Changes to be made to art programs


Professor Grant Hargate assists students with a studio art project.
Photo by Andria Graeler


Within the last couple weeks, it has come to light that the administration of the university plans to demote the studio art and fashion design program majors to minors.

“The decision was made given the number of jobs in these areas and where the market is trending,” Dr. James Hutson, Art History professor and Assistant Dean of Graduate and Online Programs said.

“With Lindenwood being a liberal arts institution, I find it troubling to not offer the traditional studio art classes,” said Darren Collier, a graphic design professor, via email. 

Studio art classes are the foundation for the digital art classes, were students learn the basics of art and design in a hands-on environment. 

“[There is] still very much an interest in fine art activity, but students of this generation are more interested in digital platforms,” said John Troy, chair of the Art & Design Department.

[perfectpullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Although students are presumably leaning more towards the digital side of things, this does not eliminate the need for studio art.[/perfectpullquote]

Although students are presumably leaning more towards the digital side of things, studio art still has a role in teaching the basics.

“A weakened studio art program will negatively affect graphic design,” Collier said. “Our foundation classes are tightly woven together and designers benefit greatly from their fine artist peers.”

As far as changes to the curriculum go, studio art classes are still prerequisites for BA & BFA degrees in graphic design. 2D, 3D, and Color Theory classes will stay. Troy confirmed that Printmaking will definitely stay in the curriculum, especially since graphic design originated from that medium. More advanced classes such as Ceramics, Sculpture, and upper level painting will be scaled back and only offered intermittently.

All the same, key studio art faculty such as Troy “hope that students will balance” studio art “education with the digital aspect.”

Grant Hargate, who has taught at Lindenwood for thirty-three years, says that this kind of thing has happened before. This is just a trend, “a trend that will reverse.”