John Brown University's Art and Illustration program began with the objective of providing a quality art major that included traditional drawing and painting techniques as well as training for entering the commercial illustration field. Classes emphasize conceptual creativity, traditional fine art and illustration, and modern computer graphic techniques. Courses include drawing, color studies, art history, figure drawing, digital illustration, oil painting, printmaking, screenprinting, 3D modeling and animation, and advanced illustration.
For art and illustration major Kate Williams, raising money to help Japan’s tsunami victims meant doing what she loves most — painting. “When we heard what happened, we decided to raise money by selling our art,” Kate says. “That is what I love about JBU’s art and illustration program. The professors encourage us to not only be ourselves in our art projects, but to serve others with our talents.”
Students have the choice of pursuing a fine art concentration or an illustration concentration. All of these allow students to create artwork in traditional and digital media, with an emphasis on combining old and new mediums into new art forms.
JBU offers hands on experience both in and out of the classrooms. Students begin building a professional portfolio, and present their work during their senior year at the senior portfolio show. Students also have the opportunity to go on a European Art Tour or a Summer Studies Trip. Professional artists are invited to lecture and display their works in the Art Gallery, which exposes students to the professional art industry and provides grounds for discussion.
“What stands out are the professors,” Kate says. “They really care about students individually. The classes are small but intense, and each professor is passionate about both teaching and creating art.”