A juried exhibition featuring the work of artists who were students at the College of Visual Arts in St. Paul, MN.

Form+Content Gallery is pleased to present the first juried exhibition of artwork by alumni and students from the College of Visual Arts since its closing in 2013.  Anyone who attended the college during its rich and lively history from 1948-2013 is invited to submit their work to this juried exhibition.  Exhibition venues are Form+Content and Traffic Zone Galleries located one block apart in downtown Minneapolis. The juror is Kristin Makholm, Executive Director of the Minnesota Museum of American Art. Members from Form+Content Gallery, Traffic Zone Gallery and the CVA Action group have generously committed to providing exhibition space and hosting for this exciting event. Additionally, a one night accompanying event will also take place at Rosalux Gallery. The exhibition runs from February 26–March 21, 2015. Opening reception February 28, Saturday 6:00-9:00.

Find the Call for Submission information at:

CVA Action working on turnaround plan for The College of Visual Arts

This week the subcommittee CVA 2024 has been meeting with David Mathieu, an expert in higher education, to further develop a turnaround framework for The College of Visual Arts, including a sustainability plan meant to ensure CVA will be around to celebrate its 100 anniversary in 2024. This business plan will be a crucial component of our campaign as we expand our fundraising efforts to the greater community. We expect to submit a draft to CVA faculty and other stakeholders by this Friday, and with their input, plan to publish a final draft shortly thereafter. Stay tuned!

CVA Action Public Meeting update

We held our public meeting today and around 30 people attended. All board members were present. The agenda is included below, as it provided the outline of our topics. FAQ sheets were distributed and is posted online. Many good comments and questions were raised and there seemed to be support from the attendees.

The response to the development of a turnaround framework was positive. The Board announced that it is working to have more information regarding the turnaround framework ready by Friday, March 1st. We will get it out to the public as soon as possible.

Several people stepped forward to volunteer for committees. For those who were unable to attend today contact Nyla Niblo for committee information or email Please continue to donate and share word of our work as CVA Action group. Thanks for your continued support.

CVA Action Public Meeting
Saturday, February 23, 2013
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm


Introduction of CVA Action Board
College of Visual Arts history
College of Visual Arts value and testimonies
CVA Action history
CVA Action objective
CVA Action ways to be involved
Question and answer session

Testimonial: Jason Strong, alum 1997

CVA saved my life. I was a confused state school student that knew what I wanted to do, but needed to fit someplace that would work for me. That place was CVA. At the time, it was open, honest, warm, friendly and caring. It was an Art College I could afford. Not a “big box” school where I would get lost at. This College is for kids looking for a quality art education from hard working staff. This is a College with character. It remains the same to this day.

Continue reading Testimonial: Jason Strong, alum 1997

Fundraising update

Wow your response has been tremendous in this tight time frame. Thanks to everyone who has donated already. We have raised over $52,000 at this time. Over 170 people have supported CVA Action with donations in less than 7 days. The support for CVA is tremendous.

However some may wonder what happens now as the noon deadline has come. The answer is keep donating and believing in the cause. We are being heard and have additional time to work this through.

CVA Action will continue our efforts to keep CVA open and explore options. We are not done and actually have more excitement now than before among the alumni and public.

CVA Action is holding it’s first public meeting Saturday, Febraury 23rd in St. Paul and all are welcome to attend.

Testimonial: Neil Johnston, CVA alum 1998

“CVA is closing.”

Since I heard that news, I have been in a state of disbelief. How can this happen? I think these past few weeks have shown to me the power of a community rallying around something they collectively value – creativity. The College of Visual Arts is a part of the Saint Paul community, and has been an option for young artists who want to study in earnest, the one thing that they feel connects them to the world: making stuff. It is an amazing transformation that happens when someone realizes that they can communicate, transform, question, innovate, and participate using a part of their being that society as a whole, devalues. Their individual, unique visual language sometimes is lauded by family and friends, but across the societal spectrum, to study art is “useless”, “selfish” or “unrealistic”.

