School of Art and Design begins this semester

The School of Art and Design officially opened at the beginning of this year and combines the departments of studio art, apparel merchandising and fashion and interior design.

The idea had been proposed by IU President Michael A. McRobbie in 2015 and was endorsed that year by the IU Board of Trustees.

“It’s really, I think, essential for art and design at IU’s campus,” School of Art and Design Dean Peg Faimon said. She went on to say having specific leaders at the school gives it a stature and presence it previously lacked.

Faimon began leading the School of Art and Design two months ago, although plans to start the school have been going on for years.

Since she has been on staff, Faimon said she has been able to give input on the progress being made toward the school’s creation.

“This year is a lot about taking what we have and transitioning it into the school,” Faimon said.

Faimon also talked about some of the new aspects, including other curricula to be proposed and integrated next year, of the school.

Creative Core classes are part of the new curricula introduced this semester. These classes are tailored to any and all students wanting to try some of the School of Art and Design courses.

“They don’t have to be a minor, they don’t have to be a major, there are courses available for students who just want to try,” Faimon said. “We can still keep that creative spirit alive, and we would like students to reach out.”

Minjeong Kim, an associate professor in apparel merchandising and interior design, also views the Creative Core classes as a positive addition for students.

“They have this opportunity to see what possibilities there are,” Kim said. “Everybody can come in the School of Art and Design.”

The two main departments — the Department of Studio Art and the Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design — will stay separate for a few more months. After this coming summer, the structure of the school will change and become more integrated.

“We want to connect to units because we know that a lot of people are very interested in what design has to offer,” Faimon said. “We want to be able to connect and build with people.”

In addition to the new structure and classes, the school is also building a new center for innovative merchandising. IU already has two centers for art and design.

One, located in Columbus, Indiana, has made a proposal for a master’s degree in architecture, but it has not yet been approved.

“Merchandising has a very strong three collections, it’ll be an excellent way to continue the partnership with industry,” Kim said. “I think we’ll make pretty good progress this year.”

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