A new vision for GV’s studio art and media program


GVL / Meghan Tripp (Landgren)

Omari Seaberry, Staff Writer

This past summer, the Studio Art and Media Department at Grand Valley State University confirmed their introduction of a new curriculum for the upcoming school year. 

The catalog for the 2022-23 fall and winter semesters has been updated with new course numbers, descriptions and titles. The changes to the program were made to both update the current courses and give students a wider range of new course options.

Vinicius Lima, the new Studio Art coordinator and Head of the Graphic Design Department, helps design the structure and future of what the major entails and determines how it can best benefit the students. 

“The faculty of the department strives for students to experiment more instead of being confined into a single art program, and as they have been modified over the years, some were looser in terms of requirements and others were more structured,” Lima said. 

The department started to make these changes about three years ago and took a pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic among other conflicts.

Currently, the department is working to make the changes fit with their visions and ideals. The department is also seeking to have more consistency throughout its Studio Art curriculum and is implementing the changes needed to restructure the program to reflect that goal. 

“If we were to design a policy for everyone in Studio Art regardless of their program, it would also affect the major in big ways, requiring a group decision,” Lima said.

The head of Visual Studies at GVSU, Paul Wittenbraker, is entering his second year as the department chair. He said GVSU is always looking for ways to improve the program. 

“The main thing is that the future is still open in terms of what the most optimal curriculum is,” Wittenbraker said. “The faculty are committed to finding innovations and consistencies in the curriculum while also making it fun and exciting for the students.”

Wittenbraker and his staff are working to make sure that students get the chance to take control of their paths through the program.

There are many components included within the new curriculum that are different from the past. Most programs do not require as many prerequisites as the previous model of the curriculum and allow the student to make more choices of what classes they take and when they take them.

The new curriculum maintains the same goal of educating students in practices of art creation, criticism and historical analysis to their respective students. They also demonstrate and identify with visual culture through the foundations of teaching art in many innovative ways.

 The new curriculum is set to begin for the 2022-23 school year.