Augustana College printing logo

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:

Jasen Hengst '14 (graphic design) is the owner of Create Design by Jasen Hengst.

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

Holly Gore '11 (art education and studio art) is an art teacher at Chicago International Charter School–West Belden Campus.

Jeff Chin '10 (studio art and communication studies) is the director at Animated Storyboards, Chicago.

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.

Elena Scherer ’13, graphic design and multimedia journalism and mass communication majors:

Currently Associate user interface designer, Zywave, Milwaukee

(On winning graphic design awards for her work on the Augustana Observer at the annual Illinois College Press Association conference in 2013)
“I think newspapers are going in the direction of having really good design because it helps get the information across in a more effective manner. If I can convey what the story is about in a graphic without twisting it in any different direction or showing bias, that’s a successful graphic.”

Holly Gore ’11, art education and studio art majors:

Currently art teacher at Chicago International Charter School-West Belden Campus

“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.”

Jeff Chin '10, studio art and communication studies

Currently director of animated storyboards, Chicago

"In my time at Augustana I was part of three design internships and the Augustana Web Guild, where I developed my skills in web design and client interaction. It was these experiences that gave me the confidence to become a professional graphic and web designer and also start my freelance design career."

Kristina DeRycke '10, studio art and biology; M.S., biomedical visualization, University of Illinois at Chicago

Currently medical animator at Thomas Direct, Montclair, New Jersey

"I received an education I believe surpasses most. Not only did Augustana vigorously prepare me in my studies, it opened up one of the best internship opportunities I could have wanted-at the TexasMedical Center. I have chosen a field which isextremely small, but chock full of opportunities, especially in a world which is progressively becoming more digitally and visually based."

Liz Wierzbicki '10, studio art and mathematics; M.F.A, visual art, Herron School of Art and Design, Indianapolis

Currently an instructor at Purdue University and Herron School of Art and Design; resident artist at D'Clinic studio, Slovenia

"Augustana helped me better develop my interests and skills and assisted me in determining the career and life I wish to pursue. I advise students to pursue their true interests in subjects and not just major in something that will translate easily into a job. Do what you love."

Jasen Hengst '14, graphic design

Owner, Create Design by Jasen Hengst, Rock Island

"The simple difference between Augustana and other schools that I visited: Augustana made me feel wanted and welcomed. And so I went where I felt wanted. I was surprised to find I am interested in more disciplines than just my major, like religion, computer science, creative writing, photography, psychology. I've had some "aha" moments where I connected other studies with what I can implement in my design."

Kelsey Kammerzelt '15, graphic design and communication studies; art minor

"I started out as a biology/pre-medicine major, and then I totally flipped my decision and changed my major to deal with the arts. My peak experience was when I decided to switch majors. Although it was scary at the time, it opened a lot of doors for me, and I pushed myself with the help of my professors to jump right into a new field and a new discipline. I never thought I would be so fortunate to have the opportunities ... I never could have dreamed of when I first started at Augustana."

You can't put a cap on creativity

Bill Turner '77 has been involved in the art community in Muscatine, Iowa, for years. One of his outlets is his Sudsy Mosaics business. He creates artistic reproductions using beer bottle caps. He has made numerous sports team logos and has even recreated Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” and Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.” His profits go to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Olson '58 called the Audubon of prairie plants

George Olson '58 is featured at the Figge Art Museum, Davenport, now through Sept. 4, in "Picturing the Prairie: Tallgrass Q-C." The idea for the show came several years ago when Figge director Tim Schiffer was attending an event at the home of Augustana College president Steven Bahls and saw one of Olson's paintings.

Q-C landmark mural links students, seniors

Augustana students produced a colorful, panoramic mural representing the Quad-Cities in the auditorium at St. Anthony's Nursing and Rehabilitation Center near campus. This is the second spring the nontraditional class, "Arts Joined by a River," has been offered. An open house for the mural is planned from noon to 2 p.m. May 17 at St. Anthony's, 767 30th St., Rock Island.

Alumna started with local arts as a student

Jodean Rousey '96 Meleski is coordinating calls for entry to Davenport's Riverssance Festival of Fine Art, a role she has assumed since 2003. She has a long history with the local arts, going back to her days as an Augustana student. She is the visual information specialist at the U.S. Army Garrison, Rock Island Arsenal. She has a B.A. in art history from Augustana and an M.A. from the Art Institute of Chicago.

Seniors show work in New Departures April 13-May 22

Ten seniors in studio art and graphic design will display their Senior Inquiry work in the New Departures exhibition April 13-May 22. The students will share their creative process at an artists' talk at 10 a.m. May 4. A closing reception will be held from 12:30-2 p.m. May 22.

Interactive exhibit tackles moths, plants, nature

"The Moth Project," the new multimedia exhibit at Augustana College's Teaching Museum of Art, is very untraditional. It's fun, quirky, creative, interactive, and also will spread far beyond the walls of Centennial Hall.

What's the deal with those adult coloring classes?

Rowen Schussheim, chair of the art department at Augustana College, isn’t surprised by the trend toward adult coloring events, which she says have “exploded” over the past year or so. She uses the books as inspiration in her drawing classes. “We all have a natural craving to be expressive and creative,” she said. “Everyone likes to doodle, but we don’t always have an excuse to do that.”
MORE NEWS »