When classes at Michigan State University moved to remote learning, students in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design (AAHD) faced the unique challenge of emulating studio spaces from home. In an effort to ensure student success, AAHD created the Student Art Materials Fund to provide necessary art supplies for students during remote learning.
“Some forms of Studio Art and Apparel and Textile Design are really dependent upon our facilities, and everyone is happier when we are in the studio and working, but that’s just not possible now,” said Karin Zitzewitz, AAHD Department Chair. “We know that this places extra burdens on everyone involved. When MSU went fully remote, AAHD faculty came up with these workaround plans for classes that were meant to be taught in hybrid ways, to help students build the home studios they need to learn. Students still have materials to pay for, but this gives them some help that we hope will make things easier.”
“I just want to say thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. This pandemic has been hard on so many people and the donations to MSU’s Art Department has impacted so many students.”Melissa Gordon, senior Art Education major
Supplies like clay, canvases, travel easels, and materials for screen printing are costly, which is why AAHD is committed to securing these materials for students who can either pick up the supplies if they live close to campus or have them shipped.
“Receiving these materials has been a tremendous help because it has allowed us to switch to online but not lose the tactile nature of working in person,” said Melissa Gordon, a senior Art Education major. “I just want to say thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. This pandemic has been hard on so many people and the donations to MSU’s Art Department has impacted so many students.”
With a goal of raising $5,000, AAHD calls upon its alumni and friends to help ensure that AAHD students receive the materials needed to master and progress in their craft, despite remote learning requirements. To make a donation, visit the Student Art Materials Fund website.
“Through this whole period, we have been really impressed by the commitment our students have shown to learning, and as equally impressed by the donors who made this a reality,” Zitzewitz said. “We hope that this initiative will help students to focus on what they signed up to do, and to learn to the very best of their ability.”
Since the majority of AAHD courses will be taught remotely for the Spring 2021 semester, the Student Art Materials Fund will continue providing necessary art supplies for students for the upcoming semester.
Art Materials in Action
Hanora Lincoln, Studio Art senior:
“The materials I received for my Intermediate Drawing and Photobook courses have really helped me during this financially insecure time. When the pandemic hit, many of us were increasingly worried about what this would mean for us material-wise due to the fact we would have no studio access and therefore no access to materials we pay in part of our tuition to have access to. Without the donation, I feel many of us would be struggling even more so.
“I just want to say thank you [to those who donated to the Student Art Materials Fund]! Your donation and support of young artists is deeply appreciated. During this time, I was scared we would be forgotten, but this has shown me that there are others out there who are looking out for us.”
Hattie Pimentel, Computational Data Science and International Relations junior:
“My Drawing 1 class got easels, which makes the class much more fun. Instead of having to draw just at my kitchen table, I can go outside and draw in the MSU gardens. I have gotten a lot of use out of my easel and will continue to use it after my class is over. Thank you!”
Lucas Curtis, Graphic Design junior:
“I received a generous amount of clay for my Ceramics class. I believe it is more than 25 pounds. Specifically with ceramics, it’s expensive to buy clay and you need a lot of it to build the sculptures that we create, so the weight of a financial burden regarding that has been lifted and I am thankful for that!”