Big Changes Ahead for Art Department

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MISHAWAKA- Students wishing to take ceramics in the fall 2020 semester were informed the class was would not be offered due to the Ceramics Lab’s indconduciveness to social distancing. Chad Jay, assistant professor of art, said not only was the building too small, it was also in poor condition due to being used as the ceramics lab for so many years.  

Bethel will offer ceramics to students next semester, but the class will be held at the South Bend Museum of Art. Instead of the class being held twice a week, it will be held once a week, on Fridays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. It will be taught by Kari Black, Bethel’s adjunct professor of ceramics and a member of the board of directors at the museum. 

Overcoming the obstacle of where to hold the ceramics class for Bethel students was a challenge. But, because Chad Jay used to run the education program at the museum, he knew of this opportunity.  

Although this will require students to drive off-campus for class, the facilities are superior. The ceramics wing at the South Bend art museum will supply students with more materials and means to create.  

“This works twofold, since the South Bend Museum of Art is a nonprofit organization, it’s us supporting the arts of this community also,” Jay said. “By renting space and holding our classes there, it’s almost our way of supporting the local art scene.” 

Another benefit to ceramics being held at the museum is that the scheduling is also flexible when it comes to signing up for class. If the meeting time that is listed on the course schedule conflicts with a student’s schedule due to athletics or other responsibilities, accommodations may be available.  

Under special circumstances, Bethel students may take a ceramics class through the museum that is held at a different time and day than the one listed on the course schedule for classes. Becky Branch, administrative assistant for the art department noted that this accommodation would be made for art majors mostly.  

Students taking ceramics will be able to come into the museum during open studio hours and work on their pieces outside of class as well.  

The regular course schedule is also changing: Ceramics 1 will be held once a semester, instead of alternating semesters. This will allow for more students to take this class. Jay also said that, depending on the need, more classes could be made available.  

This change to the ceramics class could lead to cooperative events with the South Bend Art Museum in the future, where students will have opportunities to display their art at some of the museum’s events.  

In addition to relocating the ceramics class, Jay said the entire Art Department is relocating to the lower level of Everest-Rohr. The Art Building will become a theatre and dance studio where students can rehearse. This move will allow more art classes to be held and for classes to be held all in the same place. Branch mentioned the opportunities this could bring to students.  

“The Art Department is moving [to Everest-Rohr], so all the Fine Arts will be housed in the same building, the same area,” Branch said. “And it will increase opportunities for collaboration and utilize our space better.” 

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