Art for Art's Sake and a Career

Notre Dame's curriculum guide has expanded the number of course selections in the last two years with the addition of our signature programs and our two-week experiential learning courses that will be taught for the first time from March 19 to March 29. Our Fine Arts Department is one area of the curriculum that deserves some publicity. The Notre Dame Fine Arts Department provides students with opportunities to develop their artistic talents and skills within a collaborative working environment that fosters respect and encourages students to work to their highest potential. We strive to instill a lifelong appreciation for the Arts. (Fine Arts Department Mission Statement)

Notre Dame has always had outstanding band programs and stage productions. Currently, we feature the marching band and drum line, concert band, jazz ensemble, concert chorus, and a selection of elective courses. Sharing the stage with the bands and chorus, our drama program expanded its programming this year with the addition of a fall production. Tucked away in the curriculum, but deserving as much attention, is our Visual Arts program.

The Fine Arts Department offers a variety of courses that foster creativity and seeks to inspire a lifelong love of the Arts. Students can choose from many exciting Visual Arts classes:

  • Introduction to Photography explores portrait, landscape, and still life techniques.
  • Art I; Art II; Art III teaches basic to advanced techniques.
  • Graphic Design provides a practical application for careers in art.

ND's Fine Arts teacher Judith Doherty is celebrating the accomplishments of her student R.J. Thomas '19 who is looking forward to a future in the Arts. He has been accepted at two prestigious Visual Art colleges: Savannah College of Art and Design and University of Hartford School of Art. He has also been accepted at Stonehill and Providence Colleges and is presently engaged in the difficult process of deciding his academic future. As you read in the email, RJ, had a leading role in ND's fall production of Arsenic and Old Lace. He has participated in every Drama Club production since his freshman year. This year, to try something different he joined the concert chorus.

RJ explained the origins of his interest in graphic art: "The art work in superhero comic books and movies caught my attention. I enjoyed trying to draw cartoon figures when I was younger, and I used my experience here at Notre Dame to sharpen my skills. Of the 15 pieces in the portfolio I submitted to the colleges, about 70% were superhero-type animated works."

R.J. has studied Visual Art here at Notre Dame since his freshman year following courses in Art 1, Art 2, Art 3, and Graphic Design. His favorite medium is digital software, such as Photoshop.

Here is a sampling of R.J.'s work.

In our most recent Alumni E-news, we featured Troy Quinn '01, who was named Director of the Venice, Florida, Symphony Orchestra. We are proud of these recent graduates who continue to build on the foundation in the Arts that they began here at Notre Dame:

Sam Cournoyer '15 performs in theater productions at Curry College.

Dan Landino '16, Matthew Bader '16 and Dominic Pagliaro '16, are majoring in theater at Salve Regina, UConn, and Indiana University, respectively.

Charles Sedore '17 and Josh Norton '18 are members of the prestigious marching bands at University of Notre Dame and Purdue University, respectively.


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