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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.”

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.

Art students use Q-C as inspiration

Most college classes never leave campus, but students in a new Augustana art class have been venturing throughout the Quad-Cities and beyond to find inspiration and subjects for their projects. "Design Sources: Joined by a River" is one of a few courses funded through new Connections for programs that connect students with the community.

Grad's animation transforms into Super Bowl ad

An animated demo produced by Jeff Chin '10 became a live-action commercial for Heinz ketchup that will air during the Super Bowl. A communication studies major and art minor at Augustana, Chin went to film school before becoming director at Animated Storyboards in Chicago.

Seven students display at Figge Invitational

Seven Augustana students participated in the College Invitational 2013 at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport. The exhibit continues through Feb. 9, 2014, in the Mary Waterman Gildehaus Community Gallery.

Vino van Gogh and painting for all

Nikki Gillette '11, who majored in art education at Augustana, talks about Vino van Gogh, an arts-for-all franchise that visits cafes, clubs and yoga studies to teach people how to re-create a painting. "We have a lot of art in the Quad-Cities, we have theater, we have dance and music and all that, but we've never had art where people from all walks of life can come in and participate together," said Gillette, who teaches art at the Davenport School District's Kimberly Center.

Quinn sisters exhibit together, don't feel like rivals

When they're little, siblings learn the importance of sharing. Sisters Megan and Kristin Quinn apply that lesson in their joint art exhibit, "Tales from Root Boy and Blossom Dearie," on display through Dec. 13 in the ArtSpace Gallery at Black Hawk College, Moline. Megan (a ceramicist) is the elder and chair of the Augustana College art department. Across the river, Kristin (a painter) is chair of the St. Ambrose University art department.

Schussheim-Anderson’s work featured in Michigan

Augustana's Rowen Schussheim-Anderson, professor of art, is displaying her fiber works at West Shore College in Scottville, Mich. Her exhibit will run until Dec. 4. “Fiber is exciting to me because it is a line, and that can become texture and color," she said. "It is like you are doodling, but you are actually creating fiber when you are doing it. How cool is that?”