The money allowed faculty and staff to purchase expensive technology, host visiting artists, create concentrations, receive training, and more.
“It was transformative in offering the types of courses that students are really interested in these days,” said Associate Professor of Art Danny Jauregui. In the first year, a new media arts lab was created and filled with high-powered computers to teach classes on graphic design, animation, and game art. Later on, a digital fabrication studio and makerspace opened in the library with 3D printers and a laser cutter.
“Because of the equipment, the training and all of the new courses that were developed, every department created new majors or new tracks,” Jauregui said. “We did not have a film major prior to this grant.”
Yet Jauregui said one of the largest impacts was being able to create a fellowship where students received $4,500 to put toward projects in film, animation, or other media.
“These funds were allowing them to either purchase equipment, travel, pay actors, or anything that would facilitate the project,” Jauregui said.
Fourth-year graphic design major Macy Miller is focusing her fellowship on the intersection of art and artificial intelligence. Having spent years on a multimedia scrapbook filled with drawings and other physical art, Miller is now transforming her book into a digital representation using AI software such as Midjourney.
“My idea was that, if AI is going to be more and more prevalent, I would like to at least use it and get an understanding of how it works,” Miller said.
The grant money is helping her pay for the software as well as print the AI-generated book. Miller hopes to showcase her work in a gallery, such as the school’s Greenleaf Gallery, in the spring.
“As someone who wants to pursue visual arts, the opportunity to be able to put it together for a gallery instead of having to pitch my artwork and try to maybe get my art in a gallery is really exciting,” Miller said. “That’s something I didn’t think I would be able to do for years.”