Betsy Towns

Art History, Creative Practice, Assistant DeanDivision of Liberal Arts

Betsy Towns

Betsy Towns is an Associate Professor of Art History and Creative Practice and Assistant Dean in the Division of Liberal Arts. She is an artist, designer, art historian and educator. A lifelong interdisciplinary educator, Towns has taught and administered programs for students from early childhood to graduate in a wide variety of traditional and experimental learning settings. As an artist, she creates works for galleries and has designed and built large-scale grant-funded interpretive public art installations in ceramic relief and directed design of immersive education experiences.

I give students space to take risks and puzzle through their own artistic sensibilities by grappling with those of other great artists and thinkers... I help them to think deeply, critically and creatively—expressing themselves in a diverse contemporary range of modes.

Awards, Recognitions and Honors
  • Morehead Scholar
  • UNCSA Excellence in Teaching Award
  • UNC Chapel Hill Undergraduate Teaching Award Recipient
  • Honors in Creative Writing
  • Luce Fellowship recipient
  • Joseph Pogue Fellowship Recipient

Career Highlights

  • Principal/Lead Designer for NC Zoological Park Children’s immersive exhibit Master Plan
  • Recapturing Childhood, Solo Exhibit RedSky Gallery
  • Charlotte Arts Council Permanent public sculpture Irwin Creek Center
  • Southeastern College Art Association
  • National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts
  • College Art Association
  • Phi Beta Kappa


PhD Art HistoryUNC Chapel Hill

MA Art HistoryUNC Chapel Hill

BA English/Studio ArtUNC Chapel Hill