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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:

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:
(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:
“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.”

Missavage '04 has fingers crossed for student

Art teacher Kristin Missavage '04 Thomas introduced the Doodle 4 Google contest to her school and one of her third-graders won the Illinois competition. She now advances onto the national level. Thomas majored in art and communication studies at Augustana, then received an art education certification and masters in art education from Northern Illinois University in 2009.

Lundahl exhibit features landscapes and "the everyday"

WVIK interviews Claire Kovacs, director of the Augustana Teaching Museum of Art, about "A Place Called Home: Frank Lundahl and the Quad Cities" on display through Feb. 12. Lundahl made a living painting interior murals, but the exhibit includes paintings Lundahl created for himself.

Art department news

"Synergetic 7" by Rowen Schussheim-Anderson has been juried into the Octagon Center for the Arts upcoming exhibition in Ames, Iowa. The 48th anual exhibition is called "Clay, Fiber, Paper, Glass, Metal, Wood." The show will be on view Jan. 29-April 2, 2016.

'Frank Lundahl and the Quad Cities' Nov. 18-Feb. 12

The Augustana Teaching Museum of Art will present work by a local artist in "A Place Called Home: Frank Lundahl and the Quad Cities" Nov. 18-Feb. 12, 2016. Lundahl (1858-1932) was a Swedish-American artist born in Rock Island. A painter of interior murals by trade, his works in Augustana's collection focus on the world around him, calling attention to the everyday beauty of the region.

Chin '10 about to kick start board game

Jeff Chin '10 and a partner are set to launch the Road to Infamy, a crime-themed board game that they are funding through $12,000 on Kickstarter. Chin, who has illustrated three children's books, hand illustrated the game. He is a director at Animated Storyboards in Chicago. He majored in communication studies and art at Augustana.

Olsen '10 named museum education and outreach coordinator

The Massillon Museum in Ohio has welcomed April Olsen as its new education and outreach coordinator. Olsen majored in German and art history with a minor in studio art at Augustana College. She earned a master of arts degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2013 with a focus in early 20th-century German art.

Printmaking exhibit opens at Teaching Museum of Art

"WHAT A RELIEF! Variations on Printmaking" opens with a reception at 5 p.m. Aug. 28 at the Augustana Teaching Museum of Art. The exhibit features the work of Janet Taylor and Joseph Lappie alongside ukiyo-e prints from the Augustana collection through Oct. 30. (See museum calendar for the season.)