TWU launches Art + Design Honours program

Trinity Western University’s School of the Arts, Media + Culture (SAMC) has announced the launch of a new Art + Design Honours program for its outstanding undergraduate artists. Directed by SAMC Art + Design Chair Erica Grimm, Ph.D., the Honours program allows Art + Design majors to demonstrate exceptional investment and commitment to their practice, and increases graduates’ potential to enter competitive MFA programs.

“This is a fitting designation to honour the incredible commitment of our emerging artists, and to recognize the level of mentorship offered in this department,” said Grimm. “The generous community of inquiry that develops in our studios each semester is truly remarkable.”

The Honours degree began as a student-led initiative. Fourth-year Art + Design major Diana Hiebert was one of its early advocates, and she will be one of the first BA Honours graduates in the spring of 2015.

Last summer, Hiebert completed an internship at The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford, helping to design and install exhibitions such as the Canadian War Museum's traveling exhibit , The National Gallery of Canada's traveling exhibit , and Chris Woods' . Hiebert is working towards a solo exhibition this fall as part of her Honours thesis.

“Completing an Honours degree will help me bridge the transition from student artist to professional artist,” Hiebert said. “I'm excited to work towards this goal, and especially grateful for the mentorship component of the program. Planning a solo show is a unique experience, and the close mentorship of faculty who have active professional practices will help guide me through that formative process.  It will challenge me to think more about how I want to present myself and my work in the professional art world.”

Providing mentorship and professional-degree standards in the study of visual art, within the context of a robust liberal arts core, SAMC’s Art + Design program is uniquely positioned as a community receptive to the intersections between faith and art. With the continuing addition of opportunities for BA and BA Honours students, such as new courses in curatorial practices and socially engaged art, the future of art study and practice at TWU is promising.

“The Department of Art + Design remains committed to the strategic goal of offering a BFA degree,” said Grimm. “The new Honours program is the first step.”

An information session about the Art + Design Honours program and the application process will be held in the Robert N. Thompson Art Studio on campus, March 5 at 4pm. For more information, email samc@twu.ca or visit www.twu.ca/samc.

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