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Art and design celebrates 50 years of excellence with ‘Latitude’

Throughout 2010-11, Ohio Northern University’s Department of Art and Design has observed the 50th anni­versary of its Bachelor of Arts degree with “Latitude: Art & Design @ 50.”

“Since the department’s first Bache­lor of Arts degree in 1961, graduates have shaped the visual world around us,” said professor Brit Rowe, BFA ’93, chair of the department. “As an educational program focused on the liberal arts and professional educa­tion, our curriculum provides breadth in the visual arts, supports a rigor­ous general education program, and develops students’ rational thought and intellectual capabilities.”

The department commemorated the special year with a series of exhibi­tions, lectures and special events recognizing the work of its faculty members, the success of its gradu­ates, and the tremendous growth of the program’s reputation in the art and design communities.

Events included “What Lies Ahead” to showcase art alumni, “Artists Against Hunger” to raise funds for community initiatives, and “Influ­ence: Paintings” by James Devore, ONU professor of art emeritus, and Laura (Barnhardt) Corle, BFA ’77. A paintings and drawings exhibit by professor Rob Price, retired faculty from the University of Wisconsin- Stout and an Ada High School graduate, was featured during a gala celebration in January.

For Homecoming 2011, the “Good Girls” installation by Marilyn Lysohir-Coates, BA ’72, will be displayed. Lysohir-Coates has exhib­ited nationally and was featured in Ceramics Monthly magazine.

Brief history

The department’s roots go back to 1878, largely as an outgrowth of coursework in drawing for educa­tion, engineering and architecture students. In the 1880s, professor W.A. Smith taught sketching, from nature, oil painting and crayon painting, and classes in mechani­cal engineering and architectural drawing.

Originally designated as an inde­pendent academic unit at Ohio Northern, the department’s name was changed to the College of Fine Arts in 1903. In 1907, as the University’s curriculum and enroll­ment grew, the name was changed to the School of Fine Art. When the program merged with the College of Liberal Arts in 1929, the name was changed to the Department of Art. Under the leadership of John H. West in 1960, the Bachelor of Arts degree was first offered. Then, in 2008, the name of the depart­ment was changed again to reflect expanding educational opportunities for students.

About the visual identity

The identity for “Latitude: Art & Design @ 50,” captures the essence of the liberal arts and professional education offered at Ohio Northern University. The ONU curriculum provides breadth in the visual arts, supports a rigorous general educa­tion program, and develops stu­dents’ rational thought and intellec­tual capabilities. Rowe created the visual identity for the anniversary. Bethany Schreck, a senior art major from Bethel Park, Pa., created the catalog for Price’s exhibit.