Visual Arts Emphasizes Creativity and Looks to Grow

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Visual Arts Emphasizes Creativity and Looks to Grow

Visual arts students have both classes and workshops in the studio area, where professors can teach and assist them. Nicole Horton/The Fordham Ram

Visual arts students have both classes and workshops in the studio area, where professors can teach and assist them. Nicole Horton/The Fordham Ram

Visual arts students have both classes and workshops in the studio area, where professors can teach and assist them. Nicole Horton/The Fordham Ram

Visual arts students have both classes and workshops in the studio area, where professors can teach and assist them. Nicole Horton/The Fordham Ram

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Visual arts students have both classes and workshops in the studio area, where professors can teach and assist them. Nicole Horton/The Fordham Ram

Visual arts students have both classes and workshops in the studio area, where professors can teach and assist them. Nicole Horton/The Fordham Ram

By Nicole Horton

Fordham Rose Hill’s visual arts program, based in Keating’s basement, has a large, well-lit studio space with skylights for painting and drawing, along with a state-of-the-art computer lab. With all of the variety in the department, the program offers many opportunities.

Many students have seen various sketches, photos, digital images, and other works on display in the basement from ongoing studio art classes. There are also floor and building plans from the pre-architecture program that is based at Lincoln Center and offers classes at Rose Hill.

“We unofficially started using the walls that run through the visual arts complex and Keating basement,” said Professor David Storey, co-director of the visual arts program. “We started using the walls as exhibition spaces for current student work, and this is what we’ve been doing ever since. Now it’s become part of our program, and we’re very excited and proud about seeing the work from all of the various classes.”

Storey stresses to his students the importance of cultivating intellectual and visual aspects, and technique inevitably follows students’ interests.

“At the top of my list would be the ability to see things intelligently and be able to generate ideas from visual experience — those are the basic tools of making visual art and they’re not mechanical tools,” said Storey. “They’re about ways of seeing the world and being able to respond to what you see in a purely visual way that generates insightful ideas about whatever it is that concerns you as an individual.”

For visual arts major Liz Saco, FCRH ’16, one of her favorite projects from Drawing II was drawing six different sections from Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux’s sculpture “Ugolino and His Sons” using pastels and charcoal.

“I focused on the concept of anatomy and how it translates differently from a three-dimensional sculpture to a two-dimensional drawing on paper,” said Saco. “This project really stood out as one of my favorites because the process didn’t feel like work at all. I could spend five or more hours in the studio each day and not even notice the time because I was so into the project.”

Visual arts minors can also embrace their creative sides without fearing that they lack the experience and techniques that visual arts majors have acquired.

“I’m a marketing major so I like that creative side of things, and by picking up a visual arts minor I felt like I could still explore that creativity while still being in the business school,” said Alex Rainone, GSB ’16. “The teachers at Fordham really make you feel comfortable if you don’t have that basic skill level, and really work with each student where they are.”

Ian Bennett, FCRH ’16, became a visual arts major after transferring from the University of New Hampshire. In addition to taking advantage of New York City’s many artistic resources and influences, Bennett has also embraced Fordham’s liberal arts core.

“Something interesting about the visual arts program here is that you can really pair it well with the strong liberal studies that Fordham has compared to the other schools where it’s really focused on art,” said Bennett. “I think that by doing visual arts as a major but then still having other strong core classes, you can really develop a stronger sense of yourself that can transfer or translate out of the artwork that you do.”

It is apparent that the visual arts department embraces the motto, “New York is my campus. Fordham is my school.” For instance, the current digital photography display features many photos taken in both the Bronx and Manhattan.

Storey believes that there should be more resources for Fordham visual arts students to see work to aspire to, like from young working artists living and working in New York.

“We’re in the heart of New York City, which is the global capital of the art world,” said Storey. “We should have an exhibition facility that fits our position. Rose Hill, in and of itself as a university campus, is probably unusual in that it doesn’t have a dedicated, professionally run gallery space.”

Storey hopes that the visual arts program will continue to expand, which will create more opportunities for students and the chance to engage in works that inspire them.

“There is a long-term plan for a new student center, and hopefully there will be a visual arts facility in there, a gallery space with a serious, professional exhibition schedule of contemporary art,” said Storey. “We’ve had several discussions about this in the past but nothing in the recent past — again, it’s long-term planning.”