For over 100 years, the sweep of history has carried Morehead State University and its predecessor institution, the Morehead Normal School, from one makeshift classroom to the high-tech world of internet-based classes and radio telescope that reaches from a campus hillside literally to the stars. The Morehead State University Department of Art and Design continues to be an active part of an excelling University of national and international prominence.
During the Morehead Normal School years, the Department of Art was located in the cramped confines of the Allie Young Hall basement. In the 60’s, art faculty Naomi Claypool and Thomas Don Young began pushing for an art building to be built across University Boulevard from Thompson Hall. With the support of President Adron Doran, the Claypool-Young Building was completed in 1968. It was the first art building constructed at a state university in Kentucky.
In July, 2009, as part of the re-structuring of MSU's Academic Affairs Division, the department was renamed the Department of Art and Design. The Department is part of the School of the Arts within the Caudill College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.
The Claypool-Young Art Building is the center of activity for undergraduate and graduate art and design students. It houses fully equipped art studios, multi-media classrooms, a 21-station Apple Macintosh computer lab, and an award winning art gallery.
The Claypool-Young Art Building with its distinctive architectural style stands out on campus. A special feature of the Claypool-Young Building architecture are its north-facing skylights. With most of the studios situated on the north side of the building, Morehead State students have the advantage of working in studios with the north light so prized by artists and designers.
Each area of the program requires special equipment and studio space specific to the teaching of that discipline. For example the teaching of studio art requires welding, casting and woodworking equipment, ceramic wheels and kilns, printing presses, photo enlargers, easels, painting storage racks, special drawing tables and much more. Graphic Design and Computer Art require state-of-the-art computers, software programs, tablets, scanners, printers and digital imaging equipment. Art History has a large auditorium with the latest multi-media equipment for lectures.
Morehead State University is also one of only two institutions in Kentucky utilizing a wood fire kiln.