Student Organizations: Selected Visual Arts Department faculty who maintain membership in their respective professional organizations serve as advisors for student groups within the department. Additionally, these faculty encourage and provide support for their students to maintain membership and attend professional conferences each year. The department has student groups (both identified by the Student Government Association (SGA) and those that are not) in Art Education, Graphic Design, Ceramics, and Printmaking.
Students concentrating in Ceramics are actively involved in a range of activities from university centered social engagement to professional development. The students initiate annual fundraising activities facilitating student trips to workshops and national professional conferences. They are also involved in working with visiting artists, organizing exhibitions, and community outreach projects.
The Graphic Design Collective (GDC) at UL encourages students to take the first step in demonstrating a commitment to their professional interest and assists them in understanding visual communications and careers for students after graduation. The GDC gets students involved in the local design community while creating a community of their own to help build leadership skills as they move into the professional world. Student membership is free, but we encourage students to join local affiliations of both AIGA, the professional association of design and the Acadiana Advertising Federation. The AAF hosts monthly luncheons with guest speakers as well as host an annual award show that most students enter. The collective also hosts fund raisers for the annual National Student Show and Conference hosted by the Dallas Society of Visual Communicators.
The Louisiana Art Education Student Association (LAESA) is the local chapter of the Pre-service Division of the National Art Education Association. Members of LAESA participate in state and national art education conferences, assist with professional development trainings such as the Louisiana A+ Schools program, and volunteer in the community. Members must be Art Education majors or in the Alternative Certificate program in Art Education.
The Printmaking Research Educational Student Society (PRESS) at UL Lafayette encourages students to engage in the professional printmaking community and assisting in the understanding of postgraduate studies and the possibilities in both fine art and commercial careers in printmaking. PRESS achieves this through the development, production, and presentation of undergraduate printmaking research; the encouragement of professional development by attending the Southern Graphics Council International (SGCI) Printmaking Conference; and fostering student growth by sponsoring and collaborating with the Department of Visual arts Marais Press visiting artist program.