Thinking Of A Career In Art? Start Smart At HCC
March 19, 2014
Housatonic Community College (HCC), located in Bridgeport, has been serving the Fairfield County area of Southwestern Connecticut since 1966. HCC offers Associate Degree programs in preparation for transfer to four-year institutions, as well as occupationally oriented Associate Degree and Certificate programs.
The Art and Graphic Design programs at HCC have continued to expand over the last several years and are a foundation for new growth at the college. Art course offerings are a balance between traditional studio skills, such as painting and design, and the latest innovations in computer technology and contemporary aesthetics. The Art Department’s strength is in the many resources available to students that few two-year colleges offer: an outstanding campus art collection; new state-of-the-art facilities planned for construction in 2015; a Graphic Design Internship program and formal Portfolio Preparation; student exhibition opportunities; and multiple transfer options to four-year institutions.
A tremendous asset for students at HCC is the Housatonic Museum of Art, one of the largest and most significant art collections of any two-year college in the country. Much of the collection is installed throughout the campus providing a visually enriched environment for students as well as the community. The permanent collection and rotating exhibits in the college’s Burt Chernow Galleries enhance the learning experience and provide students with opportunities to interact with nationally acclaimed artists and their works.
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“HCC offers students the opportunity for object-based learning,” explains Robbin Zella, the Museum Director. “These works are valuable as a teaching tool- packed with stories, ideas and history. The collection promotes visual literacy, encourages questioning, investigation and conversation.”
In addition to the exceptional collection housed at HCC, the college’s close proximity to New York City allows students easy access to the art capital of the world. HCC is within walking distance to the NYC-bound train and also offers frequent bus trips to major museums and galleries in NYC, Boston and Washington, DC.
An upcoming major expansion of the college set for 2015 will include a new, multistoried wing where the Art Department will be housed. Plans include new larger studio classrooms tailored to a variety of studio media, state-of-the-art computer labs, a new photography studio, and additional space to display student work.
The college’s diverse student body numbers over 6,000 local and multinational students. “We are fortunate to have such a diverse population of students,” comments Professor John Favret, Art Department Coordinator. “Our goal is to provide a solid foundation in studying art or graphic design, so that our students can pursue employment in their field of study, or earn a bachelor’s degree at one of the excellent universities with whom we have an articulation agreement. HCC is a very affordable option, especially when all of our students’ credits are accepted, and they transfer as juniors.”
HCC students wishing to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree in either fine arts or graphic design may take advantage of the several accredited colleges throughout the United States with which HCC has an articulation agreement. Some of these institutions include: Lesley University College of Art and Design; Shintaro Akatsu School of Design at the University of Bridgeport; and Savannah College of Art and Design.
A recent addition to the Art Department offerings is a Graphic Design Internship Program that gives students the opportunity to work in a professional environment and learn practical skills that will add to the knowledge base established in their degree program. The Department also requires a Portfolio Prep program in which students formally prepare their work for presentation to four-year colleges or to directly pursue job opportunities.
Perhaps the greatest assets of the Art Department however, are the dedicated and talented full-time and adjunct faculty. All professional artists in their fields, their alma maters include such prestigious art schools as the Art Institute of Chicago, Yale University, Rhode Island School of Design, Cleveland Art Institute, and the University of Hartford Art School.
David Enriquez, a Graphic Design major, “...was blown away by how much the class fulfilled my expectations of what an optimum art class should be: insightful, liberating, technical, and fun. The classes are also typically small compared to other colleges which allows for the student to develop a close relationship with the instructors and classmates which is extremely beneficial.”
Students and the public can see the work of the HCC faculty firsthand during the annual faculty show held in the Burt Chernow Galleries of the Housatonic Museum of Art this year entitled A Muse. Exhibition dates are April 7-25, with an opening reception Tuesday, April 8, 5:30-6:30 PM. The opportunity for exhibition also extends to the students. The Annual Student Show will run from May 5-29 in the Burt Chernow Galleries with an opening reception Tuesday, May 6, 5:30-6:30 PM. All gallery receptions are free and open to the public.
Exhibition and programs of the Housatonic Museum of Art are funded in part by the Werth Family Foundation, Institute of Museum and Library Services, Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, Fairfield County Community Foundation, Target, Housatonic Community College Foundation, and other individual donors. If you are interested in supporting HMA exhibitions and programs by donating to the Housatonic Community College Foundation, contact the Museum at www.HousatonicMuseum.org or call 203-332-5052.
“Housatonic Community College is partnering with the City of Bridgeport to make art the catalyst for change; I don’t think I could’ve made a smarter move than to start my design education here,” concludes Enriquez.
Housatonic Community College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. and its curricula is licensed and accredited by the Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education. For more information on pursuing a degree at HCC, go to: www.hcc.commnet.edu or call 203-332-5000.