Good morning: I just read the latest issue of Sonoma Insights and found myself quite engaged in (not just skimming) the articles. As a former “house organ” writer myself, I know how hard it is to produce a compelling publication while keeping all the bosses and other “constituents” happy. Congratulations on a successful issue.
I would love to see more of who your students are and what becomes of your graduates. (My son is finishing his Freshman year.) I am a big supporter and defender of the liberal arts, but sometimes I get nervous about where these kids can go with a B. A. in history or sociology or liberal studies. I think it would help the students, too, to know about the myriad possibilities out there.
I couldn’t help but notice the SSU Art Department’s absence of representation in your magazine. Perhaps it’s because the department is at the back of campus, or perhaps it’s because Fine Art isn’t exactly cutting edge technology (although you might be surprised); for whatever reason, it has been forgotten in the news.
In spite of severe budget cuts, SSU’s Art Department has been able to maintain a high level of quality in its instructional environment.
There are many events that occur in the Department each semester, but those events most important to Art students are held in the Spring.
The Bachelor of Fine Arts program selects a very few applicants each semester from the many that apply. Those chosen students must meet the demanding requirements, culminating in the BFA Exhibit. The BFA exhibit is always rewarding to view in SSU’s Art Gallery each Spring.
Following the BFA exhibit each Spring, a Juried Student Exhibit is held for which all students are invited to apply.
Throughout the year there are non-student exhibits often including works of well-known artists. Curator and art history instructor Michael Schwager entices some of the best known artists to come to Sonoma State. Recently he showed the work of several art students from UCLA’s Master of Fine Arts program, a top level art school in the USA.
Another important program at SSU’s Art Department is the Winery Lecture Series. Primarily supported by local wine businesses, visiting artists show slides of their work and talk about the way their careers have progressed. Art students can glean a great deal from the tips and techniques offered by these successful artists. These lunchtime lectures are also open to the public.
I am a new alumni, a recent graduate of the BFA program. I would love to see the Art Dept. staff and faculty receive the credit and attention they so well deserve.
Santa Rosa, CA
Editor’s Note: Thanks for your passionate response to the most recent issue of Insights. No program is forgotten when we plan an issue of Insights. We try very hard to provide balance and fairness among the schools. But your observation is the Achilles heal of any university magazine: giving fair representation to all of the wonderful and deserving schools and programs. As a new graduate, you probably didn’t receive the issues where we featured the Art Gallery’s 25th anniversary on the cover in fall 2003, and Bacon and Eggs -- the product of a student in the 1970s art class Monument Sculpture — was the cover feature in summer 2004.There have been other, smaller stories in that time, but no discipline has received the cover story twice in the past three years — except Art.
Insights welcomes feedback from readers. Please send letters via e-mail or U.S. Postal Service.
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