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Pictured above: Dr. James Lentini, Dean of the School of Creative Arts at Miami University visits an art studio during a Craftsummer workshop session.
Written by Carly Behringer . Photography by Mark Bealer Additional Photography provided by Miami University Communications
Art has been a human tradition and practice since the beginning of time: from cave paintings to the Impressionist era, to contemporary and modern art. It is an important facet of our existence as humans and continues to grow and evolve with technology and advances in society. The School of Fine Arts at Miami University is also transitioning into a new artistic stage. Starting in July, the School of Fine Arts will be rebranded as the School of Creative Arts. The new name encompasses an expanded set of programs being introduced to students, in addition to existing degree offerings in Architecture & Interior Design, Art, Music, and Theatre. Some of these include a new degree in Interactive Media Studies with courses like video game design and web design. The School of Creative Arts is an important addition to the artistic community at Miami. President David C. Hodge declared the 2011-12 school year the “Year of the Arts.” Every year, the School of Fine Arts strives to inspire and educate students by presenting more than 200 performances and exhibitions, and this designation celebrates the history, present dynamism, and the exciting new future for the arts as they embrace their new namesake. Dr. James Lentini, Dean of the School of Creative Arts, explains that the name change isn’t so much a revamp as it is an extension of what they already do. “This name change is a part of a transformation to the future that not only involves art making and arts education, but also connections with all disciplines. The arts are important – not only to arts majors – but to what every student needs to know about cultural awareness, education about different areas of the world, and to learn how to do your craft better, no matter what it is,” Lentini says. “This is a big change for us and an exciting change. Changing our name to the School of the Creative Arts offers us a bridge across the gap to the other disciplines here at Miami.” Miami’s undergraduate video game design program, Digital Game Studies, has already been recognized by the Princeton Review and GamePro Magazine as one of the “Top 50 Undergraduate Game Design Programs” in the United States. The School of Creative Arts partners with other disciplines on campus to offer Digital Game Studies, giving students the opportunity to engage more
in innovative creation of video games and programming. Other programs that will be expanded include Arts Management, which is now an optional minor for both arts and business students. If you’re interested in being involved in an arts field, but in a different capacity other than a hands-on artist, performer, or designer, this opportunity gives you that edge. An Arts Management minor could help graduates find jobs in museums, art galleries, artist management, symphonies, dance companies and even community arts councils. Essentially, this program creates a connection between the arts and business. A lot of the popular collaborations are still available for young minds. Miami’s Over-the-Rhine Residency Program was recognized with the Outreach Scholarship and the national C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement Award. Another expanding staple is the Miami Design Collaborative. “Design is a huge area in the world right now, it’s exploding with all this digital technology. Design could involve graphic design, interior design, engineering and anything you could think of,” Lentini explains. “The collaborative involves both instructors and students. They’ll take on a project, try to solve a problem that they have, and then decide how to deliver the product. We expect to develop it further.” The Performing Arts Series at Miami, which presents artists and entertainers from around the world, is also here to stay. Past performers include the likes of Philip Glass and Béla Fleck and the Flecktones. The School of Creative Arts is also home to the Miami University Art Museum, which houses more than 16,000 pieces of art that students study and observe. “The arts have been part of human existence since the beginning, so a lot of the things we do, like playing the violin or painting, won’t change that much. Those traditions are important to us,” Lentini says. “Along with those traditions, it’s about embracing the new opportunities we can give to our students, faculty, and society that involves the arts. With the School of Creative Arts, we can be the catalyst to understanding how to utilize the arts to make better communities and better education for everyone.”
I wasn’t sure exactly what it was when I was in high school. I knew that when I looked at certain things, they would bother me, like crooked picture frames. I did yearbook in high school and made some T-shirt designs then and realized that meant that I was already doing graphic design. My experiences made me seek out schools with good graphic design programs and Miami was one of them. I loved it. I got a lot out of it. As a result, I secured a job, even before I had graduated. I chose Miami because I knew I was going to get a great education overall, and I think that as I went into the real world, people were impressed. They said that they could tell that I had a great education in general. I wasn’t just going to an art school, but I had a great educational background overall, and that’s one of the biggest advantages of the School of Creative Arts here. It will be fun to see it grow and change. v
– Erin Beckloff
Graduated in 2006 with a BFA in Graphic Design and will be a Visiting Faculty member in the fall at Miami University
The School of Creative Arts is located at 104 Center for Performing Arts, Oxford, OH 45056. You can reach them at 513.529.6010, by email at email@example.com, or visit their website at arts.muohio.edu.
Pursue your Passion in the Arts!
School of Creative Arts at
Nationally recognized degree programs in*
Architecture + Interior Design
Witness performances and exhibits by the world’s leading performers and artists through our Performing Arts Series and Miami University Art Museum.
*Miami University and School of Creative Arts programs are nationally ranked and recognized by the Fiske Guide, DesignIntelligence, U.S. News & World Report, Smart Money, and The Princeton Review.
513.529.6010 • 104 CENTER FOR PERFORMING ARTS • OXFORD, OHIO 45056 • ARTS.MUOHIO.EDU