The Taylor University art department specializes in many different art forms including drawing, printmaking, sculpture, photography, graphic design, jewelry making, painting and ceramics.
Laura Stevenson, assistant professor of art and co-chair of the art, film and media department, discussed the art department's 2021–2022 updates and goals for the year.
As a whole, the Taylor University art department faculty hope to incorporate a different type of arts degree than what is currently available to students. Taylor University students can now get a degree in studio art, pre-art therapy, graphic art, art history, art education and photography.
"We are hoping to in 2022 start offering a bachelor of fine arts (BFA) degree in addition to our bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees. The art department is submitting a proposal to the curriculum management committee for approval for this new type of degree," said Stevenson.
The art professors and faculty promote this degree due to the professional nature it holds in comparison to other rigorous art and design schools.
"This is the type of degree art and design schools offer," Stevenson said.
The BFA degree is being incorporated into many liberal arts and private christian colleges. The art department anticipates that the approval of the BFA degree will be of benefit to the art program at Taylor University by the 2022–2023 academic school year. If the proposal for the degree is approved, then it is expected to lead more prospective students towards the university’s art department.
"We are really excited about this as a department.” Stevenson said
Other exciting projects and events include the collaboration of the water based media, and relief and serigraphy, classes partnering alongside Ashley Chu, University Archivist & Special Collections Librarian
The students first researched with Chu on primary sources in university archives. Students were assigned to contemplate “Lux et Fides,” which translates into English as “light and faith.” “Lux et Fides” is shown as a mark on the university's emblem.
The two different classes took two different approaches to the art project. In water based media, the students made egg tempera.
Egg tempera was used as a medium for medieval and early Renaissance periods and in Egyptian manuscripts. Many artists still utilize the medium today.
Students in relief and serigraphy, created a relief print that involved the use of multiple colors. Using a linoleum block, the students carved out the areas to design detail for the block. After the student carves the block, the ink is applied to the uncarved surface that remains raised above the cut sections of the block and applied to paper to create an image.
This collaboration between these two classes and the university's archives took place in honor of the 175th anniversary of Taylor University.
Starting Homecoming and Family Weekend, the works of this project are exhibited outside the Zondervan library.
Also for Homecoming and Family Weekend, on Friday, Oct. 8, the printmaking class was located near the Sammuel Morris statues from 1–5 p.m. Stevenson encouraged students and their families or alumni to come out and watch the printmaking process.
"Perhaps you have seen the printmaking process before, but have you seen it done with a lawn roller?” Stevenson said. “Students (printed) large blocks ranging from two-by-three feet to three-by-five feet.
In November 2020, the printmaking art event did not receive much participation due to the event being held on a different weekend than Taylor’s Homecoming weekend. Sharing the same weekend again, the department hopes to increase participation this year.
Exhibitions in the Metcalf Art Gallery are also quickly approaching their opening. An exhibition with an opening reception will showcase Kenneth Steinbeck's work from Oct. 22 to Dec. 10. In the spring, there will be another visiting artist that remains unknown.
At the end of the year, the Metcalf Gallery will host an exhibition where any student can showcase their artwork with a $1 submission fee even if they do not take part in the art program.
In the midst of all the upcoming events and projects, Stevenson is eager to showcase the talent of the art department once more.
“The faculty in the art department are always excited to see the development in our students' work throughout the academic year,” Stevenson said. “We love to see students flourish, and it is a joy to walk alongside our students growing as artists and designers as they creatively develop their work.”