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Senior Capstone Project Overview

The art and design senior capstone is the final requirement of any major. The capstone experience and project are designed to engage you in the definition of the complex intersection between personal voice, conceptual understanding, the ability to conduct and use research, and to use your education (both liberal arts and art/design) effectively in the process of creating a compelling, finely crafted prototype, portfolio, exhibit, presentation, and supporting criticism.

The process should captivate your thinking about your work and how others experience it. During the capstone experience, you will work on assignments with different sets of constraints, hear from guest speakers with different points of view, and think about speaking to different audiences through (and about) art and design.

During the fall semester, you will work with faculty who may assign exercises which are designed to jumpstart the conceptual process for the capstone project. By the middle of the first semester, you should have identified at least one area of interest to be further explored for the final project. Also by this time, you should identify a project suitable for full-scale development, the audience it aims to target, and completed a capstone proposal. The term encourages you to conduct research, investigate materials and methods, explore media, develop ideas, and integrate theories and knowledge from your liberal arts and art/design classes.

The process culminates during spring term as you work toward presenting your prototype(s). Also during this term, senior capstone classes will be held Tuesday and Thursday mornings. The primary objectives include:

  • portfolio development
  • criticism and assessment
  • exhibiting and curating
  • public presentations

As a crowning point of your educational experience, a BA/BFA capstone exhibition and lectures will be held in April and May. The BFA/BA degree will not be conferred without approval of the exhibit, portfolio and the final project by the faculty. Professors will expect to see “capstone quality” work in all your endeavors. Your final portfolio must demonstrate what you have learned as an undergraduate student at Ohio Northern and incorporate the six major learning objectives of the department of art & design. The work must go beyond classroom exercises and assignments to incorporate complex problems, ideas, and solutions. Your work must integrate a liberal arts education. Faculty will be interested in hearing how your capstone experience pushed you to more sophisticated levels of meaning, expression and formal presentation. This is truly an ideal liberal-arts experience, a way of integrating knowledge from different disciplines into your work.