By Zach Mosca
When it comes to picking a major in college, knowing exactly what that major entails is key. That’s why Youngstown State University is offering a series of virtual art information sessions to serve as an orientation for incoming art students.
These sessions will be split into multiple subcategories dedicated to each individual section of the art department. The first session, which was held Feb. 8, covered the art education section. Other sessions will feature departments such as interdisciplinary studio art, graphic design and sculptures and ceramics.
The incoming freshmen will meet with professors and art majors. Nick Aducci, senior art education major, made an appearance at the first session to talk about his experience in the art education program.
Aducci said he has enjoyed a positive experience with YSU’s art program so far, noting how robust it is and all the skills he’s learned from the program alone.
“It’s a tremendous program. I’ve been in all kinds of mediums and all kinds of different things that I didn’t even think I was going to be involved in like welding, the pottery wheel, making jewelry, soldering woodshop — all these things, YSU’s got it,” Aducci said.
Samuel Adu-Poku, art education professor, said YSU’s art education program in particular attracts students to the university because many other nearby universities don’t offer anything similar.
“I know the University of Akron discontinued their art education program, and then there’s another university — I think it’s Cleveland State University — also discontinued their art education program, so we are beginning to take advantage of that,” Adu-Poku said.
Another art professor featured in the session, Lillian Lewis, graduated from Penn State’s art education program, but she decided to come to YSU because of its studio space.
“For instance, our ceramics studio is two floors and we’ve got incredible, durable equipment there and lots of space for students to work,” Lewis said.
In addition, Lewis said she was very impressed by the faculty of the art department, such as Adu-Poku.
“[He] is originally from Ghana and his formal education is from Canada, so he brings this rich and complex global perspective to the program,” Lewis said.
When it comes to the values of learning art, Aducci said he feels like many skills students can learn from studying art are often overlooked. In addition to growing as an artist, students can learn practical life skills.
“The skills you learn in art [such as] critical thinking, creativity and decision making are often overlooked and can apply to other areas in life,” Aducci said.
One aspect of the art program Adu-Poku is excited about is its revamped curriculum, which will allow for more students to graduate without having to take any extra classes.
“Now that we’ve been able to reduce the graduation requirements, the students are excited, and a lot of students feel that they could graduate quicker and save money,” Adu-Poku said.
More information on the virtual art information sessions and the art department in general can be found at ysu.edu