Art Department to Implement Exciting Changes to BA Program in Fall 2018
By choosing one of three new tracks in Art, Arts Administration, and Art and Technology, art students will graduate equipped for a range of professional opportunities
April 20, 2018
Beginning fall semester of 2018, art students will choose one of three tracks when applying to the Bachelor of Arts program: Art, Arts Administration or Art and Technology. This new structure will allow students to be more deliberate in their studies as they prepare for opportunities after graduation.
“There are many things people can do professionally and in other ways in art, but for a lot of people those aren’t apparent or visible,” said Associate Professor Collin Bradford, who spearheaded the changes. “They don’t know what those options are, so they don’t necessarily prepare themselves for them. These changes will help students be aware from the beginning of some of those options.”
Students already accepted to the BA program remain largely unaffected by the changes. Although they may opt to complete one of the following tracks, they are not required to do so.
Similar to the current BA program, the Art track allows students to focus on art-making and creative problem-solving, but with the addition of twelve credit hours of 300- and 400-level courses for expanded development and focus. Students who select this track will develop a general competence in the understanding, appreciation, and practices of visual arts and creative problem-solving. Students often leverage this broad-based degree to enter into a range of careers and graduate programs.
The Arts Administration track combines studies in art with courses from the nonprofit management minor housed in the Marriott School of Management. Students will complete courses in accounting and resource development, and will apply what they learn to arts organizations in a new capstone class created for this track. Students will graduate prepared to work in administrative roles within galleries, museums and nonprofit art organizations.
In developing this track, Bradford and Department Chair Gary Barton worked with the Marriott School and Chris Lynn, an art and design professor who served as the Executive Director of contemporary art venue SPACES in Cleveland for five years. He noted that he and many directors of similar institutions lacked formal administrative training and would have benefited from the training provided in this track.
“We just had training as artists,” Lynn said, “so we had to learn a lot of it on the fly, like how to manage spreadsheets and budgets and expense reports—stuff they don’t teach you in studio art programs but that is integral to running a financially healthy nonprofit, or for-profit, for that matter. Students who have learned those skills in their undergrad will have a leg up when they either found their own spaces or apply for positions in art administration.”
“Students who have learned [management] skills in their undergrad will have a leg up when they either found their own spaces or apply for positions in art administration.”
Associate Professor Chris Lynn
Art and Technology
The Art and Technology track integrates courses within the Art Department to prepare students to combine their art training with new technologies. Students who choose this track will take advanced courses in photography and time-based art to strengthen their skills in photography, video and audio.
Two new courses are also being developed within the department for this track. In Web and Print Design for Studio Artists, students will learn to apply their visual skills within a design context. The new Digital Sculpture class will train students in 3D modeling and in using 3D printers and CNC machines.
“With the Art and Technology track, we want to give students an uncompromised education as artists, but also to equip them with many broadly transferable skills,” Bradford said. “The skills and ways of thinking they learn in their classes open artistic possibilities for them, while also giving them skills that can be deployed in work within and outside of visual art.”
“We want to give students an uncompromised education as artists, but also to equip them with many broadly transferable skills.”
Associate Professor Collin Bradford
The Art Department accepts applications for incoming students twice a year, on March 30 and November 30. Prior to submitting an application, students must declare a pre-art major and take several 100-level courses. Later in the program, students may choose to apply to the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, which requires additional advanced courses and the development of a cohesive body of work.