We’re consolidating our campus

We’re consolidating our campus

May 14, 2020

SUVA has some exciting news to share about our campus. We are in the process of consolidating our campus on to the east side of Country Club. What does this move mean for our students? Access to lots of new space that you didn’t have access to before!

All SUVA facilities will now be located on the same side of the street, which means easier access to the administrative office, all of your classes, and the new improved 24 Hour Lab, as well as a greater sense of community among all disciplines.

Beginning in the Fall semester, students will have more access to all of their studio classrooms, as well as access to semi-private studio spaces for the duration of the semester. This will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis, with first priority given to upper-classmen.

Stay tuned for more exciting announcements to come!


The Leadership Team

Camden Hardy, Lisa Larrabee, Andy Moreno, Carly Zufelt

SUVA becomes a non-profit institution

SUVA becomes a non-profit institution

August 5, 2019

Under the terms of a conversion that was complete on January 4, 2019, Art Center, Inc. doing business as Southwest University of Visual Arts (SUVA) transitioned from a For Profit organization to a Not for Profit structure. The transition is a part of a long term succession plan that the founders developed to sustain the institution into the future.

“Although the organizational structure changes, our goals and mission remain the same. We are continuing to concentrate all efforts on educating students to excel in the fields of Fine Arts, Design, Advertising and Visual Communications within a student focused environment committed to the highest standards of academic achievement, scholarly inquiry, creativity and citizenship in a diverse world community.”

Camden Hardy, Interim Chief Academic Officer


SUVA is proud of their history and reputation of being a forward-thinking institution, and this conversion further demonstrates their commitment to higher education. This conversion is an exciting development for the institution and puts SUVA in a position to attract grants and bring more out of state students to the Tucson and Albuquerque campuses.

Read our press release

Now registering for Community Art Program

Now registering for our Community Art Program

January 10, 2020

Hey Art Enthusiasts! SUVA offers a variety of non-degree courses in visual art and design. Have fun making art and developing your skills while learning from experienced instructors.

Adult classes are structured yet flexible. Space permitting, you can enroll and pay for the remaining classes at any time during the semester.

  • Registration begins December 2nd, 2020
  • Course fee due by January 17th, 2020


  • Saturdays 9am to 12pm
  • January 25th – May 2nd
  • $150, Registration required

Students learn techniques and develop skills in painting that encourage experimentation with new methods while working from life, photos or imagination. Students choose to work in watercolor, acrylic or oil paint exclusively, or to go back and forth between mediums. Instruction and feedback are tailored for each student to develop work at their own pace. Students provided their own materials.


  • Sundays 1pm to 4pm
  • January 26th – May 3rd
  • $150, Registration required

Students learn and practice drawing skills that develop confidence and encourage exploration in style while working from life, photos or imagination. Students have fun with pencil, charcoal and ink on a variety of paper media. Instruction and feedback are tailored for each student to develop work appropriate to their skill level. Students provided their own materials.

Figure Drawing Sessions

  • Thursdays 6pm to 8pm
  • Starting January 23rd
  • Free for all 18 or older, no registration required

SUVA also offers free figure drawing sessions to the public for adults who are interested in studying both male and female nude models without instruction. You provide materials and we provide the space, lights and a model to draw.

For more information, please call us at 520-325-0123 (Tucson) and 505-254-7575 (Albuquerque).

Our guide to creating art from home

Our guide to creating art from home

April 17, 2020

In the wake of the escalating Covid-19 pandemic, universities around the world are shutting their doors and moving their classes online. At SUVA, our faculty members are committed to providing quality education for our students in these difficult times. Artists and designers are trained to be highly adaptable, and this is a great opportunity for you to practice adaptability. While the format of your classes are changing, you will still learn what you need to be successful in your fields.

That being said, it’s understandable that during times of instability it will be difficult to focus on your work. This will be especially taxing if you’re looking after a loved one, or are recovering from an illness yourself. We aim to teach compassionately during this period, and with that in mind, we have come up with a guide in how to help you focus on your work.

Create a timetable

In order to boost productivity and manage your time better, create a timetable to allocate specific time slots to your assignments. Give yourself regular breaks as you would be given in class, but be strict with your time in order to avoid procrastination.

If you’re juggling being a student and looking after loved ones then this approach may not be the best one for you. In this instance, give yourself loose deadlines in order for you to keep up with your work. For example; This week I aim to complete X,Y and Z and use whatever opportunity you have to complete these tasks.

Turn your notifications off

We are all being inundated with news of the virus escalating at every moment of the day, so much so that it’s becoming harder to concentrate on our work. One option is to turn your notifications off so you don’t become distracted. If this isn’t enough, perhaps suggest to a family member to hide your phone/device for a period of time in the day, and allow yourself the opportunity to fully focus on your work.

Practice mindfulness

Many of our students and faculty are experiencing a heightened sense of stress and anxiety. This is both normal and understandable. There are many strategies to combat anxiety including yoga, journaling, exercise and medication. Another way to reduce anxiety is to practice mindfulness.

“Mindfulness is about paying attention on purpose to the present moment. And I believe mindfulness is a powerful tool we can use right now.”

Kristin Lothman, Department of Integrative Medicine and Health


In short, mindfulness techniques can be an effective tool to deal with global events such as Covid-19. When we’re engrossed in obsessive thoughts and fretting about the future, taking a step back to focus on the here and now can help stem anxiety. Watch Kristen Lotham discuss mindfulness.

We’re all in this together

I can control image with a fox.These are unprecedented times that we’re all adjusting to. It’s important to be mindful that nobody asked for this, and that the collective end to the semester off campus (and subsequent move to online teaching) will be difficult for many.

We’re going to be more reliant on technology than ever before and for some of our students and faculty this can be a learning curve. We will be using Google Classrooms and Google Meet to discuss assignments online. Watch how Google Classroom works.

We have to more communicative than ever before to combat our isolation and loneliness during these times. Pick up the phone, connect with your tutors and classmates via video conferencing. We’re all in this together and this won’t last forever.

Stay inspired

Last but not least, it’s vital to stay creatively inspired in the weeks and months ahead. This can be easier said than done, but here are some examples of how to keep your mind engaged in your work when you’re struggling to concentrate.

  • Listen to music you love and that inspires you.
  • Go on a Pinterest binge and get some boards together.
  • Exercise. Go for a walk, jog or cycle ride, but take some time to get out of the house when you can while practicing safe distancing.
  • Critique each others work when you’re feeling stuck. Upload your work to Google Classroom and ask your classmates what they think.
  • Be kind to yourself. It can be difficult to focus in times like these. But take some time out in the day to switch off and engross yourself in your work.