Features

Art Department Adds a Splash of Color With New Digital Media Art Major

by Jocelyn Visnov, Asst. Production Editor

Whether it’s through classes or clubs, it’s easy to explore arts and culture here at Manhattan College. This semester, students have yet another opportunity to explore their creative sides with Digital Media Art being offered as a major for the first time. This allows students to combine various facets of art, design and technology in a diverse curriculum adaptable to our technologically focused world. 

The college has been offering the DMA minor for many years now. Due to popular demand from students, the program has now been expanded into a major. Art history and Digital Media Art department chair, Daniel Savoy, Ph.D., explained in an email what concepts are taught in the expansive program. 

“The Digital Media Art major teaches the history, theory and practice of a variety of in-demand digital art fields, including graphic design, digital photography and video, animation, web and game design and immersive media (AR/VR),” Savoy wrote in an email. “Students will learn advanced technical skills in multiple forms of digital media art using a range of industry-standard tools, primarily the Adobe Creative Suite, Unity, Unreal and Maya, leading to the production of a senior portfolio. Compositional approaches, the creative development of ideas through visual form and the role of visual expression in contemporary culture are some of the main concepts.”

A unique part of this program is the emphasis on art and media as a form of faith and service. Dr. Savoy explained the concept of creative expression in a community sense. 

Students working hard in a digital media art course.
DANIEL SAVOR, Ph.D / COURTESY 

“In addition, one of the main program learning goals of the DMA major is for students to develop a critical awareness of digital media art as an agent of social change, which aligns with the College’s Mission of person-centered learning and civic engagement,” he wrote. 

Sophomore Kate Uffer is among the first to declare a major in DMA. While she had previously planned to minor in it, Kate was excited to hear that it would soon become available as a major. 

“I was planning on taking the required courses for the Digital Media Art minor, but while in Dr. Savoy’s roots art class, he made the announcement that Digital Media Art was becoming a major as well,” Uffer wrote in an email. “I have always had an interest in digital art, and have been making art since middle school. In high school, I did a lot of video editing projects, as well as made a game in my introductory computer science class with its own art and music. I always hoped to be able to explore these interests in an academic environment, and the new major allows me to do that.”

Uffer hit the ground running and continues to enjoy her time working within the department. 

“The Digital Media Art major and minor are both great ways to foster your creative skills and get academic recognition for the work that you do,” she wrote. “It is a lot easier for employers to understand that you can edit videos or create an advertisement for them when you have a specific degree for it. It also diversifies the types of jobs you can apply for and be qualified for. A creative degree can help you get a more creative job in whatever field you were originally interested in.”

As with any major at MC, DMA allows for the opportunity to explore the world of art and technology on and off-campus. With easy access to museums and other institutions in NYC, DMA majors have a wide range of internship opportunities just a short distance away. 

“Digital Media Art majors will have the opportunity to take more advanced courses in these fields, as well as courses in game design, web design, animation and VR/AR,” he wrote. “Digital Media Art majors will also have access to internships for dredit at some of the main DMA institutions and companies in NYC.” 

DMA is different from your traditional design programs because of the integration of various concepts involving art and design in a virtual environment. Rather than covering just one topic like graphic design, this major encompasses a larger variety of design disciplines to make for a diverse multidisciplinary curriculum. 

Kate Uffer working on a digital media piece.
KATE UFFER / COURTESY 

“With a DMA major, students can pursue rewarding careers in a number of creative fields, including: Graphic Design; Illustration; Animation; Game Design; Web Design; Advertising; Studio Photography; Film; Book, Magazine and Newspaper Design; Corporate Logo Design and Branding; Storyboarding; and University or College teaching,” Savoy wrote. 

AshLeigh Addarich, a DMA minor, spoke a little bit about her experience with the program so far. 

“I think the Digital Media Art minor is a great program with a lot of great professors and resources,” she said. “I would recommend the minor for anyone who likes to express themselves or are interested in art in general.” 

If you’re interested in learning more about the DMA program as either a major or a minor, you can reach out to Savoy (daniel.savoy@manhattan.edu) for more information. 

“The secret to living a rich, fulfilling, and happy life is doing what you love,” he wrote. “If you love art, but also feel that you need to do something practical that will lead to a lucrative job, consider Digital Media Art.” 

Categories: Features

Tagged as: , , ,