By Amanda De Lauzon
“We have to use the right side of our brain, so many problems in our life require creative thinking,” said Mary Treschitta, MFA, MA, Chair/Assistant Professor of Art and Design at Sacred Heart University. “Art and design must be incorporated in our schools, in our workplace and in our own personal lives.”
The Art and Design program at SHU just hosted their student art exhibition which opened March 23, in the Art and Design Gallery and will run through until April 3.
There were a variety of categories, including foundation, digital illustration, intermediate graphic design, advanced graphic design, intermediate illustration, advanced illustration, painting, digital publishing, interactive 2D animation and motion graphics.
Some of the winners include Iuliia Rybchynska, who won first place for foundation, painting and intermediate illustration and second place for intermediate graphic design. Also, Jarel Spellman who won first place for interactive 2D animation and second place for advanced graphic design.
The winning projects done by art students in the program were determined by five judges, Mike Abate, Maria D’amenior, Chris Bolzano, Chris Nazzaro and Judy Downs. These judges are alumni of Sacred Heart that graduated anywhere between 5 and 15 years ago.
According to the Sacred Heart website, “The Art & Design department prepares students to become artists and designers who are knowledgeable, educated, compassionate, responsive to social and civic obligations, and able to respond to an ever-changing world.”
The program averages 40 to 60 students and offers three concentrations: graphic design, illustration, and studio art. These are offered as minors as well.
All three of these concentrations, however, take similar foundational courses. These include multiple courses in art history along with Design: Visual Organization, Design: Color, Digital Design Basics, and Drawing I.
“These students see themselves as artists but they don’t really know a direction and they don’t have the skills yet to visually communicate,” said Treschitta. “Through the foundational courses and the layering of information one semester at a time they build a really strong foundation in the arts.”
The Art and Design program is now under The School of Communications, Media and the Arts, along with Communication Studies, Digital Communication, Media Arts, and Theatre Arts.
“We will do a lot more interdisciplinary sharing of classes within The School of Communications, Media and the Arts,” said Treschitta. “I hope to see the program incorporate more available courses in packaging, branding, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence.”
So how will this connection between communications and art and design work?
Courses like graphic design, branding and advertising will start to work together under the umbrella of The School of Communications, Media and the Arts. Students will be taught how to make logos and use their artistic skill in the communications field.
“Graphic design and advertising go hand in hand. You’re able to create something that’s unique, different, and that your desired audience can connect with,” said junior, advertising and public relations major, Gabriella Ruvo. “Graphic design utilizes various components that can set their ads apart from the average ones.”