Exchange grant promotes civic responsibility
The Department of Art has been awarded a $2,000 Critical Exchange Grant from Imagining America, a national nonprofit organization that encourages the incorporation of civic responsibility into art education at the university level.
Awarded to only four other universities nationwide, the grant will go toward fostering a mentorship between UD and the Herron School of Art and Design at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. In the process, it will support the redesign of UD’s Visual Communications Program.
Applied for by Colette Gaiter, UD associate professor of art, the grant will allow Gaiter and colleague Ashley Pigford, assistant professor of art, to visit the Herron School. They will observe classes, talk with professors and students and learn about Herron’s program, which has gained respect and notice for effectively pairing coursework with projects that have a social and environmental impact.
“Making education more relevant to the real world is a goal I’ve been interested in pursuing for a long time,” Gaiter says.
“Visual communications creates the reality that people perceive, and I’ve always told students that when you are doing that, you are responsible for creating the world that people experience. As a visual communicator, you have to take responsibility for the images that you create and put out there, and as instructors, we want to make sure that our students are aware that being ethically responsible for their work is an integral part of everything they do.”