Katelyn Storch, contributor
This semester, Augsburg’s art and design department is offering virtual open studio hours to students taking art classes. The studio hours will take place every Friday from 9 a.m-2 p.m via Zoom until the end of the semester. Three department professors, Dan Ibarra, Julie Longo and Christopher Houltberg, will be rotating weekly as hosts during that time frame.
Because of the decline of in-person classes, students are on campus less frequently and those who are taking art classes have fewer opportunities for critique and guidance from their professors and peers. Professor Christopher Houltberg says that “our hope is to build community and give students the experience of running into others in the studio.” Houltberg adds that students taking art classes are highly encouraged to attend and can stop in for assistance with technical issues and to receive creative guidance.
Usually computer labs are available for students to work on projects, but with the hybrid model of classes taking place this semester, students must work more independently.
Logan Denzer, a student enrolled in Introduction to Graphic Design, has found the studio hours to be beneficial. “A lot of the time, questions come up while you’re working on something, so it helps that you don’t have to wait for class,” she says. “Some people also don’t like asking questions in front of a whole class, which you don’t have to do thanks to office hours.”
As we face so many challenges during this time, whether it be the COVID-19 pandemic or seeing different forms of injustice taking place, art is a crucial part of activism and healing. This is one opportunity for art students in the Augsburg community to come together and support their artistic peers even off campus. Although the experience of being in person with fellow artists is less of an option right now, taking the time to connect virtually can help create a sense of solidarity.
Students enrolled in art classes can contact their professor for the Zoom link.