Digital Art Program
A rapidly growing number of students at Calvin have interests in a program of study that combines their artistic interests with their interests also in computers and digital media. Some of these students are considering careers that they expect will require them to develop websites, develop interactive media such as computer/video games, or perform other artistic work in digital media. Employers in these areas are most eager to hire college graduates with abilities, knowledge, and experiences that have been drawn from both artistic and technological fields of study, rather than from a single field of study. If you are considering whether God may be calling you in such a direction, you might wish to consider following the lead of the growing number of students at Calvin who are designing their own interdisciplinary studies major that combines studies in one or more areas of the arts, digital multimedia, and computing.
One example of such a program of study — an Interdisciplinary Major in Art and Computer Science — appears below. It is followed by the general guidelines for designing an Interdisciplinary Major in Digital Multimedia Arts that is customized to your interests, to your goals, and to your intuitions of the direction in which God is calling you to a life of service in these exciting new areas.
- An already proposed minor in Digital Multimedia Arts may become official very soon!
Whether you are a current Calvin student or considering attending Calvin, please, feel free to contact Professor Jeff Nyhoff <firstname.lastname@example.org> if you have any questions about the growing number of opportunities to combine studies of the arts, digital media, and computer technologies here at Calvin!
Interdisciplinary Major in Art and Computer Science
Any student at Calvin College has the option of designing their own interdisciplinary major; this major must be approved by the departments from which you draw your courses. Since different people have different interests, the Computer Science and Art Departments worked together to create two possible ways to construct an interdisciplinary major in Art and Computer Science. Other colleges might call this major program “Digital Art”, “Digital Imaging”, or “Digital Media”.
Both tracks have a common kernel of courses that you must take:
- Art 153 (Visual Culture, core)
- Art Studio 250 (Intro to Drawing)
- Art Studio 255 (Communication Design I)
- Art Studio 305 (Communication Design II)
- Art Studio 355 (Communication Design III)
- Art History 240 (Contemporary Art, core)
- Computer Science 108 (Intro to Computing)
- Computer Science 384 (Perspectives on Computing, core)
- Information Systems 141 (Computing with Databases)
- Information Systems 151 (Computing Presentations)
- Information Systems 153 (Computing with the Internet)
- Information Systems 337 (Website Administration)
- Information Systems 341 (Database Administration)
Then pick your emphasis:
|Computer Graphics Emphasis||Multimedia Emphasis|
In addition to the courses in your particular emphasis, you are encouraged to take courses from the other emphasis. You are free to swap alternative courses for those listed above; however, student programs that deviate from the course sequences above require advisor and departmental approval.
By contrast, the course sequences described above have already been approved by both the CS and Art departments, so a student program consisting of those sequences requires no special action beyond the approval of your advisor.
Interdisciplinary Major in Digital Multimedia Arts
The above Interdisciplinary “Art and Computer Science” major is but one example of an Interdisciplinary major combining computing and the arts. It is a template for a more advanced and comprehensive program of study, the equivalent of completing both a major in Studio Art and a minor in Computer Science or Information Systems.
In contrast, most Interdisciplinary majors at Calvin seek to be more integrative than expansive. Unlike a “double major” or the pairing of a major and a minor from two different departments, an Interdisciplinary major at Calvin is designed to bring what are normally regarded as separate fields of study into direct conversation with each other. The goal is to discover the unique kind of enrichment of theories and the powerful invigoration of practices that can result when barriers between disciplines are dissolved!
A specified in the college catalog, an Interdisciplinary major at Calvin typically consists of 12 courses:
10 courses in two main departments (5 courses in each, or 6 in one and 4 in the other).
Normally, at least 4 of these courses (2 in each department) will be 200 or 300 level courses.
2 additional courses taken in a third department.
The student works with an advisor in designing an appropriate selection of courses, drafting a statement of purpose for the proposed program of study, and obtaining signatures from the chairpersons of the two main departments selected.
For most of the growing number of students with interests in Digital Multimedia Arts, such an Interdisciplinary major is comprised of courses selected from the Art, Communication Arts and Sciences, and Computer Science departments. Such courses are typically ones that integrate both theory and creative practice, and that directly or indirectly address key characteristics and dynamics of digital media, in both technological and cultural terms. Frequently combined are selected courses from:
photography (Art Department – Studio Art);
communication/graphic design (Art Department – Studio Art);
video production, digital audio production (Communication Arts and Sciences department – Media Production);
theatre design, production, or performance (Communication Arts and Sciences department – Theatre);
web and multimedia technologies, animation and interactivity (Computer Science department – Information Systems, IDIS interims).
Some other courses that offer promising possibilities as an area of emphasis include:
drawing, sculpture, or architecture (Art department);
music performance (Music department);
dance (HPERDS department);
creative writing, graphic novels (English department)
film (English, Communication Arts and Sciences departments)
As you can see, there are many possibilities available to you at Calvin for exploring and developing the fascinating combination of interests and abilities that God created in you and has continued to cultivate in you over the course of your entire life so far. In recent years, a growing number of faculty and students who share your passion for creative activity involving computers and digital media technologies have started coming together at Calvin. We hear God’s call to transform the digital technologies that are spreading throughout our world but impose experiences of thoughtless or fearful functionality upon us, and to work instead toward the design and delivery of digital media that pulsate with nuanced, deeply creative expressions of our humanity and that are glorifying to our Creator, the source of all good gifts. We’d love to have you join us during these times of exciting changes, both in academia and in culture at large!
Again, whether you are a current Calvin student or considering attending Calvin, please, feel free to contact Professor Jeff Nyhoff <email@example.com> if you have any questions about the growing number of opportunities to combine studies of the arts and computer technologies at Calvin!