Visual art department offers pottery for non-art majors

By Alexa Gerber
gerberal@mnstate.edu

Art majors on campus know all about the rich variety of hands-on classes the visual art department offers its students. In the past, however, many of theses classes have been oriented toward students majoring within the program, making it difficult for non-art majors to participate.
This will change next semester with the introduction of ART 311 – Pottery: Principles of Production and Design.
“The new non-art major class will give students the opportunity to fulfill their #6 Humanities [LASC] goal while having the chance to make pottery,” associate professor of ceramics Kelli Sinner said of the opportunity.
The decision to offer the class came about due to large demand from students who had taken and enjoyed hands-on art classes in high school, but weren’t able to take any of the major-specific art classes.
“The art classes for art majors are very demanding and require a lot of extra time with long class periods, and a lot of homework outside class time,” Sinner said. “Art 311 will give students the chance to make artwork with a reasonable time investment for someone who is not an art major.”
Students enrolled in the class can expect to cover various methods of pottery working, and create projects both functional and sculptural. In addition, students will go over historical and contemporary work and responding to different pieces in a critical context.
Expect a certain amount of creative freedom with the class: “One of the exciting things about taking the class is students are able to make as many extra projects as they want while they are in the class, beyond the required projects,” Sinner said.
Many of the current art students on campus are looking forward to introducing non-art majors into the program through this class, including Malia Moret, freshman art education major.
“It gives undecided majors a bit of room to explore if they have thought about art as a possible major,” Moret said. “For others, art is a good break from the usual schedule of tests and papers.”
Moret noted that pottery can be especially good for the mental health of students.
“The amount of hands-on work can be relaxing and therapeutic,” she said. “It really is a great stress-reliever, as well as a good way to express creativity.”
Though the time commitment won’t be as severe as that of other art classes, students taking the class in spring 2015 should still be prepared to work hard.
“Art can be a big time commitment, and it probably won’t be an ‘easy A’ class,” Malia said. “But chances are you will find yourself enjoying the time you spend on your art.”
There were only 15 seats available, so the class is currently full. However, Sinner hopes that the art department will be offering more non-major courses in the future, so any non-art majors hoping to take the class can perhaps look forward to that in the future.
As for students taking the class, Moret had this advice to offer: “I’ve personally found that listening to music when working on your art projects really helps the creativity flow.” Better start putting together a good playlist.

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