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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Hannah Jenkins
Hannah Jenkins
Copy Editor

Hi! My name is Hannah Jenkins, and I am one of the copy editors here at the North Wind. I am a sophomore at NMU, and I love all things writing and editing-related. I am proud to be a part of this great...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas Wiertella April 30, 2024

Interview with new art and design head

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New Associate Dean and Director of the art and design department Daric Christian has large shoes to fill. After almost 40 years, the department now has a new head.

The North Wind’s Nina Fiorucci sat down with Christian to talk about the future and his expectations for the department.

NW: This is your first semester as associate dean and director. What are you looking forward to?

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DC: My predecessor, Michael Cinelli, has done an excellent job in the School of Art and Design, and that has helped the community because of the number of students our program has been able to attract.

I hope I can continue that good service for the university. One of the things I will enjoy is the promotion of all of the great things our faculty, current students and alumni are doing. We have a lot of very successful alumni all over the country. We feature different alumni every month on our website.

NW: What changes do you expect for the department in the future?

DC: There has been an overall change in enrollment for the university that has affected art and design as well. A lot of universities are dealing with downturns in enrollment numbers. One of the things we are going to do is try a different level of recruitment than what we have been doing in recent years.

We do a lot of our recruitment through the Web and mostly outside of the U.P. We haven’t pushed expanding that in the past because our [enrollment] numbers were almost maxed out. Now we are looking to expand recruitment beyond the Midwest area.

NW: Any changes within the department?

DC: In terms of future direction, I would like to see a few more interdisciplinary approaches in the program, such as collaborations between different mediums. I think working that into the coursework would give students an opportunity to expand their skill sets. The current job markets are asking employees to work in a couple different areas. So further developing an interdisciplinary program will better prepare students.

NW: You have been a professor at NMU for almost 20 years. How will your relationship with students change in your new position?

DC: I am viewing this position as serving the students first. Although I have a responsibility to serve the faculty and staff, I am assisting the faculty and staff to assist the students. So the positioning has changed, but I will still have a direct relationship with students. I will still be teaching courses within the digital cinema programs.

NW: Will you be exhibiting at the faculty show in the DeVos?

DC: Yes, I will be entering some new work. It is a text animation piece. I always enjoy participating in the faculty shows. Having the museum attached right to [the Art and Design] building is a great opportunity for students. Our museum director, Melissa Matuscak, has created a real gem in the U.P. in terms of a regional museum. She has done an excellent job evolving the museum to serve the community beyond the university.

The faculty show is very useful for students to see the wide variety of approaches in creating art and professional examples of artist statements.

NW: This is your first faculty show as dean. What can we expect to see, and was the process for choosing the piece more special?

DC: I don’t think I approached it any differently. My piece is entitled “The Eighth Deadly Sin.” It is a political piece that suggests a new sin be added to the Catholic list made in circa 590 based on how our society processes complex issues.

I am the type of artist that tends to develop a real specific communication first, and then I pick a medium to fit that communication. So I am often working in different approaches between pieces. This is the first text-oriented animation that I’ve done. I find it exciting to constantly evolve and explore new areas, granted they are often related to a digital process.

I really enjoy the challenge and research required of learning something new.

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