“But I’m not an Artist!”: Bridging the Gap Between Fine Art Design and the General Education Student

By Emily Booth.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In liberal arts universities all students are compelled to complete a variety of general education courses, often including selections from an artistic expression category. The stereotype that art is an exclusive realm inhabited by a select few excludes the majority of university students and further separates them from a successful understanding of how the principles and elements of design impact and inform their daily experiences. Teaching general education students to recognize and categorize design components poses special challenges to art educators. Within the broader context of a liberal arts course, the focus must rely heavily on projects and presentations that actively challenge pre-existing notions of what art is, who artists are and what those definitions mean within a larger dialogue.

This paper addresses exercises and topics art educators employ to allow general education students to explore the very personal role design in its many incarnations has in their daily interactions from current trends in fashion, car and furniture manufacturing and urban planning to the fine arts. Inspiring students to notice and recognize design elements in their everyday lives strengthens their critical thought skills and enriches all facets of their future aesthetic experiences.

Keywords: General Education, Fine Art Design, Design Elements and Principles

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp.503-508. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 901.353KB).

Emily Booth

Instructor, Department of Art, Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, Missouri, USA

Emily Booth hails from central Virginia in the US and holds a Bachelor of Fine Art in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth School of Art and a Master of Fine Art in Painting from University of Delaware. Currently Booth is an Instructor of Art in foundations at Southeast Missouri State University. Additionally, as Exhibitions Coordinator of the River Campus Art Gallery and previous Director of the Truman State University Art Gallery, Booth is a strong supporter of the accessible, unflinching display of all art forms, from traditional fine art to contemporary street art. Booth maintains a steady exhibition record and has been the recipient of several fine art awards and honors.


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