Features

Creative Learning in the Art and Design Department

Creative LearningIt has been said that the two sides of the brain are composed of completely separate traits and operations; the left side being the logical perspective and the right being the creative outlook. Both are facets that are divided down the middle, yet they merge together to form the mind as a whole. It’s a yin and yang kind of relationship, one that is said to be necessary for the mind to operate and function. Here at the University, such psychological divisions are being fused together by those involved in the arts.

Whether it is studio or graphic, art students on campus are displaying masterful understandings of the teachings in their particular area of interest.

Through such courses as Basic Design Comprehension, Art History and Graphic Design, students are not only taking in their lessons but going the extra step in the terms of exercising their creativity in the area.

Crowds of freshmen are drawn in every year because of current students’ great talents here. First year student Tyler Aberdeen, a studio and fine arts major, is one of these individuals. “I chose Monmouth because of the fine arts program. I remember looking through other colleges and the student works there, but the stuff being done here just caught my eye,” says Aberdeen. He goes on to mention visiting the Ice House Gallery and the gallery in Pollak Theater while on a tour on campus last fall. “I was just amazed by both the student and faculty works and knew that’s what I wanted to do and this is where I wanted it to be done,” said Aberdeen.

Andrew Cohen, chair of the art and design department, explained how excited students get about their art and the events on campus. “Hopefully, students look forward to all of their classes,” he said. “But I think one of the most celebratory events that the department has for students is at the end of the semester. We have a number of exhibitions that feature students. All graduating seniors have an exhibition.”

Cohen also expressed excitement for an art show that features students’ work from all of the art classes. It is one of the most anticipated student events that the art and design department offers. “That tends to be a big event,” said Cohen. “It’s in the spring, we often have a band and lots of families come. It’s a big spring festival.” Exhibitions are usually held in the Ice House Gallery on campus. In the near future, however, they will also be held in the brand new art building.

Students are not only able to display their works on campus. Aspiring artists at the University often find exposure in the outside world as well. “All studio artists are practicing artists, so they all have quite a few exhibitions depending on each year,” said Cohen.

Such amazing execution of the artistic craft does not come without challenge, as Michelle Cunningham, a sophomore graphics design student, can confirm. She recalls long nights spent sitting both in front of a computer and standing before an easel, tirelessly working on two, sometimes three, projects at a time.

“It would become a triathlon of sorts,” Cunningham jokes. “I probably looked like a mad woman at times to someone on the outside because there I would be, paint splattered across my pants, sitting at the computer, with about a dozen paint brushes shoved behind my ear all the while mumbling about due dates and Adobe Photoshop.”

Cunningham contends, however, that despite the stress experienced, and all of the hair pulling, everything is worth it in the end. “When you have a love for something, like art, or business, or teaching, you will do almost anything to complete a task in the name of that cause.”

Other exhibitions that have been at the University this year include artists such as Ed Gallucci, Steven Brower and Joel Meyerowitz. To learn more about upcoming events and faculty artists, visit the art and design department page on the University’s website, www.monmouth. edu/academics/art.

PHOTO COURTESY of Alyssa Gray