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ONU art education graduate inspired by art and world travel

August—An understanding of a culture or region of the world other than one’s own is an important part of a professional and liberal arts education at Ohio Northern Art & Design. It’s also a key to developing leaders in an increasingly interdependent global society.

Katelyn Amendolara, BFA/art education ’11 and a visual art teacher at Jackson-Milton high school, used her love of art and her inspirations from ONU to travel to Italy to take a series of courses and to explore the culture.

“This summer I was able to return to SACI (Studio Arts Center International) in Florence, Italy, and continue my studies in art and design,” said Katelyn. “Last summer, I studied batik and advanced drawing which were two incredible courses. Ever since then, I couldn’t wait to get back to SACI.”

While signing up for classes, Katelyn decided to challenge herself by taking two courses in which she had little experience in: traditional black and white film photography and jewelry design.

“These two courses were incredible. I couldn’t have received better instruction. The amount of work that was accomplished within the month was amazing! Throughout the year I am teaching, so getting away and refocusing my energy on my own body of work was much needed.”

The instructor for her photography class was an accomplished photographer throughout Italy and worked for Vogue and Elle Italia. “He (Romeo DiLoreto) offered so much advice on portfolio preparation and shared his life experiences working in the fashion photography industry,” explained Katelyn. “He encouraged the class to work with a variety of cameras and different types of film, not just 35 mm. The class allowed me to explore and to develop a strong conceptual piece of art.”

Equally engaging for Katelyn was the jewelry course. Prof. Naiomi Muirhead instructed the class on the basic techniques and skills of working with a variety of metals. “She also taught us advanced techniques. We worked from primitive techniques, like riveting metal together to bezel setting stones, to soldering sterling silver and stone inlay.”

While studying overseas during the summer, the days can by long. But, Katelyn did find time to travel as well. “I was very happy with the quality and the amount of work that I accomplished within the month. We worked in the studio from 9 a.m.–8 p.m., Monday through Thursday. However, I was able to travel and sightsee on the weekends. I went to Venice and visited the Peggy Guggenheim museum and parts of the biennale! I also made a trip to Rome, San Gimignano, and Sienna.

During the past few years, several A&D students have grabbed the opportunity to live and learn in a foreign country.

“Hopefully future ONU students or current undergrads will take advantage of their time spent at Ohio Northern and study abroad for a semester,” expressed Katelyn. “It will open new doors of creativity and will enable a refreshing perspective on how you view your world.

“There is no other school like SACI that provides you with a rich cultural experience abroad. Some of the art courses offered can’t be found in the U.S. So, I would highly recommend to attend SACI for a semester while in you’re an undergrad or to try a semester in the summer like I have done the past two years.”

Ohio Northern’s art education major is an intensive full-time teacher preparation program that enables students to earn a PreK-12 licensure. The mission of the program is to prepare its candidates to be not only accomplished artists and art educators, but also articulate advocates for the role of art in PreK-12 education. The curriculum involves partnerships with public schools and is designed so that students come to understand educational theory through personal experience in authentic teaching situations.

Originally designated as the School of Fine Arts and later the College of Fine Arts, the art & design program was first established as an independent academic unit at Ohio Northern in 1878, largely as an outgrowth of course work in engineering and architectural drawing. Today, Ohio Northern 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-dimensional, three-dimensional and pre-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, AIGA: The Professional Association for Design, and the National Council on Education of Ceramic Arts. The department is 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 2013–14 Arts Exhibition Season, contact the department at 419.772.2160.

images: Katelyn (BFA/art ed ’11) in Rome.
Photograph, “Sights and Sounds of Italia,” 2013. Relates sheets of music to photography, a continuation of an experience being viewed while playing sounds of Italy.