenty of storage spaces in the painting studios, but artwork is all that is recommended to store there. Cabinets and drawers for supplies exist, but thievery is always a danger. It's safe to try to get a locker at the beginning of the year. This costs a little money, and students must also provide their own locks.
In the building’s renovation, a 4th floor was added for upper-level drawing & painting studios. It features atrium light studios with big windows, as well as a storage room.
Students got a taste of bagels for the first time in early 2023 when Bagel Bros finally opened on the first floor. A generation (2019-2022) of students were deprived of the tantalizing pastry, taunted for years by the quizzical Bros plastered on the doors, always teasing “next semester.” The opening was allegedly delayed due to UNT simultaneously undergoing at least 40 construction projects during this time.