About the School of Fine Arts

Kenneth Boulton

Although there were many times over the past year when I doubted ever being able to say this again…“Welcome Back!” 

Your support of our outstanding program during this critical time has been remarkable.  As Northern State University emerges from the pandemic, it is important to remember how the arts succeeded in bringing us together - inspiring, comforting, and connecting.  Last year, our faculty and students turned numerous obstacles into opportunities for artistic resilience and collective momentum.  In doing so, we laid the groundwork for creative renewal and innovation.

One of the centerpieces of this revitalization is the Molded Fiber Glass South Dakota Pavilion.  An extremely generous gift from Molded Fiber Glass Companies was presented to the NSU School of Fine Arts in 2019 to construct an outdoor art pavilion on the NSU campus.  The future location of this pavilion will be on the east side of Spafford Hall, where it will showcase large-scale artwork being produced by students, faculty, and visiting artists.  It will also provide a view of the art creation process to visitors and passers-by.  (Because of the pandemic, construction on the pavilion has been deferred until a date in the near future).

I am proud of NSU’s commitment to providing a superior education in the visual and performing arts, where students develop their talents, refine their passions, and ultimately become leaders in their chosen fields.  We also succeed in creating an academic environment that encourages students to explore a multitude of artistic opportunities, wherever their talents lead them.  Truly, our extraordinary students do it all!

With this brochure, I hope you enjoy the chance to look back on the past year, preview the exciting 2021-22 season, and consider contributing to the School of Fine Arts’ growing base of support.  As always, I look forward to sharing and celebrating our bright future with you.


Warm regards,

Dr. Kenneth O. Boulton

Dean, School of Fine Arts

NSU Chamber Singers rehearse outside
School of Fine Arts Mission Statement

The School of Fine Arts at Northern State University is a vibrant and growing regional center for the arts, in which students and faculty are focused on creating, performing, teaching, interpreting, and thinking critically about the arts.

The faculty, practicing professional artists in their respective fields, are fully invested in the mission of the university, and committed to the planning and promotion of collaborative cultural and academic opportunities for our students and public.  Central to this commitment is maintaining and expanding dynamic relationships with arts educators throughout the region, and providing effective support for public and private school teachers, individual instructors, and alumni in the field.

The faculty believe in personalized mentorship to students, as well as maintaining an awareness of each student’s distinct background and how best to align each individual with professional standards and expectations.  The faculty recognize the value of working together for the betterment of our students, cultivating a supportive arts community that embraces diversity of background and thought. 

The School of Fine Arts actively creates major opportunities for students of all levels to display and develop their talents, thus continuing our culture of accomplishment and success.


School of Fine Arts Strategic Plan

Former Faculty

At Northern, talented faculty will inspire you to grow as an artist and excel in your chosen passion. Our school has a long and illustrious history of influence in the arts of the region.