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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.”

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.

Figge fiber art exhibit to feature Schussheim-Anderson

Rowen Schussheim-Anderson, Augustana art and art history professor, will show her work in a new exhibition opening at Davenport's Figge Art Museum May 24. "Innovators & Legends: Generations in Textiles and Fiber," features more than 70 works by more than 50 artists from across the country. Schussheim-Anderson's work will be shown in a companion exhibit, "Local Threads."

Exhibiting seniors explain their inspiration

Twelve seniors in art and graphic design are presenting their work as Senior Inquiry projects at the Augustana College Teaching Museum of Art through May 25.

Senior art: runes, symbols and portals

Graphic design and marketing major Erin Williams' Senior Inquiry project took the form of a deck of 24 rune cards. “I have a pretty intensive interest in all things Norse mythology,” said Williams. “Each rune has a different symbol attached to different things, so it’s a lot easier to have found a visual tool that I was looking for.” Her work, along with that of the 11 other students, will be displayed in the Teaching Museum of Art April 29-May 25.

Video: Detroit artists address urban revitalization

The husband/wife team of Mitch Cope and Gina Reichert, founders of art studio Design 99, discuss the efforts of Detroit artists and designers to revitalize troubled neighborhoods.Cope and Reichert, who founded Design 99 in 2007, share how they've led a movement to take over abandoned houses and turn them into artists' studios, community spaces and even artworks.