Department of Art and Design (KU Art+Design) – with a very short yet impressive history is committed to establishing a benchmark in fine art education in Nepal. Realizing this need for qualitative fine art education in Nepal, Kathmandu University established the Department of Art and Design in 2003 under the School of Arts. With the leadership of Mr. Aidan Warlow, Director, M.A, Oxford, along with two other faculty members Mr. Rabindra Puri, M.A. Bremen, and Mr. Sujan Chitrakar, M.F.A. New Delhi and an assistant administrative staff Mr. Gopal Magar, a one-year Diploma course in Fine Arts was launched. Set up on the top floor that was rented off of a public school in a historic vicinity of Durbar Square, Bhaktapur, the first batch comprised of only six students.
The following year, it commenced three-year Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in another building that provided a larger studio area, a small exhibition space and better natural lighting. The BFA course offered students to major in painting and sculpture, while introduced Graphic Design as a BFA course for the very first time in Nepal.
Keeping in tune with the changing times, it modified the three-year BFA course format to four-years in the year 2005. Unfortunately, Mr. Warlow could not continue as the Director and the responsibilities were handed over to Mr. Sujan Chitrakar, who lead the department as Academic Program Coordinator. In the year 2007, KU Art+Design shifted to a new location at the outskirt of Kathmandu, where it continued to run four-year bachelor programs in Studio Art and Graphic Communication.
The Department is now situated at Kathmandu University Hattiban Campus. Mr. Kirti Kaushal Joshi, Head of Department, along with his committed team now runs the department and dedicated to developing strong pedagogies and fostering networks with established art institutions and organizations. Along with Nepali students, the department also facilitates international students in short-term courses in drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, photography, printmaking, etc. KU Art+Design has nine full-time faculty members and twenty-five plus visiting faculty members. The faculty and student ratio are 1:4.
KU Art+Design is committed to contributing to the creative visual culture in Nepal, not only by approaching and involving it in various means of contemporary art practices but also by respecting and revitalizing its rich artistic and cultural heritage.