Dreaming in Pictures: Mount Mary art and design throughout the decades

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Art and design have been an integral part of Mount Mary’s curriculum since its inception.

“The school sisters had interest in art,” said Barbara Armstrong, Dean of the School of Arts and Design. “The university believed in educating the whole person. The whole person includes art and literature aside from science.”

Samantha Cunningham, a senior with an art therapy major, works on a watercolor piece.

Today, the School of Arts & Design offers the following programs of study that create a strong foundation in the visual arts and design:

In addition, there are opportunities to study performing arts disciplines, including music and dance.

According to Armstrong,  appreciating beauty and understanding beauty in the things we see allows us to be aware of our surroundings.

“Your brain has to have the capacity in beauty and awareness,” Armstrong said. “I can’t imagine life without having some sort of artistic expression. Seeing the world in a different way and responding to that … I think that’s what the world is about.  You translate how man-made and nature-made things into art.”

Jordan Acker Anderson, chair of the art and graphic design departments, said a career as an artist is a rewarding life path, which can be attained “with a good degree of personal motivation.”

“I (want to) dispel the cultural myths that surround what it means to be an artist and share the diversity of options one can explore with an art or graphic design degree,” Anderson said.

Mount Mary’s programs are unique because students can study the arts from a social justice perspective and participate in collaborative projects with the community and local businesses.

Mikala Cornelius, a senior with a psychology major, creates a piece for Art for the Helping Profession.

“We recently completed a large-scale project for GE Healthcare that is displayed in their workspace by the Menlo Design Studio,” Anderson said. “Many of our students exhibit and compete in national competitions as individual artists.”

Armstrong said that the arts allow you to experiment and explore different areas that might be outside of your comfort zone, which can help any student grow as an individual and an artist.

“Follow your wonder and the things that make you think and explore,” Armstrong said.

1 comment

  1. Terrific photos here–may have benefited from writing an intro, having extended captions on the photos, and forgetting the “article”. The sister welding metal…priceless!


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