College offers plenty of opportunities for new experiences off of campus. For those pursuing a career in art, some of the SAU classes are being held at the Figge Art Museum during the semester.
The idea of having the classes at the Figge began in the spring semester of 2007. Kristin Quinn, the chairperson of the art department, had first arranged for some of her classes to be held at the Figge for that time.
“I talked with the heads of the Figge (at the time),” Quinn said, “ and they were very generous to let us use some of their studio space.”
St. Ambrose hasn’t been the only college to have some of its classes at the Figge. Other colleges in the area, like Augustana and Knox, had their art students study there as well. It’s clear that the Figge has been a great place for art students in the Quad Cities.
Quinn has said that her students enjoy being at the Figge, that working in the museum studio makes them feel more professional. The space is elegant and it helps in their concentration.
Quinn appreciates this, saying that it helps to “leave distractions at the door and focus on the task at hand.”
Coursework isn’t everything the students do at the museum. During breaks, the students are allowed to look at the various exhibits that are on display. The fact that they can see the different paintings and statues in person rather than through a computer screen or video really adds to their art experience.
Kathryn Anderson, of SAU’s own art department, said that you, “can’t recreate [this] in a class room. You’re not seeing as it meant to be seen in a video or PowerPoint. You get to see up close and look at all the details in each piece of art, from the individual graphite or paints strokes to the artist’s own signature.”
Overall, the classes are successful, getting both the teachers and students more interested in art. Even if it might be off campus, the experience will surely make up for it.