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KWC develops graphic design, animation programs | Community

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Kentucky Wesleyan College’s Graphic Design and Animation programs are expanding to offer more courses and sprucing up some of the courses previously offered.

Heather Logsdon, president of KWC’s humanities division, said she’s thrilled the department is expanding to offer courses for animation majors.

“We had animation classes as part of the graphic design program, but now there will be several classes dedicated to animation,” she said.

With plans to further expand the department, Logsdon said a lot of “big things” will happen.

“Graphic design is where the money is at the moment, but animation is increasingly in demand as most studios have moved from traditional hand-drawn graphics to more digital designs,” said she declared.

KWC houses a Mac Lab with more than 20 new 27-inch iMacs equipped with Adobe Creative Suite, Blendr and Mya programs, as well as several 3D printers.

Shea Stanley, assistant professor of graphic design and KWC’s newest addition to the department, said the attraction of visual arts from outside the department was a draw for him.

“What I found surprising when I first started teaching as an auxiliary at KWC was how many non-arts majors were taking art classes,” he said. “This willingness of students to step out of their comfort zone and take on the challenge of trying something different, in this case visual arts, can have a huge impact.”

Stanley has been a graphic designer and illustrator for over 25 years and has said his biggest influence on the career path has been animation.

“As a child, I was captivated by classic Disney animation and Warner Brothers Looney Tunes,” he said. “I was captivated by the process, and that’s what drew me into my love for drawing, and later my obsession with art and the creative process.”

Logsdon, who became president in 2019 after working as an adjunct professor from 2010, said growing this program was something she had been working on for years.

“When I started as an assistant in 2010, graphic design was only offered for about a semester,” she said. “It was mostly traditional instructors who applied for the jobs. I was a graphic designer and it was always my goal to put the courses online.

Stanley said he thinks KWC, and Logsdon in particular, have done a great job of creating and maintaining enthusiasm for the visual arts program.

“From my experience at other schools, there’s definitely a desire for more of these types of courses,” he said. “Animation continues to grow as a medium for telling stories of all types. It’s not just a ‘kids’ medium. There are a lot of artists using this medium to tell complex stories, captivating and deeply personal.

Logsdon said that while her main goal is to expand the animation program, she has smaller goals along the way. One of them is offering a 3D modeling and printing course starting this fall.

“This program is ideal for 2D artists who want to develop in 3D,” she said. “I want to marry the two together, and I think students will be excited about this course.”

Stanley said adding a new 3D printing and modeling course would only strengthen student preparation within the program.

“As an art form, animation has moved beyond the cynical view that it’s just a thing created to ‘sell toys to kids,'” Stanley said. “Now we can give our students the tools to tell their own stories at a professional level because we use industry-standard software in our courses. By adding a 3D modeling and printing course, we are introducing rapidly evolving technology that is creating a whole new career path for artists.

Logsdon said she hopes the new animation courses get approved because she thinks animation is something that speaks to everyone.

“Animation has a visual impact on an international audience,” she said. “Everyone, young or old, can benefit from it, from Pixar and Disney to commercials and website designs. It’s inclusive.

The courses would enable students to use creative thinking while learning technical skills used in industry.

“They will work on hands-on projects right away, during the first week,” Logsdon said. “We would take what’s normally in a book and do it all in a week and have fun doing it.”

Stanley said the department wants to continue to educate prospective and current students about the quality of the department and the educational experience provided by KWC.

“As we grow and expand the art program, we plan to provide educational opportunities that few schools in the state and surrounding areas offer,” he said. “Our graphic design program has received many accolades. We must also continually rethink the idea of ​​teaching the “visual arts” at the college level and continue to integrate new and evolving technologies into our program offerings.

KWC’s graphic design program was recently recognized by Animation Career Review.

“Our curriculum is rigorous and our graduates have a high employment rate,” Logsdon said. “Graduates have gained proficiency in industry operational skills, business operational skills and effective customer communication.”

Stanley said the department wants to continue to educate prospective and current students about the quality of the department and the educational experience provided by KWC.

“As we grow and expand the art program, we plan to provide educational opportunities that few schools in the state and surrounding areas offer,” he said.

Stanley said he looks forward to the opportunity to provide students with a more up-to-date view of what a career in art can be like.

“There has long been the stereotype that the only career leading to an arts degree is that of a ‘starving artist,’” Stanley said. “That’s just not the case anymore. Just by looking at the world around us, we are surrounded by art and design every day. Whether it’s animation, video game design, filmmaking, fashion, web design, and even food packaging design in the grocery aisle. »