Growing interest by art students results in new digital lab
When the fall semester began a few weeks ago, students settled in to the first dedicated digital arts lab at Drew in the Dorothy Young Center for the Arts (affectionately known as DoYo). “We are thrilled that the new facility brings all of the art classes under one roof.” says Rebecca Soderholm, Assistant Professor of Art. Previously, students interested in studying digital imaging, animation, video and photography worked in a PC computer lab in Brothers College. Now they have access to state-of-the-art Macintosh computers and digital arts software such as PhotoShop, Illustrator, Premiere, and After Effects. So do their fellow studio art students who use computers as visualization tools for painting and three-dimensional design.
“In the past, computers were their own discipline. Now they are a fundamental tool in the arts just as in every other discipline,” explains Assistant Professor of Art, Lee Arnold. Drew’s digital curriculum provides students with a foundation in the fine arts; however it also aims to give students practical skills. For this reason, Arnold emphasizes, “It’s important that we provide our students with hardware and software that is the standard in advertising, entertainment and the news media.”
According to Art Department Chair, Raymond Stein, digital classes are the fastest growing part of the arts curriculum at Drew. They represent a third of all art courses offered, but wait lists persist because the interest still surpasses the available space. The new lab has 14 work stations, along with a green screen, animation stand, printers, enhanced networking and security. Stein is grateful that Drew made this important investment in the program and hopes that future funding will enable the digital arts lab to more fully accommodate the growing demand.