SIG Focus: Visual Arts

From the January 25, 2017 NACAC Bulletin:

Co-Leaders of the Visual Arts Special Interest Group:
Laura Young,  UCLA School of Arts & Architecture (CA)
Jean Hester, Columbus College of Art and Design (OH)


The NACAC Visual Arts SIG is designed not only to be a meeting place for members who support and champion students who pursue a visual arts path in college, but also to bring awareness to the membership at large about how the visual arts creates, affirms, and sustains culture.

The brain is largely an image processor: 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and we absorb visual images 60,000 times faster than we comprehend text. Looking and observing is so fundamental that we often don’t realize that we are responding and reacting to what we see, and developing critical visual literacy is key in order to survive in an increasingly image-saturated culture.

For students who want to major in a visual arts area—studio arts, design, architecture, animation, film, art history—the SIG will offer practical advice and guidance on how to find the right fit visual arts program, best practices for developing the artistic portfolio, and employment and career advising.

The SIG will also strive to advance the conversation about how all students benefit from visual literacy training. Humans do not respond just to functionality; we respond to emotionality. Think about the last time you bought a car, a piece of furniture, a bottle of water: there are many cars and couches and water bottles out there, but you picked the one you like. A visual artist designed that experience for you—since they are trained to sense, generate, and promote an emotional experience, they know what you like, even before you do! This SIG is for all of us who support students who will go on to create experiences, and live them via an economy driven by images.