Category Archives: Drawing

Fall Figure Drawing Co-op Begins September 22

Figure Drawing Co-op–which is open to students, faculty, and community artists–is an opportunity to work from the life model.  This Fall, Co-op will be held on Tuesday nights, 6:30-9:30 pm, beginning September 22 in CA 170.  Co-op will run 8-10 weeks, depending on number of co-op payments/members.  The September 22 session is FREE!  To attend further sessions, you must pay before attending (see “How to sign up” below).


School of Visual Arts Figure Drawing Co-op is a student-run program.  The majority of the sessions involve the unclothed model, but portrait models are also employed.  Co-op is non-instructional.  There are no lectures or demonstrations.


  • Cost for tri-college students for fall 2015 is $30 for the semester.
  • Cost for faculty members and community artists is $35 for the semester.
  • Please note that Co-op is unable to provide refunds or credit towards another semester if you choose not to attend after paying or only attend a few sessions.
  • Pro-rated fees are also not offered, should you choose to enroll later in the semester.

How to sign up

Pay at beginning of first session or pay after first session.  To pay after first session:

  • Pick up a Payment Slip. There are three ways to do this:
    • in the SVA office, CA 161
    • at the Co-op Coordinator’s office, King Hall 224 (slips in pocket on door)
    • at the first Co-op session on September 22
  • Bring payment to Co-op Coordinator’s office between 2 and 4 on Mondays and Wednesdays, or bring payment to MSUM Business Services, which is on the first floor of Owens Hall. Owens Hall is located on the corner of 11th Street and 9th Avenue. The Business Services is open 8 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday.


  • Traditional oil paints may not be used in CA 170. Only dry drawing media and water-based media may be used.
  • You may attend as few or as many sessions of the semester as you wish. You may also attend all or parts of each model session. However, please observe studio etiquette and only enter or exit through the side door during model breaks.
  • There is no storage for supplies and artwork for community artists. Plan to take all supplies and work with you each evening.

Further questions or inquiries may be addressed to Co-op Coordinator, Sherry Lee Short, 218-477-2310,


SVA Launches New Drawing and Illustration Curriculum in Fall 2015

Oil pastel on paper, work by Professor of Drawing and Illustration, Jim Park.

Oil pastel on paper, work by Professor of Drawing and Illustration, Jim Park.


Chalk pastel on paper, work by Professor of Drawing and Illustration, Sherry Lee Short.

The School of Visual Arts is proud to announce its new Emphasis in Drawing and Illustration.  The new emphasis launches in the fall of 2015 and involves a coordinated set of courses designed to meet the needs of graduates entering the multi-faceted fields of contemporary drawing and illustration. The new emphasis will replace two current emphases, the Emphasis in Drawing and Emphasis in Illustration.

Two courses currently on the books will continued to be offered.  These are Introduction to Illustration and Digital Illustration.  All other courses are new, including several courses each designed to immerse students in the methods, concepts, and materials of a key drawing and/or illustration area.  The new courses are:

  • Introduction to Drawing Concepts and Methodologies
  • Sequential Art
  • Perceptual Art
  • Contemporary Drawing Concepts and Methodologies
  • Figure Drawing and Painting
  • Portfolio Development
Detail of work by Assistant Professor of Printmaking, Patrick Vincent, who will be teaching Sequential Art in the new curriculum.

Detail of work by Assistant Professor of Printmaking, Patrick Vincent, who will be teaching Sequential Art in the new curriculum.

In addition, students are required to take all the core requirements that are required of all students seeking a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in the School of Visual Arts.  These include 2D and 3D introductory courses, Basic Drawing, Foundation Design, art history courses, and Professional Practices.

Sketch by Trygve Olson, Instructor of Digital Illustration.

Sketch by Trygve Olson, Instructor of Digital Illustration.

The new drawing and illustration curriculum will be taught by a diverse faculty representing a range of drawing and illustration styles in their own professional work, including both traditional and digital media.

For more information on this exciting new curriculum, contact Sherry Lee Short,

Oil on metal, work by Professor of Painting, Zhimin Guan, who will be teaching Figure Drawing and Painting in the new Emphasis in Drawing and Illustration.

Oil on metal, work by Professor of Painting, Zhimin Guan, who will be teaching Figure Drawing and Painting in the new Emphasis in Drawing and Illustration.

School of Visual Arts Abuzz with Student Activities

There are myriad opportunities for students in the School of Visual Arts to engage with their art interests outside of class as well as through class activities that interact with the campus and greater art community.  Here are some of the activities taking place just this week!


Print and Ceramics Sale

Biannual Print and Ceramics Sale.  Twice a year, students in the Works on Paper Guild and the Ceramics Guild sell their work in the Roland Dille Center for the Arts.  This spring’s sale took place on Monday and Tuesday, and, as always, was a very popular and successful event.


