Visual Studies is a studio emphasis area in the Art and Design Department at GVSU. We offer six studio courses to both Art and Non-Art Majors. NON-ART MAJORS are WELCOME for real studio art learning. These courses do not require traditional art skills like drawing. Art Majors may select Visual Studies as their emphasis area in the BFA Program or take the courses as electives.
Visual Studies reflects interdisciplinary approaches to making art that address significant aspects of contemporary life. One is the increasingly flexible use of space and context. In Space Studio, Civic Studio, and Curatorial Studio we design special contexts and engagements in the creation of culture.
Another aspect of contemporary life is the prevalence of digital media and networks in human experience and interaction. In Time Studio, Interactive Studio and Image Studio we investigate what this means for human culture by learning to make these media, and think critically about what they do.
Visual Studies graduates are employed doing design, curating and arts administration, photography, and other creative work.
On Monday, November 2nd, 2015, artist Dylan A.T. Miner spoke at Civic Studio's space at 336 Straight St SW in Grand Rapids. Dylan A.T. Miner is a Wiisaakodewinini (Métis) artist, activist, and scholar. He is Director of the American Indian Studies Program and Associate Professor at Michigan State University. Miner holds a PhD from The University of New Mexico and has published extensively. His book Creating Aztlán: Chicano Art, Indigenous Sovereignty, and Lowriding Across Turtle Island was published in 2014 by the University of Arizona Press. He has been featured in more than twenty solo exhibitions and has been artist-in-residence at institutions such as the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, École supérieure des beaux-arts in Nantes, and Rabbit Island.
During his visit Dylan encouraged open dialogue and discussion, focusing on the collaborative development of conversation over didactic presentation styles often seen in artist presentations. Though he spoke of his work and his practice as an artist, his talk, ‘All space is public. All land is Indigenous. All ownership is violence.’ was focused more on connecting with the audience- a standing room only presentation.
One of the richest practices to come out of Dylan Miner’s studio experience is the art of visiting. Before the talk, Dylan spent the afternoon with Civic Studio. As part of his ongoing studio practice, “The Elders Say We Don’t Visit Anymore”, the studio shared tea harvested by Dylan, and spoke of the issues Civic studio is grappling with, in addition to the relevance of the work Dylan is dealing with in his practice. Dylan uses the tea as a catalyst for engaging natural, in depth conversation. The talk engaged many elements of the work Civic Studio engages: gentrification, place, social issues, and the recurring concerns about the threats and history of the West Side of Grand Rapids. Taking place both in the studio and outside, walking through the West Side, the talk engaged both physical space and public imaginaries.