Visual Resource Commons

VRC Gallery

Visual Resource Commons (VRC) supports the teaching and research mission of the Department of Art & Art History, providing faculty and student access to art related image collections in analog and digital format. Art documentation videos, Department and Gallery archives, electronic artist resources, specific equipment and software are available for individuals and class projects. The VRC provides an environment conducive for research, class meetings, administrative meetings, and exhibition opportunities.

VRC Gallery is an exhibition space for the UTA Fine Art Collections (UTAFACs). The gallery hosts three exhibitions per year and is used for instructional support and direct, hands-on training for students in the Museum Studies program managed by the Collections Specialist Cheryl Mitchell.

Current exhibitions


Spring 2024 NASAD:
Exhibiting Student Success

February 12 – April 12, 2024

The National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) is a nationally recognized accreditation organization that establishes the standards for both undergraduate and graduate degree programs at colleges, schools of art, and universities across the United States. It is the only accrediting agency that covers all art and design studies, recognized by the US Department of Education.

Past Exhibitions

A Developing Tradition: Photography at UTA

Sept – Dec 2023

The artistic practice of photography has rapidly transformed as we move further and further into the industrialized age. However, with the onset of technology and the ease of access to cellular phones equipped with cameras, the tools and artists of past traditions are lesser known by our current generations. A Developing Tradition highlights the photography area within the UTA Art & Art History Department, including current and former faculty. Each artist self-curated selections of their own work to show a progression of their individual styles over the course of their careers, creating a uniquely personal interpretation of their evolution as artists. Also on view are a historical collection of cameras, ranging from early 8 x 10 devices of the Victorian era to the Polaroid, showing the diverse advancement of the tool throughout the ages.

Collections Conundrums

June – Sept 2023

Art and research collections across the world often contain far more in storage than viewers will ever see, but for many reasons those works aren’t displayed, or if they are, it is rare and under special circumstances. For a curator who works in a public educational setting, it can be even more challenging to meet the expectations of society. Though we don’t censor art, we do have to be careful about current trends in public opinion, which can often lead us to be overly cautious in our selections for presentation as we attempt to find a balance between the art, the artists, the viewers, and their opinions.

This exhibition contains selections from the UTA Fine Art Collections that are something of a conundrum when it comes to their exhibition capabilities. Whether it is due to their media, size, or subject matter – they each have unique qualities that could be considered problematic to the public eye. Some of these artworks have been exhibited before, while others are now seen for the first time, but all contain messages relevant to the human experience. Opinion on these exhibited topics varies greatly, so we welcome viewers to visit and decide for themselves.

The Art of Observation

Jan – May 2023

Scientific studies have shown that visitors often race through a gallery or museum in an attempt to “see it all” - spending an average between 8 and 25.4 seconds with each artwork. A deeper connection with the message or symbolism held in the piece is lost as the individual hurries about, glossing over the designs and narratives that took an artist so much dedication and time to create. Intriguingly, this time-span increases when the artwork is viewed in groups. The interest of the one seemingly influences the interest of the many, as they try to discover for themselves exactly what that person sees that they don’t. However, once that momentary connection is lost and the group disperses the visitor moves onward to the next work on display and the process is repeated. For the Spring 2023 exhibition, the viewer is invited to participate in the practice of slow looking, sitting with an artwork, taking time to get to know it visually, writing down every detail that they see as a mental exercise. The process requires focused observation and analysis of the artworks’ content but allows them to form a personal connection with the piece of their choice through visual exploration. In support of this, a selection of works has been gathered from the UTA Fine Art Collections that showcase the 21 Elements and Principles of Art. These elements of art are often referred to as “building blocks” used to construct an artwork step-by-step, while principles of design are how those building blocks are arranged.

Cowtown Moderne: The Lasting Influence of the Art Deco Style

Sept – Dec 2022

The Art Deco style of the early 20th century went on to influence the creation of countless artforms and architectural structures over the past hundred years and was a large part of the initial development of several metropolises, notably Dallas and Fort Worth. In 1988, art historian and preservationist, Judith Singer Cohen and her husband, Dr. Donald Cohen, led the movement to document and preserve the Art Deco skyscrapers and artforms of downtown Fort Worth, culminating in the publication of her book, Cowtown Moderne.

Over the past several decades, efforts to safeguard the history of North Texas have led to an ongoing debate between preservation and progress. This debate has renewed as the future of two Texas landmarks, Farrington Field and the Texas & Pacific Warehouse, are at stake with the possibility of demolition rather than renovation. This exhibition offers visitors a view of the structures that have been preserved, those that are endangered, and those that have been lost in this debate, as well as an opportunity to reminisce over the beauty and stylish aesthetics of the Art Deco era.

