Michigan Tech Teaches Creativity of Many Minds
submitted by Kevin Hodur, creative writer
Last week two very different expressions of the talent of Michigan Tech students were on display for all to see.
In the Van Pelt and Opie Library, the third floor was transformed into the Undergraduate Expo, a sea of posters and prototypes, wave after wave of innovative designs, engineering solutions and excited and proud students from Enterprise and Senior Design. Their work is a testament to the value of a Tech education.
At the east end of campus, though, tucked away on the garden level of the Rozsa Center, is another testament. The annual Student Art and Design Show is an exhibition of the fruits of the creativity of students taking courses in Visual and Performing Arts (VPA). With all of the technical talent on campus, it’s sometimes easy to overlook the artistic creativity abundant in Tech students.
Like the Expo participants, the students whose work is in the show come from all across campus. “I bet I’ve taught students from every major here,” says VPA instructor Susanne Kilpela. “Or just about. Only a couple of my students are VPA majors.”
Without a visual art degree at Tech (there is an art minor, as well as several majors in audio production and technical theater), students instead take classes like 2-D design and creative water-media to stretch their creativity.
“They want to do something different,” Kilpela says. “They want to create. It pays off, too. I had a student in the fall who got a job because he took a ceramics class. The company was looking for people who could think outside the box.”
Sara Goodell, an exercise science major with a minor in art, sees that same value in creativity. “We as humans are happier when we create, when we can make something instead of just consuming,” she says. “It makes us whole.”
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