Art program returning to Northwestern; classes set for fall

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Art program returning to Northwestern; classes set for fall

April 4, 2011

After more than 20 years, Northwestern Oklahoma State University again will be offering courses leading to a minor in art.

Thanks to two generous donations from the Wisdom Family Foundation to create endowed chairs in art, requirements for an art minor have been established, a fulltime instructor has been hired, and four classes have been added to the fall 2011 schedule.

“We sincerely appreciate the vision of Dr. Peggy Wisdom and the Wisdom Family Foundation in resurrecting an academic program in visual arts at Northwestern,” said Dr. Mike Knedler, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences. “Their generosity will help us fill a significant void in providing cultural and artistic experiences not only to our students but to the communities we serve.”

Enrollment for fall semester classes currently is underway. Students may enroll in Fundamentals of Two-Dimensional Art on Tuesdays from 2 to 4:55 p.m.; Art History Survey on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m.; Life Drawing on Wednesdays from 2 to 4:55 p.m.; and Oil Painting on Thursdays from 2 to 4:55 p.m. All four classes on the fall schedule carry three credit hours and will take place in either Jesse Dunn Annex 324 or 327.

There currently are eight, three-credit-hour classes planned for students to enroll in to satisfy the 21 hours required for the minor. Other class titles are Natural History Drawing, Illustration, Drawing Into Painting and Advanced Drawing and Painting Studio.

Art in Life must be taken as a directed elective under “Communication and Humanities” of the general education requirements. Although the course is required, it may not be counted in the minimum total for a minor.

Hired to teach the art courses is Brandice Gonzalez-Guerra, assistant professor of art. She has a Bachelor of Fine Art in painting and drawing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a Master of Fine Art in painting and drawing from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has served as a teaching assistant at Illinois State University and at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

The art program at Northwestern was suspended in 1987 when its instructor, Don Bellah, retired.

“We are very excited about the visual arts program returning to campus,” Knedler said. “We are so grateful for those who have been diligent to keep the interest in visual arts alive, but now we will have an academic component. I know that we have a number of students who are interested in this program, and I expect that interest to grow.”

To learn more about the art minor, contact Knedler at (580) 327-8590 or