Painting by SVAD Founder, Steve Lotz, Returns Home

July 15, 2015


Steve Lots

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

“Icon of the Spiral,” a painting by School of Visual Arts and Design’s founding father, Steve D. Lotz, has returned to its home at the University of Central Florida Art Gallery. It was exhibited at the UCF Art Gallery in 2000 when it caught the eye of soon-to-be graduate, Nell Vitril. Vitril was an art student of Lotz and greatly respected him as a professor and mentor while she was a student at the University of Central Florida. Vitril as a graduation present purchased “Icon” to herself to remind her of her time at the University. It has hung in her Orlando home until last month.

Nearly 16 years later, Vitril has gifted the painting back to the University where it resides under the care of the Permanent Collection of the UCF Art Gallery.


We asked Nell a few questions about the painting:

Do you remember what year you purchased the painting in? 
Do you remember the year that the painting was created? 
Late 90’s, maybe 1997-1998
What was your major and how were you connected to the School of Visual Arts and Design? 
As an Art History student, majority of my required core courses revolved around studio art classes, enrichment programs and seminars/lectures offered by the School of Visual Arts and Design. I spent many happy and wonderful hours focused on learning, creating and enjoying courses in different areas of the Arts.
What was your motivation behind purchasing the painting? 
I vividly remember the first time I saw the painting, Icon of the Spiral. It captured my attention with its dream-like appearance and mood. On exhibit in the Gallery, along with many other Steve Lotz paintings…this particular piece stood out to me because of the sublime imagery and composition. It made a definite impact. Between classes I would go back to the Gallery to see the exhibition – each time, I felt more connected to that painting. When the exhibit came to a close and the paintings were taken down (and I could no longer view it), I knew I would purchase the piece.
An added note – “it brings much happiness to know Icon of the Spiral may now continue to be appreciated by new generations of students, teachers and gallery-goers at the UCF School of Visual Arts and Design.”  -Nell Vitril


Steve D. Lotz is a pillar of art and culture in Central Florida. He is considered the creator of the School of Visual Arts and Design at the University of Central Florida and Flying Horse Editions. In 1968, Lotz became the first Professor of Art when UCF was still under the name of the Florida Technological University. He also served as Art Department Chair until 1978. Since 2003, Lotz has retired from the University, but his creative mind never stops. He continues to create artwork in Orlando out of his home.

In his paintings, Lotz delves beyond materialistic themes and viewpoints. He creates artwork that act as metaphorical images referencing activity that surpasses the range of the physical human experience. His artwork can be found in both private and public collections internationally, but are immediately accessible to Central Florida residents at the Orlando International Airport, the Orlando Museum of Art and now, the UCF Art Gallery.

The Permanent Collection at the UCF Art Gallery is currently getting a facelift with a new digital archiving system that will allow for the collection to be view by the public online. The collection can be viewed by going to the UCF Gallery under the “Collections” tab. The project is anticipated to be in its completion by the end of August.

Steve Lots

“Icon of the Spiral” by Steve Lotz


Here is an article and interview with Steve Lotz: