Fine Arts

School of Fine Arts

About the School


The School of Fine Arts was established in 1882 as the Canterbury College School of Art.  It is the longest established art school in New Zealand and one of the oldest in the English speaking world.  Throughout its history many of New Zealand’s leading artists have either taught at the school or have been pupils. 

Since 1957 Fine Arts  has had full status as a University of Canterbury department.  Art History was introduced as part of the School’s programme in 1974  and in 1982 the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree was introduced.



The School is located off Clyde Road and Arts Road. Please refer to Campus Maps and Contacts Page for additional help.

  • Staff offices are located in all three blocks of the School.
  • Studios are located in Blocks 1, 2 and 3.
  • The main office/administration area is in Block 2.

Visiting Artists and Scholars Programmesculpture_student

Each year a number of artists, designers, art historians, art theorists and other scholars are invited to the School to offer lectures and demonstrations and to take part in seminars and forums. These visits contribute significantly to the School's teaching programme.

Artists in Residence Programme

The School, often with the support of Creative New Zealand, supports an artists in residence programme. Resident artists work within the School, show their work in the School Gallery and in the local community, offer illustrated talks to students and advice to students about their own work. Through these programmes the School both enhances the professional life of the School and the local art community.

For information about Art History Courses please see the new website