Department Chair Liz Danzico is featured in the Visual Arts Briefs‘ Department Dossier, a series of one-on-one conversations with department chairs at the School of Visual Arts. She talks about the growth of the students and changes to the program after one year. Below are excerpts:
How has the program changed from the first to second year?
It’s a really interesting experience having a new program. Everything is new: new desks, new faculty, new curriculum, new students, the way they experience it for the first time. But a lot of things have changed. When you design any product, when you put it on the white board or sketch it on paper, it looks great and all of the angles line up. But when people begin to use your product or curriculum, things bump into each other. When you watch people go through the course schedule, there’s a change in tempo, just like when you design a Web site and watch people use it and there’s a speed that people are comfortable using it. So we’ve changed our tempo somewhat in response to that.
What has been the most interesting surprise about the program?
How fast the students have grown has been surprising to me. I had set goals: the first year is for concepts and methods; the second year for thesis and developing longer-term goals, applying what they learned from the first year. The remarkable growth of the students in a very short time has been a nice surprise. I expected a certain amount of growth over two years, but the pace at which they’ve grown and shown what they learned has been surprising.