The CVPA: Visual Arts Edition… the Good, the Bad, the Split.

…an article inspired by the lovely signs posted in RUTL (which was inspired by a non-art major)… but don’t worry… this was written by someone who knows what they’re talking about (at least, sort of).


The Good (or, the part where Winthropsucks pats Winthrop on the back):

1. Quality Majors: As a Visual Arts major at Winthrop, I think it’s safe to say that there are a lot of great things about our various programs and departments. The whole reason I started looking at Winthrop was its high quality art programs (that in some cases can compete with much more expensive institutions such as SCAD) for a relatively low price. Certified BFA is rare for such low prices, and I believe that the upkeep of the administrations is one of the really admirable things the administration does.

2. Quality Professors: We have all had the bad professors, but in many cases, our professors really care about how we do. Face it, in many cases; we “art kids” have a much less formal professor/student relationship. In some cases, they become more than just professors; they become friends (who happen to tear us apart in crit once in a while.)


The Bad (the stuff that needs to be improved)

This honestly depends on the needs of someone’s particular major, but I’m going to try to keep this as general as possible. Most of our problems are the administration’s focus on face-value things, such as the amount of art on campus, not necessarily the type of art produced in class and in studios.

1. Again, Professors: For every good professor who forces us to take our art to the next level, there is at least one other who could care less, whose careers are more important than leading the next generation of artists. There are even those professors who make window displays with pillows after they leave the University in shame… but I digress. My point is that there are as many good ones as there are bad ones. However, if you’re considering this department, I’d say that the bad professors aren’t that bad, and the good professors are good enough to change your life, if you give them a try.

2. Facilities: I’ll cover this more in the split, but facilities, including a leaky basement from what I’ve heard of the Graphic Design majors aren’t ideal. I understand that Rutledge is supposed to be for the fine arts majors, but why move the design majors out so quickly? Also, while Rutledge often suits the needs of the students, there is often faulty equipment such as easels that randomly fall over when you’re working.

But I understand that the fine arts department tries, and I also understand that we have access to things that most art kids at smaller schools would salivate to have.

However, this doesn’t change the offensive graffiti, blatant disrespect of the smoking policy (granted, when it rains) and the glossing over of the department that the tours give the students.


The Switch (the part where I talk about the changes that need to be changed and the changes we need to keep)

I understand the logistics of the split… twice as many art kids to music/theater/dance kids… yet the art kids get the same say in administrative affairs? Not very effective, right? At least this is the way that the Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts spun it to students. In itself, this policy is the truth, and a great idea. However, there has been a longstanding rivalry between the professors and students of the “sellout” designers and the “@*&^ing” fine artists. When Design professors refuse to advise fine art students on interdepartmental matters and vice versa, there begins to be a problem.

I believe that the art department should work as two halves to a whole…. No friction, no rivalries. As a College, we need to realize that whether it be fine art or design, one is not better than another. We might prefer one over another personally, but as a group of artists, we should stop asserting our egos and feeding our superiority complexes.

From “having no soul” to “having no direction” we all need to band together and use each other as an influence to create superior works of art, something (with some exceptions) that we haven’t done in a while. Honestly, when was the last time a painter used typography in a design? Similarly, when was the last time one of the graphic designers used jewelry/metals as an influence?

In the end, like so many other Winthrop policies, this change only looks good on the surface, and in the long run, might do considerable damage to a generation of artists, designers, and art kids alike.


Did I miss anything? Did I make a complete fool of myself?

Was I too agreeable?

Scroll down…. Look for box… type…and post.

Published in: on 1 November 2007 at 6:10 am  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I can’t totally relate to this site, but I definitely respect your passion!

  2. Thank you. It means a lot to have someone not connected with Winthrop at all appreciate what we’re doing.

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