The Northern Michigan University College of Arts and Science’s School of Art and Design offers the kind of unique artistic opportunities that allow students to practice all manner of creative pursuits.

Northern Michigan University College of Arts and Science’s School of Art and Design

Pic: Northern Michigan University College of Arts and Science’s School of Art and Design

Beyond the broad categories of art and design, Northern Michigan students can concentrate their interests in a range of subjects.

Course programs here include Art History, Art Education, Ceramics, Drawing and Painting, Digital Cinema, Electronic Imaging, Furniture Design, Graphic Communication, Human Centered Design, Illustration, Jewlery, Metals and Blacksmithing, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture, and Woodworking.

While students are free to explore their tastes and artistic passions, they are also guided by a knowledgable faculty who review and provide feedback on their work. During the third year of an arts program, faculty review student work and progress toward completing studio requirements, including resume development and presentation, which assists them in their endeavors beyond their time at the school.

The facilities available to art and design students are state-of-the-art. They include more than 110,000 square feet of studios, a lecture hall, and critique and screening rooms.

New studios have also been built, and include those for Electronic Imaging, Photography, Printmaking, Painting, Drawing, a Green Screen Lighting Studio, Matte Cutting room and a Lighting Portfolio studio.

Additional facilities are available in ceramics, woodworking, sculpture, and metalsmithing.

Northern Michigan University College of Arts and Science’s School of Art and Design

Smithing work from a Northern Michigan student. Pic: Northern Michigan University College of Arts and Science’s School of Art and Design

More than $1,000,000 in new state-of-the-art equipment has been implemented, including four Apple Computer labs with professional scanners and multiple printers, a photography strobe lighting studio and new enlargers, new digital cameras for both still and video shooting, new printmaking equipment, painting and drawing easels, and support equipment.

Because of the high-tech materials with which students may work, they enhance their artistic skill sets while preparing to enter the professional realm within their fields.

To supplement classroom facilities and learning, all Art and Design majors are equipped with an Apple iBook laptop that has been outfitted with software appropriate to their coursework.

As part of the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Art and Design’s stated goal is “to prepare students to participate in the professional fields of art, design, and education, broadening the scope of their experience by providing intellectual support for art beyond the limits of studio skills.”

Career opportunities abound for graduates of Northern Michigan’s Art and Design programs. They tend to land positions throughout the country in engaging careers such as art directors and art teachers to entrepreneurs of large and small enterprises. Other opportunities include those in the areas of electronic imaging, digital cinema, graphic communication, photography, ceramics, and illustration.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree is the standard route students take, but the school also offers the required courses for art teacher certification, a two year associate degree, teaching and non-teaching minor programs.

Northern Michigan University College of Arts and Science’s School of Art and Design

Photography piece from a Northern Michigan student. Pic: Northern Michigan University College of Arts and Science’s School of Art and Design

The Devos Art Museum is run by the School of Art and Design and is now regional museum for the Upper Peninsula region of Michigan.

Northern Michigan showcases excellent student work, including on its website, where prospective students and families can read about current students’ experiences and see samples of their work.

Among those is Rob Campbell, a painting and drawing student.

“My practice stems from ironic realizations about society,” he says of his work. “Through a combination of hand applied oil and acrylic paint as well as airbrushing, I comment on many of society’s odd fascinations through juxtaposition of geometric abstract grounds with realistically rendered figures.”

Photography student Matthew Keiser is also featured on the site.

“Most of my work is concentrated in digital photography but I still experiment with alternative processes such as cyanotypes and toy cameras,” he said. “The majority of my photographs are taken within the studio setting. Currently, fashion photography has been my focus; I deconstruct the preconceived notions of what fashion photography is.”

Graphic communications student Samantha Randolph takes her own approach to her studies and creations.

“The general basis of communication is simple,” she said. “There is a conveyor, a message, and the audience who receives said message. A designer holds the position of sender, and it is the recognition of this power that drives me to create work. Design may never change the world but communication holds the entirety of that capability, and, in that light, the importance of clear and understandable communication is paramount.”

New students can expect to learn and develop their craft in the same way these students have, and to give great consideration to their methods, inspiration and goals.

Exceptional applicants and returning students may be eligible for merit scholarships to assist with the financial cost of attending the school.

For more information on applying to the School of Art and Design, visit their admissions section of their website.

To see the kind of work alumni produce and the careers they cultivate for themselves, visit the School of Art and Design Alumni Facebook page.