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Ohio Northern Senior BA/BFA Candidates Exhibit Capstone Projects

April—It’s spring at Ohio Northern University, a demanding time for many seniors on campus. For the art and design students, this is an intense but rewarding rite of passage that few undergraduates outside of art and design programs ever experience.

This April, 13 bachelor of arts and fine arts candidates in graphic design, studio arts, art education and advertising design have devoted a full year to producing a thematically focused body of work as part of the required senior capstone experience. “During the students’ senior year,” explains Brit Rowe, chair of the department of art & design, “they begin to transform their attitudes from one of an art or design student working on assigned projects to one of an artist or designer engaged in a life-long process of development and learning.”

“This experience serves as the crowning point of the students’ education,” describes Rowe. “Students know how to build a body of work. They know how to think about its connection to the broader world. They know how to integrate principles, theories and methods learned in courses in an applied context.”

One aspect of the capstone experience is the research project. The capstone project is designed to encourage students to define the complex intersection between personal voice, conceptual understanding, the ability to conduct and use research, and to effectively use their liberal arts education in a process of creating a compelling, professional presentation.

“This part of the process is largely self-directed,” describes Rowe. “The process presents to students an extraordinary opportunity to identify an area of interest, investigate it, and use art and design as the vehicle to present their findings.”

In addition to the thesis experience, students also design and install an exhibition of their work and give a presentation to the department faculty. “The gallery presentation is essentially the students’ portfolios,” says Rowe. “The body of work must demonstrate what they students have learned and must go beyond classroom exercises and assignments to incorporate complex problems, ideas and solutions.”

The BA/BFA candidates featured in the exhibition are:
Katelyn Amendolara, art/studio arts/art education, Canfield, Ohio
Victoria Brake, graphic design, Forest, Ohio
Janelle Cain, art/studio arts/art education, Perry, Ohio
Zachry Clum, art/studio arts, Ada, Ohio
Fred Frances, art/studio arts, Moon Township, PA
Matt Garringer, graphic design, Jamestown, Ohio
Jeffrey Gibbons, studio arts, Toledo, Ohio
Matthew Glove, graphic design, Canfield, Ohio
Michael Madsen, graphic design, Coshocton, Ohio
Catherine Merchak, graphic design, Loveland, Ohio
Bethany Schreck, advertising design, Bethel Park, PA
Tanjina Schahadat, art/studio arts, Chittagong, Bangladesh
Jessica Whitley, graphic design, Dublin, Ohio

The students’ portfolios will be on display during the closing reception of the Senior BA/BFA Exhibition, Saturday, May 7, 1–3p.m. in the Elzay Gallery Lobby. The exhibition is on view Tuesday, April 26 through Saturday, May 7.

Admission to the Elzay Gallery of Art and the Stambaugh Studio Theatre Gallery is free and open to the public, daily from noon–5p.m. The Stambaugh Gallery also is open prior to Freed Center events. For additional information, to schedule a tour or to be placed on the arts exhibition mailing list, please contact the department of art & design (419) 772-2160 or

The 2010–11 academic year marks the 50th anniversary of the Bachelor of Arts degree in art at Ohio Northern University. Growing from a single-discipline school, the department offers both the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees with majors in advertising design, art education, graphic design and studio arts with concentrations in two-dimensions, three-dimensions and art therapy. The department of A&D holds memberships in national organizations such as the National Art Education Association, College Art Association, Foundations in Art: Theory and Education and the National Council on Education of Ceramic Arts. The department is also recognized in the second and third editions of “Creative Colleges: A Guide for Student Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers” as one of the best creative programs nationwide. For additional information about the department of art & design or the University’s 2010-11 Arts Exhibition Season, contact the department at 419.772.2160.

image: The Senior BA/BFA exhibit on display in the Elzay Gallery of Art.