Art department transitions fully back online

Bernadotte Sufka Features & Opinions Editor

Students finally return home for the end of the semester and finals. The university has required that courses continue through an online platform. The same goes for the Art Department’s studio sections which include drawing, ceramics, and printmaking.  

“It’s pretty simple this time compared to our full-on transition from last semester, where people had to redefine their second half of the curriculum on a dime during spring break. That was really challenging,” said Art Department Chair Terrence Lavin.  

“For the studio courses, we’ve pretty much built these last weeks of classes in. We just have to do our final critiques in an online format. Everybody is handling it differently in terms of what their comfort level is and what they did last year. We do have a few faculty members teaching this semester mostly online like the other departments,” said Lavin. 

Art history courses transitioned fully online at the start of the semester. Professors and students are making do with this online platform quickly and successfully.  

“I feel like as of now, I have enough supplies, but I know I don’t have a lot of access to certain things when off campus if I happen to run out of my supplies suddenly,” said art education major, Samantha Scott, a sophomore. 

“I am prepared for going online considering I have had to do it once earlier this year. But with my class, Intro to Drawing I, you have to use specific material like charcoal. We don’t really work with color and that’s where the difficulties may arise. Like I said earlier, we can’t go back to school to get more tools for our projects,” said Scott.  

Most studio courses are held on the main campus in Earl Hall to engage student learning. Classes such as jewelry making encourage students to work within the classroom layout designed to help with their projects. But as of now, it has been switched successfully onto a digital field and students are assured of obtaining their use of needed materials.  

In-person classrooms follow the COVID-19 guidelines for having masks worn to be mandatory. Seats are six feet apart and sanitizing one’s hands and workspace are a priority.  

“My classes this semester has operated pretty normally, which is good. We’ve had reduced numbers in the classroom in accordance with COVID-19 safety concerns and things to that nature,” said Lavin. 

“For the most part, it’s not that big of a transition right now. Students are finishing up projects and we’ll be meeting with students online for the last week and for our final critiques,” said Lavin.  

So far, things are being met in a smoother transition this time. Students and professors are cooperating with the protocols and creating a flexible classroom setting at both ends of the spectrum.  

Students have been given the chance to create their own comfortable setting at home before the full online switch. For example, students taking graphic design-related courses have access to the adobe creative cloud suite, in which they can download the needed applications on their own personal computers. Students using a different medium such as paint for instance, are given their materials separately at the start of class to maintain their own needed supplies. 

With the many challenges COVID-19 has brought, the university has not given up on maintaining a learnable environment whether in person or online. Resources are given to students in need of them but of course no one can return physically to the traditional classroom as of now. With finals closing in, students have been ready and will continue to wrap up their projects at home.

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