Studio art majors share challenges, benefits of major

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Students work on pieces in the ceramics area of the Center for Visual Arts.

Brittany Wilson

“I probably work on my art pieces for over 100 hours per week,” said Chelsea Craig, a senior jewelry metals major.

Majoring in studio arts, no matter the concentration, is a time commitment. Many students end up switching majors when they realize they cannot man what the programs throw at them.

Craig said she thinks people who are not art majors just can’t understand what it is like to be one.

The studio art major requires students to take classes where they are subjected to what some students consider to be harsh grading. Students can spend weeks on pieces that end up being rejected by their professors, resulting in low grades.

Art students also take studio classes where professors supply them with feedback throughout the creation of their pieces.

Jessica Taylor, a senior ceramics major, also said her program is very intense.

“It is not the relaxing Pinterest craft time like people may think, it is hard work, dedication and passion,” Taylor said. “But with enough coffee and persistence you can pull enough all nighters and get all the things done.”

Taylor said she spends most of her time in the basement of the Center for Visual Arts working on pieces throughout the semester. She said she gets up very early in the morning and devotes her free time to her art.

Each student, no matter their concentration, must also take 2D and 3D Composition, art history courses and two drawing classes. During their final year, seniors are required to take a senior thesis exhibition and a senior project class.

Studio art majors endure a rigorous curriculum while attending Kent State. The university is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

The studio art program has concentrations in ceramics, drawing, glass, jewelry and metals, painting, print media and photography, sculpture and expanded media and textiles. Many students choose to pursue a major in one and a minor in another, as the programs compliment each other.

Art students have many travel opportunities made available to them including New York City, Chicago, London, China and Paris. Students are also encouraged to study abroad in Florence, Italy during their junior year for a full semester.

The School of Art’s website says graduates of the Bachelor Fine Arts program should be able to show skills in their concentration, explain their visions, understand contemporary and historical concepts and demonstrate visual literacy and a high degree of design in their work.

Brittany Wilson covers arts and architecture. Contact her at [email protected]