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.
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.
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).
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.
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
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.
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.