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Fine & Applied Arts

Fine and Applied Arts

The program of art in the Department of Fine and Applied Arts is robust. The many courses with the ART prefix at Parkland give witness to its diversity: two-dimensional design, three-dimensional design, drawing, watercolor, painting, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, metalwork and jewelry, photography and digital photography. Many students choose to take these courses as electives or for personal exploration, while others take almost all of them as part of the associate degree in Art and Design. We have an AFA degree as well as an AA in Art Education.

The program is at capacity for the introductory courses in 2D and 3D design as well as in drawing classes due to the limited number of studio classes. Ceramics and jewelry metalworking classes are limited in size due to space and equipment issues. A total of 534 students took art classes in the fall of 2007 and 592 took classes in the spring of 2008. (These figures are based on mainframe totals at end of semester and do not include actual numbers of students who were enrolled at the outset of the semester). Enrollment in Parkland College’s Art and Design associate program has remained consistent over the last decade.

The following enrollments relate to fall 2007 and spring 2008 (AY ‘07/ ’08). Specifically, 88 students were enrolled in 2D design, 3D design, and sculpture in both 2007 and 2008. 68 students were enrolled in photography in 2008 compared to 39 in 2007. 38 students were enrolled in painting in 2008 compared to 22 in 2007. 38 students enrolled in painting in 2008 compared to 22 in 2007. 113 students enrolled in drawing in 2008 compared to 128 in 2007 (this was mainly due to the addition of a figure drawing class not offered in 2008).

Finding appropriate facilities for art classes has long been a challenge for Parkland. Originally housed in the main campus, 2D and 3D classes were relocated to the S-building. Following the opening of the D-wing in 2002, all of the 2D classes were moved to the basement of the D-wing. However, these classes are at capacity with no ability to add additional classes because use of the space in the D-wing basement has already been maximized. Painting classes which are also taught in the D-basement require the use of chemicals and the basement location is not ideal since chemical fumes are not efficiently exhausted.

The 3D classes and metalwork and jewelry making are still housed in the S-building, along with ceramics courses. All of these courses require specialized physical conditions which include flooring, water, outside kilns, outside work space, and in floor drainage. Available seats for students in jewelry and ceramics are limited to 15 because of specialized instructional stations needed for these programs—wheels and benches.

In the C-wing, there has been a significant increase in the number of students wanting to take digital photography and this requires specialized computer lab space. Currently, there are limitations on the number of sections offered in digital photography due to lack of space in the C-wing.

There are other challenges for art faculty and students owing to the way the locations and spaces of the art program have evolved. For example, the separation of the art program into three separate areas of the college—C-wing, D-wing basement, and S-building—make it difficult for students to make connections between the different art areas and limits internal awareness of the art program to potential art students who are taking general education classes. In addition, the use of studio space for multiple classes—2D, painting, drawing—requires significant preparation and movement of furniture for each class. Finally, the lack of studio space for students to work on projects outside of class can create issues with students completing large art pieces.

Fine and Applied Arts is also home to the Parkland College Theatre as well as the associate degree in Theatre Arts. Almost from the moment the Theatre opened in 1987, space has been a persistent and significant problem for both theatre productions as well as the academic program. Unfortunately, the Theatre was constructed with woefully inadequate storage space, meaning all sets must be created for a show and then immediately destroyed after a show. Storage of and therefore re-use of props is a huge challenge. While a blackbox theatre was part of the original floor plan of the C-wing, it was long ago subdivided into classrooms. Therefore, students lack access to areas to practice their craft for coursework and are unable to stage smaller, experimental productions as is standard for most theatre programs. The addition of a blackbox space would also serve as a multifunctional space for music performances, rehearsal space for Parkland and community productions, and space for presentations, and outside speakers.

 

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