“Worth It”: A Day in the Life of a Hillsdale Art Student


Senior Madie Schider finishes her painting with her foot. Courtesy | Ellie Formentin

Of all of the Hillsdale College majors, the Art major may have the most unique requirements – from requiring students to create a personal portrait to saving all of their projects for a final art exhibition during their last year.

Senior Madie Schider, a double major in biology and art, originally wanted to make art her minor and biology her major, but said she decided she liked art too much.

“I took the drawing from my first semester of freshman with Suarez, and it was just amazing, the best experience,” Schider said. “I just liked getting lost in art. I love to draw, I love to paint, so it worked out pretty well.

German and senior double art Colm Maines agreed, saying that although art was not his original plan, he “fell in love with drawing again” when he took drawing I his first. year.

I’ve always enjoyed making art since my art class in high school, especially with graphite and colored pencils, ”Maines said in an email. “About halfway through the semester I spoke to Dr. Bushey about the requirements to be an art major and realized it was more than doable. Bam, end of story.

There are three axes for the art department: traditional art, art history and graphic design. The major requires at least 36 hours while the minor requires 21. There is very little reading, Schider said, and the materials students buy are mostly art supplies. While most other majors do not have admission requirements, art majors must submit a self-portrait to be accepted.

“One of the reasons for doing this is to make sure that everyone reaches a certain level and also to follow it,” said Barbara Bushey, art professor and chair of the art department. “We can identify the needs that we need to meet. “

The arts department also encourages students to show up at the Palais des Beaux-Arts for a “juryed student art competition” in the spring semester in which cash prizes are offered.

“All students submit work,” Bushey said. “We just hang out there and they give out awards. “

For the cornerstone of art, art majors present their creations from the past three years in an art exhibition, which Schider says is the artistic version of a thesis. She said she thought she had “improved a lot” not only in her skills with mediums and techniques, but also in her ability to vent.link things artistically. Schider found that her perspective on the world gradually changed as she took more and more classes in college.

“Now, because I have so much experience, I can get that perfect line or that perfect shading once or twice,” Schider said. “And your eye – Suarez said you have to look at the world in a different way, and that’s right. In first grade you see the world like everyone else, and in senior year you look at it like:” Oh, how could I paint this or how could I draw this? What different shapes and negative areas do I need to incorporate to really express this gesture in a person? ” “

Maines found that he improved in the same way and learned skills in mediums he did not have before.

My sense of good art and, more concretely, good craftsmanship has improved considerably since I started, ”said Maines. “I can find weak points in my own work and use them to develop my skills. And I can paint (which I didn’t know how to do before), and I learned to put graphite and charcoal on a page better than before I started.

All art is graded based on improvement and effort rather than a student’s technical advancement. It takes practice like a sport, said Schider, who is also a student athlete on the women’s volleyball team. She added that it takes longer than you think.

“I think people see art majors as the easy major because we draw and paint all day, but in reality it’s two or three hours of class in your schedule where you have to work around everything else. “she said. “It’s never really exciting.”

While not considering a career in art, Schider said she is taking steps to pursue her dream of owning a vineyard in a wooded area, thanks to her biology specializing in botany.

“The goal in life at the end of the day is to be able to paint and draw all day and then let people run the vineyard for me,” Schider said. “This is the dream.”

Maines said that in the future he intended to use art primarily as a form of creative liberation; However, he said there is one thing about being an art student that he would always like everyone to know: “It’s worth it.”


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