St. Paul’s College of Visual Arts to close

The College of Visual Arts will close its doors at the end of June.

The four year art and design school saw a sharp decline in enrollment just as it was attempting to build up its financial base. President Ann Ledy said the school is simply no longer able to fill the gap between rising operating costs and students’ ability to pay.

“We will meet all of our students academic needs and financial needs this next semester,” vowed Ledy, “we want to do the right thing by our students and help them transition on to MCAD or other institutions.”

The Minneapolis College of Art and Design has agreed to take on all those students in good academic standing who would be seniors next year. The remaining students will need to apply for a transfer.


The College of Visual Arts occupies several buildings in the Ramsey Hill neighborhood of St. Paul, including this former residence on Summit Avenue.

Image courtesy the College of Visual Arts

The loss of the school will be a blow to the Ramsey Hill neighborhood of St. Paul, where many students rented apartments and frequented local cafes and bookstores.

The College of Visual Arts currently serves 170 students. It employs 29 full time staff and faculty, and 45 adjunct professors. It has had to reduce faculty and staff compensation three times in the past five years, and cut seven positions this past fall, including a recently created director of development.

At this point, any further cuts would risk the schools accreditation.

Spring classes will begin as scheduled on January 22.

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