While there is a lot of focus in the workforce regarding math and science skills, there has been a recent increase in demand for students with skills in the arts.
Alvin Community College Art Chair Dennis LaValley wants to broaden his students’ knowledge of the art field by hosting visitin artists, gallery dealers and those who work in the art business.
“It’s helpful for students to see how people make a living in art,” he said.
With an aim to educate students about current trends in art, the ACC Foundation awarded $1,000 to the Visiting Artists at ACC Art Studios program, which would invite painters, sculptors and illustrators to the campus to teach their unique styles. Those who work in the business of art also will participate in the Visiting Artists program.
This grant would help fund visits from artists, marketing for their guest lectures and workshops in the upcoming fall and spring semesters.
The Innovative Initiative Grants are designed to encourage, facilitate, recognize and reward innovative and creative approaches to fulfill the mission of Alvin Community College. The grants will be used for the 2014-15 academic year. The Foundation began issuing the grants in 2012.
With job growth in Fine Art showing modest growth over the next eight years, students in art programs need encouragement from practicing artists.
The National Endowment for the Arts projected that jobs in the art field will grow by 11 percent by 2018, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That rate is above the average job growth rate over all professions.
“The artist occupations with the highest projected growth rates are museum technicians and conservators, curators, landscape architects, and interior designers,” the NEA report states.
The ACC Art Department hosted three visiting lecturers in the spring including ceramic artists V.Chin, painter Vie Dunn-Harr and Galveston gallery owners Elizabeth and Steve Lanier.
LaValley said he opts for a wide variety of various artists for the program who are experts at different mediums. During the lectures the artists will demonstrate for students the particular styles they use for their work.
During his seminar in March, Chin showed students how he implemented designs into his pottery while Dunn-Harr showcased her painting techniques in April.
“We also try to consider an artist’s approach to form and shape when selecting a visiting lecturer,” LaValley said.
The Laniers talked about how artists can introduce their work at juried art shows and to gallery owners during their lecture in February.
While the visiting lecturers are geared towards art students, the events are open to the public, LaValley said. Some of the previous visiting artists spoke to a packed studio with standing-room only.
“People love coming to them,” LaValley said.
For more information about future visiting artists, call 281-756-3605 or visit www.alvincollege.edu/art.