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Art and Graphic Design

From left, art graduates Kara Fedje, an education specialist at the Putnam Museum, helps hold a stomp rocket during a 'Fun Flight Friday'; Jeff Chin, director at Animated Storyboards in Chicago at his desk; and Veronica Smith, a graduate student at the University of Iowa.

  • Careers/internships
  • About the program
  • What students say

Many studio art majors prepare for graduate work in a specific art genre or for a career in areas such as art administration or education, art therapy, medical illustration or museum work. Some students double-major or minor in areas such as art history, psychology, biology, education or business.

Art-related internships are available to integrate these areas, and faculty advisors work with students to help them apply their talents to future goals.

Graphic Design majors and minors have launched their careers in museum marketing and design for news and industry.  Art Education students are employed in public and private schools.

Recent grads:

Elena Scherer '13 (graphic design), is an associate user interface designer at Zywave in Milwaukee.

Anny Hasse '11 (art)  is the marketing communications manager at Napersoft in Naperville, Ill.

Kristina DeRycke '10 (art) is a medical animator at Thomas Direct in Montclair, N.J.

Maria Ford '10 (art) is the library director at Hudson Area Public Library District in Bloomington-Normal, Ill.

Augustana offers a major and minor in studio art, a major in art education, and a major and minor in graphic design.

Studio art majors choose a focus in one of seven areas: ceramics, drawing, painting, photography and sculpture, fibers and printmaking.

Graphic design majors have a traditional fine arts foundation, which focuses on creative problem-solving. Courses in art history and a survey of contemporary graphic designers add perspective to the major.

Beginning classes have only 15-20 students, and upper-level courses are generally smaller. The close faculty-student relationship is especially important in hands on work such as studio art. Students in the department learn to express their ideas and emotions via the formal elements of art, while at the same time gaining an understanding of art's larger social and disciplinary contexts. International terms often include art classes in the curriculum.

Working closely with a faculty member, students integrate learning from throughout their liberal arts education to complete their project, which includes a written essay and public presentation. At the end of the capstone experience, students have a portfolio of work to use as they prepare for graduate school or employment.

Augustana sponsors an on-campus community program called Kaleidoscope, offering short-term art classes and workshops for children. Many art and art education students serve as teachers and aides for Kaleidoscope, gaining experience for their future work.

Andrea Heinz ’07, studio art, art education and art history:
“The Augustana art department has outstanding faculty who are both educators and renowned artists. The art department acts like a family, pushing students to do their absolute best by hosting juried shows, senior portfolio shows and other career-building experiences. Dedicated and passionate, the faculty pushed me outside my comfort zones to become a more well-rounded person and a disciplined and driven artist. For example, one professor pushed me to do the most life-changing thing that I will probably ever do: go to Ghana, Africa and learn about Ghanaian culture and art. These teachers are not in the profession for themselves, but for us—the students.”

Holly Gore ‘11, art education and studio art majors:
“When I came to Augustana, I was interested in teaching and in creating my own art. I was not sure that I would be able to double major in these areas because I had been told at other colleges it was not even an option. Because I came to Augustana and worked hard to plan it all out, I graduated with both majors and was a part of the senior art show! Besides my family and friends, it was the faculty that helped me to accomplish my dream. The professors really get to know you and care about you here. I have had so many meetings and wonderful conversations with the professors; I have no idea where I would be now without them. The art department has always helped me to find a way to make both majors work. We had to plan out the classes and make sure I found a way into those classes, not to mention how much they have helped me to improve my artwork! The education department also has helped guide me immensely. My advisor is amazing as a professor and as a mentor. The education department helped to shape me into an amazing person and teacher; I owe a lot to them.”

Sisters receive Harley Award from Riverssance

They grew up together, both taught collegiate-level art in the Quad-Cities for decades and are artists themselves. So it's only natural that Kristin (St. Ambrose) and Megan (Augustana) Quinn both would receive the Harley Award for contributions to visual art in the Quad-Cities at next weekend's Riverssance Festival of Fine Arts.

Nine art faculty showcase works at Figge

Nine members of the Augustana faculty are among a group of local art professors whose works will be on display at the Figge Art Museum through Nov. 2. The exhibit, titled "Artists First: College Art Faculty of the Quad Cities" features works of art from faculty at Ashford University, Black Hawk College, Eastern Iowa Community Colleges, Knox College, Monmouth College, St. Ambrose University and Western Illinois University.

College shows Swedish roots in art exhibit

Of all the museums in the world to which Samuel and Ann Charters could have donated their large collection of Swedish art, they chose Augustana College in Rock Island. Half of that 100-work collection, which spans the 1875-1977 period, will be on display Friday through Oct. 25. The collection challenges the visitor to "think about how the Franco-centric story of modern art has begun to give way to more nuanced appreciation of alternative modernisms," museum director Preston Thayer said. "For Swedish artists, this included finding ways to celebrate the Northern landscape."

Exhibit shows insects and art together

Captured: Using Insects to Inspire Art will be on display through Nov. 6 at Augustana's Thomas Tredway Library. Visitors are welcome to view the exhibit during library hours. Augustana faculty, staff, students and their families are invited to a Family Night from 6-8 p.m. Sept. 17. Admission is free.

Changes at Teaching Museum of Art

As the Augustana College Teaching Museum of Art prepares for a new exhibition, its leader plans to start a new chapter in his life. In September, an exhibition devoted to Swedish art will open and museum director, Preston Thayer, will leave.

More Than I Imagined: Hannah Bohn

Hannah Bohn '14 has accepted a position as a FEMA Corps team leader. She majored in anthropology and French and minored in studio art and sociology. Her peak experience at Augustana: a student research fellowship to stay in Ireland for the summer to complete an ethnographic research on Northern Ireland’s Troubles.

Art in Plain Sight: Cadence of Diversity

The River City Readers' Art in Plain Sight series on the history of public art in the Quad Cities profiles Cadence of Diversity at Augustana. The 100-foot mural is rich with expressions of many cultures that are balanced with an underlying theme of connectedness. Working with more than 50 Augustana students, Peter Xiao, professor of art, led the mural’s development and execution, completing the work in 2010.
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