Mini Madness

Mini Madness Juried Exhibition.  Students enrolled in Art 498 Exhibition design and carry out a number of exhibitions.  Mini Madness consists of artworks by faculty and students, each no larger than 3″ x 3″ x 3.”  Students in the class selected 32 works for the display from the large number entered.  Opening is tomorrow at 5 pm, outside the Critique Room (CA 172).

Annual Freshman Field Trip to the Twin Cities.  Each year, freshman rise bright and early for a full-day trip to Twin Cities museums and galleries.  Highlights of last week’s trip included the Hopper exhibition at the Walker Art Museum.

Caricature Drawing.  Students in Introduction to Illustration will be setting up in the student union tomorrow and drawing caricatures for members of the campus community.  Stop by and get your caricature drawn–free!

This is only a small sample of the ongoing creative energy in the School of Visual Arts.  Student groups include Dragons Den Comics, Painting Guild, Works on Paper Guild, Photo Guild, Ceramics Guild, and National Art Education Association MSUM Student Chapter.


Art history and drawing student returns from Oxford after studying abroad

Kathryn Jacobson, a School of Visual Arts major with double emphases in art history and drawing, spent the fall semester studying abroad at the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies in Oxford, England.  Her experience contributed to and expanded her education in many ways.


Kathryn Jacobson at the Musee de Cluny in Paris
while studying abroad, Fall 2013.

Jacobson observes, “I encountered pieces of work in person that added an entirely different dimension to the way I study art and history. The program I enrolled in had a heavy focus on study, including hands-on experience in working in an incredible library system and being able to observe close up many manuscripts and Cathedrals. The level of expectation for students in the program was very high.”  This rigorous educational setting was complemented by the intimacy of the program: “The real blessing was the friendships I made, both professional and casual. The Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies was a very close-knit program of around twenty students and about five permanent staff members.  Despite the hard work we managed to have a lot of fun exploring England.”

Studying abroad at Oxford provided Jacobson with many opportunities to directly experience art and architecture that she would have otherwise only studied in books.  Jacobson comments, “The ability of being a short bus ride away from London, a ferry ride to Dublin, and a train to Paris was a remarkable gift.  I encountered pieces of work in person that added an entirely different dimension to the way I study art and history…Quick access to the Ashmolean Museum, the Bodleian Library, and the National Gallery was a great advantage to my work.”

After graduating from MSUM, Jacobson plans to attend graduate school and seek an art history degree that incorporates cross-disciplinary research and interaction between art historians and artists.  Her semester in Oxford has been a catalyst for being successful in achieving those goals.  For Jacobson, her Oxford experience “pushed me to be a better scholar and a better person and I plan to take that momentum and honesty into my studies here at MSUM.”

Students interested in studying abroad should discuss opportunities with their advisors and seek information at the Study Abroad office located in Bridges 250 or the Study Abroad website at

Alumnus Profile: Andrew Maus, Executive Director of MN Marine Art Museum

Andy Maus. Photo credit: James A. Bowey.

Andy Maus.
Photo credit: James A. Bowey.

Andrew Maus received his B.A. in Studio Art with emphases in painting and drawing from MSUM’s School of Visual Arts in 2002.  Following, he pursued a graduate degree in Public Administration, which he received in 2011.  Maus now works as the Executive Director of the Minnesota Marine Art Museum.  Located in Winona, the Minnesota Marine Art Museum exhibits myriad historical and contemporary exhibitions as well as hosts educational experiences for thousands of people each year. The Museum’s exhibitions and programs are inspired by one of the highest quality collections of art in the country.

Maus began his career in museum-related work while he was an undergraduate through work as a gallery attendant at the Plains Art Museum in Fargo, North Dakota.  Maus recalls that what impressed him was “how great it is to connect the public with art.  It became fulfilling to work for something bigger than myself and I felt fortunate to work in the arts.”  A few years after receiving his undergraduate degree, Maus became the museum’s Curator of Public Programming and eventually the Director of Education. Additionally, he served in the capacity of Interim Curator.  At this point, he had gathered all the experiences needed to assume the Executive Director position at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum.

Maus recalls his undergraduate years in the School of Visual Arts as key to his eventual success.  “The biggest thing that the Art Department facilitated in me was the ability to question EVERYTHING.  As an artist, creating work became more about visual innovation than anything else.  And classes in Art History and Aesthetics were exciting because looking at art became an intellectual exercise in striving for understanding other people, and understanding the decision-making processes behind creation. These abilities and awareness are inherent leadership traits, and I would not be who I am today if it were not for the MSUM Art Department.”

Maus advises students who are interested in museum management to get an undergraduate art degree and a more pragmatic graduate degree that relates to their specific interest in museum work. Degree areas they might consider include administration, museum studies, education, art history, or even an MBA.  “Also,” he adds, “be prepared to start at an entry-level position and work harder than you think you will!”