Headquartered in one of America’s most architecturally significant historic districts, the Kentucky College of Art + Design is an innovative institution driven by a staff, faculty and board of trustees that are passionate about the rigorous academic work we do, the students we serve and the larger community we inhabit.

Our unique interdisciplinary curriculum is research-based, recognizing that subject matter leads the artist’s inquiry. Currently, there are Six Centers of Learning, or areas of investigation, that collectively form the point of departure from which our scholars and practitioners can embark upon their own life-changing explorations.

Beyond offering an immersive BFA in Studio Art degree (in accordance with our licensure from the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education), KyCAD also maintains a variety of community collaborations, most notably through events at our own 849 Gallery, where we have presented rotating exhibitions, film screenings, lectures, literary salons and musical performances by artists from around the world.

*KyCAD’s degree program is not currently accredited by any agency. A student enrolled in an unaccredited institution is not eligible for federal financial aid programs.

Our Mission

The Kentucky College of Art + Design promotes a creative and productive life through an undergraduate education in the contemporary arts.

Our Values

  • Create a workplace where students, faculty and staff are equally heard
  • Develop practices that embrace innovation and change
  • Make decisions within a culture of open integrity
  • Act in responsible ways to protect the urban and natural environment
  • Become effective collaborative citizens in our community and beyond

Our Vision

  • The Kentucky College of Art + Design will be an accredited, independent college of art and design.
  • KyCAD will be recognized for new approaches to teaching and learning by supporting collaborative interdisciplinary practice, artistic research and a subject-led curriculum.
  • A strong studio culture will develop excellent skills across a wide range of traditional and emerging practices.
  • Through the experience of an innovative and diverse visiting artist’s program, active and engaged faculty and an environment that promotes exploration and risk, students will develop a strong sense of themselves within a contemporary arts culture.
  • As a new college in the center of the city of Louisville, KyCAD will build strategic partnerships for our faculty and students. These partnerships will develop research collaborations, professional internship opportunities and integrate the college into the fabric and systems of the city.
  • KyCAD will strive to bring value to the city and commonwealth of Kentucky by attracting and developing creative talent, reflecting and communicating culture and change, building on the city’s growing reputation as a lively center of the arts.

Board of Trustees

  • John Birnsteel (Chair)
  • Dr. Rick W. Smith, Sr. (Vice Chair)
  • Philip Anderton (Secretary)
  • Nathan Wachtel (Treasurer, Chair - Finance Committee)
  • Owsley Brown III (Co-Chair - Advancement Committee)
  • James E. Haynes (Co-Chair - Advancement Committee)
  • Juliet Gray (Chair - Governance Committee)
  • John E. Brooks
  • Laura Lee Brown
  • William Maurice Brown
  • Charles Cash
  • Churchill G. Davenport
  • Frederic H. Davis
  • Todd Lowe
  • Senator Gerald Neal
  • Brett Oppenheimer
  • Moira Scott Payne **
  • Greg Pope
  • Julien Robson
  • Yamilca Rodriguez
  • Barbara Sexton Smith
  • Elizabeth Perry Spalding
  • Terry W. Tyler
  • Joshua Watkins
  • Tanner Watkins
  • Christina Lee Brown *

* Honorary Board Member
** Ex Officio