The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Department of Art and Art History has been renamed the School of Art, Art History and Design.
The name change was approved by the Board of Regents at their July 22 meeting and is effective immediately.
The school resides in the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts, which also includes the Glenn Korff School of Music, the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film and the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center.
“It is important to have design in the new school name to reflect the curriculum offered, the research areas of the faculty, and it presents an accurate brand to the university, city, state, national and international communities,” said Robert Ladislas Derr, director of the School of Art, Art History and Design.
In addition, the school has created majors in graphic design and will offer both a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design beginning this fall. Those changes received final approval from Nebraska’s Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education on July 21.
Previously, graphic design was offered as one of the emphases in the studio art major. The school continues to offer the studio art major (Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees) with available emphases in ceramics, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture.
The school also offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in art history, as well as a Master of Fine Arts in studio art and a Master of Arts in art history.
Peter Pinnell, a professor of art who previously served as chair of the Department of Art and Art History, said the new majors are a culmination of a four-year process and were created through a partnership between faculty in the department and Hixson-Lied Dean Charles O’Connor.
“The goal of the new majors is to create opportunities for students to reach a more advanced level and to better serve the needs of Nebraska’s businesses and other institutions with their communication needs,” Pinnell said. “The bachelor of arts in graphic design will allow students to combine the study of design with the content of a second area of study, either as a minor or a second major. The bachelor of fine arts degree is for students who want to reach the top levels of achievement as designers, and to have the knowledge and skills necessary for both traditional design and for emerging design fields.”
“The approval of these majors makes our program absolutely unique in Nebraska,” Pinnell said. “UNL now has the only National Association of Schools of Art and Design accredited bachelor of arts and bachelor of fine arts in graphic design degrees.”
“Having a dedicated B.A. and B.F.A. in graphic design will enable us to attract talented students that are interested in pursuing graphic design as a career,” Derr said. “In our multidisciplinary school, the study of graphic design is strengthened by the range of foundational, fundamental and elective offerings, along with a plethora of design courses utilizing the latest technologies that synthesize ideation, problem-solving and visual communication to prepare students for a future of endless possibilities.”
The new Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees will enable students to have concentrated study exploring various subjects in graphic design.
“These changes come from our focus on the future. By expanding our creative research in design, we are in a position to serve the needs and desires of current and future students,” Derr said. “The addition of the graphic design degrees complement our prestigious art and art history programs with a confluence of creative making, critical thinking and discourse.”
Pinnell said UNL has always been known and respected for its quality art and art history programs.
“At the same time we designed these new design majors, we also redesigned our B.A. and B.F.A. in studio art to elevate the level of accomplishment in those programs,” he said. “We’re raising the bar for students and creating clearer paths within the studio art major. We’re also bolstering our career-building curriculum with courses that help students prepare for the professional world and envision career opportunities.”
For more information on the School of Art, Art History and Design, click here.