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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.”

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.)

Professor, students work on public art

Art Professor Megan Quinn and three of her students have been sprucing up “Lloyd’s Trek,” a 20-plus-foot-tall sculpture that towers over Schwiebert Riverfront Park in Rock Island. Brianna Jepson, a sophomore from Rockford, described the experience as “super cool.” “I didn’t know what I was going to do with my summer, but this is a great opportunity,” she said.

Kelly McCurry '15: legacy

Kelly chose Augustana for its nationally accredited education program and its warm community. Kelly has had a numerous amount of opportunities at Augustana. She says "I never could have imagined the opportunities I have had and the amount I have grown from them."

Kelsey Kammerzelt '15: fortune

Kelsey Kammerzelt started out as a biology pre-medicine and ended up being put on a path to study the arts. "I never thought I would be so fortunate to have the opportunities I was given. I am proud that Augie allowed me to have so many of those amazing opportunities that I could never have dreamed of when I first started at Augustana."

Brown '92 gives perspective to Nahant Marsh

Audrey Brown '92 is exhibiting some of her paintings in "Nahant Marsh: Almost an Island." She works primarily in art restoration, taught to her by her mentor at Augustana, the late Jim Konrad. Brown said her paintings of the local march continue Konrad's philosophy to "paint what you know." "I can take you to this place I enjoy, and if I can give you a feeling of that, then you can do something," she said. "That's what my art's about."

Capettini '01 uses forest preserve for studio

Maggie Capettini '01 had no plans when she started to paint, inspired by a forest preserve near her home. But it became her studio as she captured its varied and seasonal landscapes over 18 months. Now the 30 paintings she created are on display at the Will County Forest Preserve District's center in Joliet., and later will travel to Beecher, Ill. Capettini is a teacher at Lemont Montessori School and education coordinator at the West Chicago City Museum.