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The art of majoring in the arts, putting passion first

By Sammie Miller
On April 28, 2014

For most students at Miami, a night spent confined in King staring at endless PowerPoint notes and writing term papers seems like the key to success. For junior Haley Rice and other art majors on campus, however, their night of studying looks a little bit different.

"As an art major, my schedule is much different from other students'," Rice said. "A night of hard work requires me to be in the art studio for many hours outside of class."

According to the College of Creative Arts, art majors at Miami are required to actually apply and get accepted into a rigorous program in order to even major in art. The application process includes a portfolio and sometimes even an interview for acceptance into the School of Fine Arts.

"I think a lot of times people associate majoring in art with not having to work hard," Alex Bishoff, a junior graphic design major said. "I know a lot of people majoring in art and the hours spent in the studio is hard to believe."

It is difficult to cram for an upcoming project when students have to actually create something. Rice noted that she often spends 20-30 hours outside of class per week in the studio in order to get her paintings done.

At Miami, art majors can pick from a number of focuses within the college including 2-Dimensional work, which is mainly painting and drawing, or 3-Dimensional work including ceramics and sculpting.  

"I am an art education major," Rice said. "So technically I do not have to select a focus but I work mainly in 2-dimensional painting and drawing."

Rice's work is a compilation of abstract design and work with collages. She has experimented with many media in her time at Miami because it is something each student is required to do in order to form skillsets in many types of media.

A lot of students choose their majors for the sole purpose of earning a certain salary or getting a specific job. To be an art major, dedication and time commitment are essential, but also a love for art itself.

Rice describes her great passion for art and how that passion directed her decision to major in art, and eventually teach art to young students.

"In high school I had no idea what I wanted to do in college, but the thing I looked forward to most was going to my art classes," Rice said. "I think that it is important to major in something that you truly love, especially if you are planning on putting so much time into it."

As Rice progresses into her senior year at Miami, she will be required to partake in a senior project. Each division of the art major requires something different, but in addition to her class work, Rice will also be required to teach an art class on Saturdays for an entire semester.

As an art major, studets are still required to take many normal classes where exams and paper writing are a major focus.

"It definitely is not easy," Rice said. "I feel like it's double the work because I'm studying for exams and spending so much extra time in the studio outside of class. You have to really be committed."

After graduation, Rice intends to teach art, eventually at the college level as a professor.

"There are so many different things you can do with an art degree," Rice said. "I want to share my love for creating with others."


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