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Duke Hall Gallery of Fine Art is a space for vibrant cultural discourse.  It is a space where the local community and academic community share ideas about contemporary art and our wider cultural experiences.  Art confronts.  Art energizes.  Art breaks barriers between languages and brings us together to be inspired and knowledgable citizens, no matter where we come from.


To present the highest level of fine art experiences and to create an active space for robust discourse of vital issues facing our society.

To be a visionary leader of fine art for all.

— Represent the needs of all school areas and develop pertinent programming that fosters multidisciplinary learning.
— Develop exhibitions and programming that focus on the School’s students, the wider campus population and the broader community.
— Discuss new ways of presenting artwork, curatorial projects and the various events that pertain to such programs.
— Be a leader in support of gallery events and exhibitions.

Duke Hall Gallery of Fine Art is sponsored by the College of Visual and Performing Arts and the School of Art, Design and Art History.


Duke Hall was built in 1967 and is adjacent to James Madison University’s historic Quad. GUND designed the renovation of and addition to Duke Hall which opened in 2014 to house the University’s thriving visual arts programs. Duke Hall was originally built as classroom, studio, and faculty office facility for JMU’s Music, Theatre, and Art Departments.

As the flagship Fine Arts facility on campus, the renovated and enlarged Duke Hall houses traditional Studio Arts and Art History programs, as well as administration and professional gallery functions. The new and renovated facility establishes a functional home for the academic studio arts, design, art education, art history and related programs, and in addition seeks to realign these academic and related programs with contemporary practices. Creating safe learning environments that inspire arts exploration was central to GUND's design approach. The addition houses some of the program’s more intense studio needs in space constructed to meet their specifc environmental requirements. (source)

History of SADAH


2017-2019 // John Ros
John Ros is an Artist, Curator and Educator who works and lives in Brooklyn, New York. He was an Assistant Professor of Art at James Madison University’s School of Art, Design and Art History, and the Director and Chief Curator of the Duke Hall Gallery of Fine Art from July 2017 to June 2019. In 2015 John founded studioELL, an alternative, transient and hybrid space for higher education in studio art, where he currently serves as Director and teaches a variety of studio and professional practice courses.

2008-2017 // Gary Freeburg
Gary Freeburg is a U.S. Navy, Vietnam veteran. He lived and worked in Alaska for 25 years and served as a Professor of Art at the University of Alaska, Kenai Peninsula College where he directed the art program and served as curator in the campus art gallery that now bears his name. A documentary film by George C. Johnson, An Artist’s Journey to the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes: The Photography of Gary Freeburg, serves as a capstone to Freeburg’s photographic work in the wilderness of Alaska. Gary retired from James Madison University as a professor in 2018 and left the role of Director of Duke Hall Gallery of Fine Art in 2017.

1983-2008 // Stuart Downs
Stuart Downs served as the director of the James Madison Museum in Orange, Virginia for six years. In 1983 he began a 25 year career at James Madison University until his retirement in 2008. While at JMU his duties included administration and curatorial oversight of over 250 exhibits at Sawhill Art Gallery, teaching interdisciplinary arts classes (including creative writing), and museum studies classes. Stuart's most rewarding achievement was earning an MFA degree in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina in 1992.


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