Continue reading Testimonial: Neil Johnston, CVA alum 1998

Testimonial: Patrick Redmond, former CVA faculty

With an emphasis on ideas, idea generation, creative process and creative concept development, I taught “Ideation” courses (1984-1988) and one semester of “Graphic Design” (1985). I was one of many practicing professionals who were part-time adjunct instructors at the College of Visual Arts, when it was known as the School of the Associated Arts (SAA), Saint Paul. My earliest students were among the first, at what became CVA, to be involved with computer graphics through tours of the Apple® regional offices and COMCEPT Computer Graphics. I was impressed with the creativity, sincerity, talent, dedication, and generally strong work ethic of the students.

This message is for CVA students, alumni, faculty, staff, parents, friends and supporters.

Black Mountain College was an amazing school founded in 1933 in Black Mountain, North Carolina. The school closed in 1957.

See and

Black Mountain College was also featured on PBS’s “American Masters” series. See

Sometimes I wish I could have been a student or teacher there, during certain periods of that College’s history. However it closed when I was seven years old.

During the late 1960s-early 1970s, I feel fortunate to have met Josef Albers, Robert Rauschenberg, Buckminster Fuller, and John Cage, among others who were part of Black Mountain College’s history.

I believe that before CVA closes (if and when it closes), it will be important to help preserve its history and legacy. For example, even though Black Mountain College closed after 24 years, its spirit lived on through the legacy of those who taught there and through the influence of its notable alumni. Books have been written about it. Again, for a summary and details, see

When CVA’s history is created for posterity, I will be honored to be listed among those who taught there.

Whether CVA continues or not, or reinvents itself, its positive history is important to preserve, its influence and legacy will be important to communicate to the community and future generations, like we can still see the influence of Black Mountain College. Perhaps a related museum and or art center could be established, comparable to, similar to the “Black Mountain College Museum and Art Center” … see

Those who have studied the history of art and design, those who have studied the biographies and autobiographies of artists and designers, know that the dignity, the talent, of those in creative fields is indomitable, and will often not only survive but flourish in one form or another, whether or not CVA survives this reversal of fortune.

Testimonial: Devon Adrian, CVA alum 2003

The College of Visual Arts had a balance of everything I was looking for, all wrapped up in a small, charming, friendly, impressive package. Because I took a long winding path before I found my way to CVA, I recognized and appreciated all it had to offer. I first attended a few other schools, but none felt right. I worked full time in unfulfilling jobs. I was lost and not sure of my future. CVA provided the art training and well-rounded education I was seeking. I learned and thrived and discovered my future.

Continue reading Testimonial: Devon Adrian, CVA alum 2003

Testimonial: Ben Levitz, CVA alum 1998

I went to College of Visual Arts (CVA) as a kid right out of high school. I choose it because of the small campus size and the fine arts focused BFA degree. I wasn’t sure what on earth I wanted to do with an “art” degree, but I knew I loved making things. And I liked that CVA wasn’t the slickest or fanciest campus. It seemed like a place for focused art exploration with an amazing faculty. I enrolled with my mother still skeptical. ( I think she was just nervous about sending her son off to do nude figure drawing. ) I embarked on a four year arts journey that taught me fancy words like chiaroscuro and gestalt. I learned about everyone from Hieronymus Bosch to Paul Rand. I even did my nerdy typography-based senior thesis on a fellow named William Dwiggins who designed typefaces for letterpress printing. I graduated with a BFA in Communication Design and a passion for visual culture.

Continue reading Testimonial: Ben Levitz, CVA alum 1998

Testimonial: Seth Johnson, President Emeritus, AIGA Minnesota

What the College of Visual Arts has built and achieved since its founding many years ago is remarkable. Its programs are top-notch; its faculty are world-class; its students are the cream of the crop. Our community and creative economy have benefited greatly from the influx of talented graduates that have been drawn here because of CVA’s program and faculty. And as a member of that community, I have been both beneficiary of and proud witness to CVA’s contributions over many years. It is my sincere hope that CVA will remain a pillar of the Twin Cities creative community for many years to come.