Art students persevere

Krissy M. Rardin, Copy Editor

The art program at Lake Land College has welcomed many students over the years. Spearheaded by Instructor Jo Birdwell and Instructor Ben Cohan, the program offers a wide array of courses to bolster the skills of students pursuing the Arts. Under Instructor Birdwell, students may enroll in 2-D Design/ART-110, Ceramics/ART-225, Art and Gender/ART-240 and Understanding Art/ART-250 as online courses. Instructor Cohan will be instructing Drawing II/ART-200, Painting II/ART-206 and Art History II/ART-261 as online courses. 

The art studios were damaged by the fire in Neal Hall in April 2020. Amidst COVID-19 concerns and remodeling efforts, they have remained empty since. The upcoming Spring 2021 semester will welcome 2-D Design and Ceramics students in an online setting. Drawing II and Painting II will also remain remote for the foreseeable future. It is fair to question the execution of an art course online, but it can be done efficiently. Instructors Birdwell and Cohan swiftly prepared to finish the Spring 2020 semester through online platforms at the beginning of the Illinois lockdown and are no doubt ready for new students. 

At this time, Art Club activities are suspended to allow students to focus on their courses as well as the current circumstances. As of now, an effective way to pursue club activities and fundraising opportunities has not been concluded. Time management is already a factor for art students as they juggle the expectations of their courses, work life and family situations. For students with children in remote learning, the stakes can be even higher. Given the situation, many employees are being laid-off or furloughed, while others are expected to pick up more shifts and increase their availability. These issues are fully recognized by the instructors, with Instructor Cohan stating, “Everything seems to be a moving target in terms of what students who are employed are being asked to do.” 

From firsthand experience, taking an online art course has a vastly different feel than that of in-person. Though not what one would traditionally expect, it is an incredibly rewarding experience and one to really bring out the best in an art student. This is a time to seek out things we are passionate about and apply a creative lens to the world around us. If enrolling in an art course appeals to you, speak to your advisor today!

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