Bethel’s art department is more than a building nearly off-campus and a monthly display in the Weaver Gallery. With over 50 students in art-related studies, an era of Mark Kistler, Pappyland, and Bob Ross viewers brings a familiar face to the name of contemporary art. “I like to paint because it’s kind of like therapy,” shared junior Visual Arts major Stephanie Shively. “Maybe like writing in a journal or listening to music - I feel like my thoughts come out into the painting.” Over the past five years, the art program at Bethel has been growing leaps and bounds. The closer it gets to one hundred students, the closer it will be to becoming an accredited art program. “My vision is to have a department of roughly one hundred art majors in a variety of concentrations and programs,” shared Chris Stackowicz, chair of the art department. “We are over half way to that number now!” According to Bethel’s website, there are currently four Bachelor’s degrees offered in the Department of Visual Arts: Art Administration, Art Education, Pre-Art Therapy and Visual Arts. Areas of concentration include ceramics, sculpture, printmaking, painting, graphic design, digital photography, interior design, web design and web development. “It’s definitely improving,” stated senior Visual Arts major Matt Kauzlarich. “When I first got here, the art building hadn’t been renovated yet…so we held graphic design class in the comp lab with all the other people around.” Kauzlarich has a focus in graphic design which he described as the study of how art relates to a digital medium such as computers or photos. Kauzlarich designed for Nike this summer, has redesigned uniforms and logos for a minor league hockey team and has done work for clients from Denmark, Germany. Stackowicz shared that he would really like to see the Graphic Design program evolve into something that enables students to apply what they’re learning in real world situations starting right now in the college arena. “We are trying to make the campus more aware of what we have to offer,” explained Stackowicz. “We hope that we can be as integral a part of the learning process at Bethel as it is at many other colleges and universities. The more valuable the students in the visual arts can become to the campus community the better."