New MIAD curriculum won’t affect fine arts minors at Marquette

Photo by Rebecca Rebholz / rebecca.rebholz@marquette.edu

Photo by Rebecca Rebholz / rebecca.rebholz@marquette.edu

The Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design is implementing major curriculum changes in the fall 2015 semester, but it will not have significant impact on Marquette students pursuing a minor in the fine arts areas that partner with MIAD.

Jean Grow, director of Marquette’s fine arts program and associate professor in strategic communication, said there will be no changes made to the photography, fine arts or graphic design majors available to students. The only significant change that may happen in the coming years is the loss of the motion narrative minor since MIAD will be limiting its animation courses. Grow is collaborating with the provost of MIAD to ensure that the partnership between the schools remains strong.

MIAD will be combining its existing drawing, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture programs to create an interdisciplinary major called New Studio Practice. Grow said this follows the national trend of arts education heading in a more interdisciplinary direction and should not come as a shock.

“New Studio Practice aligns authentic fine arts education with the needs of contemporary student artists, culturally and creatively,” MIAD said in a statement.

However, some MIAD students are concerned about how the changes will affect not only the rest of their education, but also their professional lives.

Rhys Hansen, a sophomore photography major at MIAD, said the new program will make it easier for students to work between disciplines and share resources, but the loss of specificity in majors and increased focus on fine arts is not as helpful to his future aspirations.

“New Studio Practice doesn’t set students up as well for success as commercial photographers,” Hansen said.

MIAD’s current and incoming freshmen will be the first students to enter into the program, allowing sophomores and juniors to graduate with the specific discipline majors they are working on.

Hansen said the upperclassmen are still impacted by the changes. He said there will be fewer specific photography classes offered. All photography electives are eliminated starting in the fall, pushing students to take more general fine arts classes.

The changes in classes offered could eventually affect Marquette students at MIAD, but only if classes are combined in new ways that would in new course titles. Students like Zan Zurowski, a senior in the College of Communication, are happy to hear that Marquette will continue to partner with MIAD despite any curriculum changes. She has a minor in studio art and appreciates her experience at MIAD, saying it compliments her advertising degree well.

“Overall, I see a shift like this as a positive thing for MIAD, Marquette and the creative world in general,” Grow said.