South Carolina School of the Arts students will be toting camera bags across campus and enjoying autumn leaves from behind a camera lens next semester.
The South Carolina School of the Arts at Anderson University plans to add a photography concentration to its art program this fall.
While the photography concentration undergoes the internal and external accreditation and approval process, the South Carolina School of the Arts is also making plans for a new photography studio at the Chiquola Building in downtown Anderson.
When students at AU major in art, they choose a concentration. Photography will join the list of concentrations in art education, ceramics and sculpture and painting and drawing. Additionally, the Department of Art and Design is enhancing its design program with a new B.F.A in Graphic Design, which is also expected to launch this fall.
Michael Marks, chair of the Department of Art and Design and associate professor of art, said that the department has seen a demand for photography in recent years, and he anticipates the new concentration will be an attractive major for art students who want studio practice in photography.
The photography concentration will offer courses in art foundations, technical expertise and the history of photography. Students will also have opportunities for hands-on experience including significant hours of advanced photography studio work. The concentration will allow students to build a portfolio and create a personal brand.
Marks said the concentration teaches technical skills and industry standards but also allows students the flexibility to pursue a creative career path. Photography majors have a myriad of career options including media arts, studio photography and freelance work.
Photography students can also add a minor in another area to their degree. And art majors in different concentrations, art minors and even other majors can take the new photography courses to gain interdisciplinary expertise.
“We want to produce graduates who are nimble, forward-thinking and creative but are also connecting disciplines,” Professor Marks said. “Those make them more attractive candidates for jobs but it also makes them … much more proactive in terms of their own professional work, regardless of what that looks like.”
Current faculty members have played a critical role in launching the new program and will lead the new concentration forward. The South Carolina School of the Arts anticipates bringing in more top-notch faculty who are professionals in their field as the program grows.
And the new space at Chiquola Studios will accommodate the photography concentration’s expansion. Anderson University has transformed the historic building in recent years, and the ongoing enhancements include repurposing the building’s industrial-grade kitchen into a photo darkroom.
Marks said the project will more than double the square footage of the South Carolina School of the Arts photo area. The enhancements will add the new photo darkroom, a teaching space and a studio. Chiquola will house space for printing, traditional darkroom photography and digital processes. The updates are expected to be completed by the time of the photography concentration’s launch this fall.
The photography studio is the South Carolina School of the Arts’ cause for A Day this year. Those interested in supporting the photography program can contribute to specific equipment needs that will directly benefit the photography concentration and its students.
Students who are interested in the new photography concentration can apply now for the Bachelor of Arts in Art degree, and their advisor can add them to the new photography concentration when all processes and curriculum updates are finalized.
For more information about the South Carolina School of the Arts’ Department of Art and Design, visit http://art.schoolofthearts.com/.