VMA Spotlight: Visual Studies

Featured image: W¢llers (Flag Detail)
Megan Galvin, TJ Mathieu, Alexis Nixon, Justin Nienhuis

Visual studies is a hybrid emphasis area that embodies a wide range of contemporary art practices. Students create work involving new media, and embrace digital art and contextual practice, learning to engage with the context of a studio, utilizing light and space in how exhibits are set up.

A variety of courses are offered in gaining the skills useful in the industry. Image Studio combines images made with digital tools with other mediums of art, Time Studio works with audio, video, and performance, and Interactive Studio focuses on artworks that respond to viewer input, how a spectator moves through an exhibit. The contextual classes include Civic Studio, Curatorial Studio, and Space Studio. These approach work in a way that is practical and transferable, connecting to all interdisciplinary matters.

The classes and experiences provide students with a confidence in their abilities by the time they approach graduation. Students accumulate an abundance of real-world experience, collaborating on projects and installations.

Kelsey Rutkowski held her opening reception for exhibition “What On Earth” Tuesday and Thursday at the Calder Arts Center. Her project explores concepts of reality and nature. Her statement reads, “The security of our fixed perception of reality can lull us into the belief that we are stable, with the defined tools given to us by previous generations to continue our society. If we choose to reject this notion, hidden opportunities reveal themselves and allow for an interconnectedness that was otherwise suffocated by the Anthropocene.” Her display is up for 2 weeks at the Calder Gallery.

Grand Valley strives to give its students grounding for immersion into the field of their major, and projects that leave students feeling prepared are exemplary of our mission.


What on Earth by Kesley Rutkowski


What Does the Future Look Like, by Victoria Martinez for Image Studio

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