Rubrication: Selections from the Palmeri Goodstein Print Collection

Jan – May 2022

The Palmeri Goodstein Print Collection contains self-published and contract print works of both historically important prints as well as those of modern and contemporary artists. The collection was gathered by artist and printmaker Nancy Palmeri and her husband Ron Goodstein. Showcased in this exhibition is a selection of prints that focus on the Medieval concept of Rubrication - the use of red ink by artists, scribes, and printmakers to alert a reader to a particularly important notation or statement. Visitors are invited to search for works on view that contain this concept and to test their skills to determine which do not. Also, included in the exhibit, is the exclusive loan of an antiquated map by the UTA Special Collections that exemplifies the aspects of rubrication and dates to the 16th century, as well as a spotlight exhibit of the work of artist Karen Kunc.

Africa Found: Links and Lineage through Art

Sept – Dec 2021

Where is Africa? What do the history and art of Africa mean today? Where does Africa fit in American life and in our communities of North Texas? Explore these questions, find Africa for yourself, and discover how contemporary artists connect to African pasts.

African art is some of the most understudied, underrepresented, and misinterpreted arts in the world. The continent is vast and diverse, with histories of cultural innovation, colonial incursions and injustice, as well as survival and independence. This exhibition seeks to offer a glimpse at this diversity and the cultural values embedded in historic artworks from across Africa. These objects reflect dozens of cultural traditions, value systems, and social needs. In collaboration with the UTA Libraries Special Collections’ exhibition entitled Searching for Africa, the UTA Fine Art Collections present historic indigenous artworks from across the African continent alongside contemporary arts by African and African American artists linking to shared pasts. This exhibition presents many of the most recent donations to the UTA African Art Collections by Dr. Edmund and Judy Brodie, including objects that have never before been exhibited for the public. Historic maps from the UTA Libraries Special Collections’ Dr. Jack Franke Collection of African Maps offer historical context and reflect the colonial presence of Europeans throughout the continent. Contemporary maps presented in the exhibition refresh our understanding of Africa with contextual links to broader geographies, languages, and profound social experiences, such as the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.

Looking Backward but Moving Forward

June – Sept 2021

This exhibition showcases a look back at the history of how art and art history has evolved over the decades here at UTA, since the founding of the Arts Program in 1938. Beginning with a look at the role art played during the war effort of the 1940s, visitors will have an opportunity to view vintage yearbooks, photography, and historical documents of the Art & Art History Department’s archives. This exhibition also features a playful look back at how the study of art history and its methods have developed since the early 20th century. On view are a series of magazines and periodicals, slide projectors and VCRs, Board and Video Games, Comic Books and Graphic Novels, and a series of 3D printed figures used in course curriculum.

Customs & Traditions: Visual Investigations into the Art & Artifacts of Africa

Jan – May 2021

This exhibition highlights the art and artifacts of a diverse group of peoples across Africa and the aesthetics and symbolism of their distinct cultures. Comprised of domestic goods, furniture, tools, and weapons, all objects on view tell a story of daily life and ancestral tradition. Ranging from the stealthy hunting weaponry of the Massai lion hunters to the symbolically protective granary doors of the Dogon sculptors, each object holds significance in both its design and use.

Through the Looking Glass: Transparent, Translucent, and Transforming

Jan - Dec 2020

This exhibition presents a recent donation of glass works by the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass to the UTA Fine Art Collections. This series of works, along with the Mac Stiles Glass Collection and the growing Visiting Glass Artist Program, examines the evolution that glass, as a medium, has undergone through the decades and how broadly it can be adapted in its aesthetic qualities and appeal. Ranging from the 1980s to the present, many of the international artists included in the collection have pushed past the traditional mindset of glass as a transparent utilitarian object to offer the viewer a colorful exploration of their craft and its transformation.


Exhibitions History

Aug - Dec 2019 Vessels: Form and Function
Mar - Aug 2019 ImPrint: The Impactful Spirit of the Printed Image
Nov 2018 - Feb 2019 Hushangabad: Portrait of a North Indian Village; Photography by Andrew Ward, November 1968 to January 1970
Oct 2018 Cross Connections 2018: International Exhibition of Design Illustration
May - Sept 2018 Ziningful Expressions: Media and Message
Feb - May 2018 Jack Plummer: A Creative Mind
Feb - Sept 2018 More Peace of Mind, Ransom Hall
Oct 2017 - Jan 2018 Becoming the Beast: Animal Identity in Cultural Masquerade
Feb - June 2017 Bailando con El Diablo: The Devil Masks of Guatemala
Nov 2016 - Jan 2017 Beyond the Mask: Portraits of Cultural Identity
May 2016 Ritual and Animism: Visual Investigations of the Soul and Supernatural in African Art and Artifacts
Feb - Sept 2015 The Mac Stiles Glass Collection Spotlight Exhibition
May 2015 Abstract Presence, University Center Art Gallery
Jun - Aug 2015 Ornament and Adornment: The Decoration and Application Techniques of African Masks
Feb 2015 - May 2015 Bookworks: The Art of the Book
Aug 2014 - Feb 2015 Fertility, Fetish, and Sacred Ritual