Student sketching in Bryant art studio
"When you're doing design, you want desks and spaces you can work around. But when you're doing drawing, you want either easels or art horses. This room allows for movement between those kinds of courses,” says ECS Professor Terri Hasseler, Ph.D., who helped design the new creative arts studio.
Transformation is the key to new creative arts studio
Sep 17, 2018

An innovative team of Bryant English and Cultural Studies (ECS) faculty is behind the transformation of a once-traditional classroom into a creative arts studio – the new home for the University's highly-popular studio arts courses in the visual and material arts.

The creation of the classroom dovetails with Bryant’s focus on encouraging creativity.

“We’ve steadily increased the number of our studio-based courses, bringing in additional high-quality educators in the visual and creative field, including practicing artists, for the students to work with,” said ECS Professor Terri Hasseler, Ph.D., who teaches a collage and book binding course in the new studio. “The courses continue to fill instantaneously. Now, those students will have a great space to not only learn in but also convene to discuss or showcase their work.”

The studio offers students "a great space to not only learn in but also convene to discuss or showcase their work.”

The studio is Room M36. Its panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking tree-lined vistas to the south and west offer an ideal venue for education, inspiration, and collaboration.

Courses in drawing, painting, and creative design are taught in the space, and careful planning was needed to ensure the room could accommodate the teaching of such a range of creative modes.

A team of ECS faculty members – Hasseler and Professors Maura Coughlin, Amber Day, Janet Dean, Martha Kuhlman, and Joan Zaretti – rose to that challenge.

“We came up with a plan that makes the space flexible, a transformer space,” said Day. “The portable desks and foldaway art horses are key.”

“When you're doing design, you want desks and spaces you can work around. But when you're doing drawing, you want either easels or art horses. This room allows for movement between those kinds of courses,” said Hasseler.

Nicola DiFusco ’19, a Communication and Literary & Cultural Studies double major who is applying to graduate school programs in digital media design, is taking two arts courses in M36 this semester. “I’m looking forward to experimenting and collaborating in this space,” says DiFusco. “It’s a fresh, complementary setting for engaging in abstract concepts and creating physical works.”

“Employers say that the people who are the most prepared are the agile ones, the ones who can make leaps across particular areas," Day noted.  "I believe one way to encourage creativity is to let students play—it helps them build pathways, connections, synergies. And this space truly encourages play.”

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