Ceramics at Notre Dame is popular with both studio majors as well as the general student population. While there is a strong focus on understanding clay and glaze materials, the underlying thrust of the initial course is opening students to experience the rewarding pleasure that comes from hands-on creative work. Clay is a natural material that offers an excellent access to that realm. The courses we offer begin with the basic methods of hand building, then progress toward mastering the wheel, and personal expression with clay. At each level, an array of decorating techniques is presented as options. Interwoven throughout the semesters are exposure to numerous historical and contemporary ceramics that might serve to influence the student’s personal work.
In 3-D Design, students explore essential elements of working in the round, and how these aspects differ in relation to more commonly experienced two-dimensional design. Areas of exploration include linear and planar expressions in wood, foam core, and wire; assemblage, carving/form, light, kinetics, and an environmental response. Students become familiar with both traditional and contemporary approaches to sculptural expression, and are challenged to develop their own work within this broader context. Within each of these topics, the specific tools and techniques appropriate for each medium are examined.
The Graphic Design program offers students a chance to master cutting edge design software as they explore fundamental principles of visual organization and communication. Students create identities, multi-paged documents, typographic compositions, brand identities, packaging, and more using the Adobe Creative Cloud as well as quick sketching and thumbnail techniques for quick ideation. Students who complete all levels of the Graphic Design program organize and develop web portfolios of some of their best work.
Drawing classes at Notre Dame College focus on the fundamental principles of drawing such as line, shape, form, and perspective. Students learn to increase their observational skills by drawing from life using a wide variety of drawing media and techniques. Subjects include still-life, figures, and landscapes. Exposure to different approaches to drawing throughout history and in contemporary times helps to foster an appreciation and understanding of the art of drawing. Regular group critiques encourage students to become critical thinkers and creative problem-solvers.
The game design minor at Notre Dame College is pushing scholars above and beyond the possibilities in experiential design. Throughout the program students will engage in project based game development. Each course is designed to incorporate both physical game spaces and digital. Scholars undergo research and development, making use of cutting edge technology while incorporating playful design. Game design students transform the mundane and engage the user. This gallery represents the portfolio level work scholars demonstrate throughout their practice.
In the photography classes we strive to create intentional images with thoughtfulness and spirit. Digital photography is studied based on the fundamentals of seeing arrangements of elements in a space that makes visual sense. Learning what makes visual sense is brought about through assignments geared towards learning what the camera can do in various situations. Photo Shop software is used to develop images which are printed and then critiqued in class. Book reviews and field trips to Cleveland area landmark locations help to broaden the students’ knowledge that the process of “Writing with Light” is more satisfying than snap shooting.
The Printmaking program offers students a chance to master a range of techniques. Students take on basic relief and intaglio methods while observing both historical and contemporary practices spanning wood cuts, etching, and monoprints. Students, while creating portfolio quality work, continue their mastery in these techniques with each course. Students are encouraged to experiment, challenging the possibilities of this form and strengthening their creative mindset.
Recent Grads / Alumni in Action
This gallery presents a brief overview of our talented scholars here at Notre Dame College.