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Idaho State to Offer New Digital Media Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree

May 5, 2022

Students at computers in a classroom

A new degree option is now available at Idaho State University thanks to a partnership between the Department of Art and the Department of Communications, Media, and Persuasion. 

Students can enroll in the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Media degree program beginning in Fall 2022. 
 
“We decided we should put together a degree program that students wanted,” Naomi Velasquez, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Art says. “They want to learn to draw on paper, which happens in the Department of Art, but they also want to learn how to incorporate digital  techniques into their work, which is what the Department of Communications, Media, and Persuasion has been doing really well for a long time.”
 
Shawn Edrington, who received his bachelor’s degree from ISU in 2015 and his Master of Fine Arts degree from Boise State University in 2018, will be the digital media specialist in charge of digital design in the Department of Art. He describes the program as a bridge between digital technology and physical or traditional art. 
 
“This degree teaches students to use digital tools from a fine art perspective,” he said. “Students will use technology to develop their designs in a digital space, deepening that well of possibilities.”
 
Velsaquez says that this degree option is unique in the state of Idaho and that it allows for a lot of flexibility that opens up diverse opportunities for students. 
 
“They can pursue things like illustration and many avenues in  digital media,” she said. “This degree will benefit students that might be looking at an art profession, the graphic design profession, or marketing positions. The BFA in Digital Media allows students to go on to get another degree, an MFA in Art, if they so choose, or they can go work in the field.”
 
I'm excited for the new BFA because it combines two of my interests, graphic design and fine art, into one major,” said student Anastasia Christensen. “Having this new program to help me in both areas will provide me with more employment opportunities and give me more opportunities to grow as an artist.”
 
Students will use Adobe software, photo and video editing tools, vinyl cutters, laser cutters, Wacom tablets, and computer labs to develop their designs. Edrington describes the digital tools as a way to enhance or push the boundaries of the physical, traditional art students are creating.
 
“Coupling the traditional with tech makes ISU competitive, alluring for students, and relevant in the contemporary art landscape,” Edrington said. “I’m so thrilled to see a small and traditional program at ISU make these vital steps to incorporate tech and take that necessary step into the future.”
 
For more information on the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Media program, contact the Idaho State University Department of Art at art@isu.edu or 208-282-2361.

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