Summer Session: Painting Campus Landmarks with Art Education Major Brooke Bryant

Brooke talks to professor Alicia Finger while working on a painting in class.

Brooke Bryant (she/her), a senior Art Education major from Cumberland County, guides us through a summer session of an Introduction to Watercolor class with Professor Alicia Finger. Brooke talks to us about why she likes the class, the strengths of Rowan’s Art Education program, and some of the work she’s done in the class. What […]

The Sculpture of Discovery Hall: Studio Art Students Leave an Everlasting Handprint at Rowan with the Installation of Time Sweeps

Exterior shot of Discovery Hall.

The introduction of Discovery Hall sees the entrance of a new public art sculpture on Rowan’s campus. Today, we speak to two students who took part in its installation.

This summer, two Studio Art majors — senior Liz Kenlan and recent graduate Jon-Erik Hem — were offered the chance to leave an everlasting mark on Rowan’s campus through the installation of Time Sweeps. 

Discovery Hall will be open to the school’s general population for the 2021-22 academic school year. With the new building being described as a way for the university to expand in the STEM disciplines, Jon describes the Time Sweeps sculpture as: “The bond between man made and nature.” 

Time Sweeps just after its completion captured by the DSC Staff
Time Sweeps just after its completion (credit: Digital Scholarship Center)

Time Sweeps, located in the East Garden Courtyard at Discovery Hall, is an entirely stone sculpture of winding serpent-like unnatural shapes formed out of individually-placed rocks and stones. 

Prior to its unveiling, I was able to sit down with Liz and Jon to discuss not only the installation of Time Sweeps but their experience in helping to bring it to life as well as letting me know what art means to Rowan.

Liz and Jon were both recipients of a paid internship that allowed them to work with Thea Alvin. Alvin is a stonemason and the designer of Time Sweeps. 

“I learned so much from her, all about wall making and building,” says Jon. When asked about working besides Alvin, he adds, “It’s awesome to see someone working hard from the minute they get in to the minute they leave.” 

Jon-Erik Hem stands besides Discovery Hall
Jon-Erik Hem stands besides Discovery Hall

Liz agrees with the sentiments about the sculpture’s designer, stating: “From the first time I heard her speak as a guest visiting my Public Art class I got this feeling that lingered with me the rest of the day that things were good and I was alive with artistic inspiration. I sincerely related to her character, motivations, means to make her work, and the connection between herself and the communities she worked in.”

Alvin was not the only person that Jon and Liz got to work with. According to them, they worked with two other students chosen to work on the sculpture from the Geology department as well as a number of professional stonemasons. 

“We were immediately hands on with it,” Liz remembers about her first day on the job. “I thought we’d be getting these simple intern jobs but on the first day it was, ‘Oh no, go and start placing the foundation for the wall’ and we were just like what? We got to do the actual work that the masons were doing. I was shoveling gravel and carrying holders. The thing I did the most was smashing boulders. It was actually very therapeutic.” 

Liz Kenlan sits atop Time Sweeps with Whitney Hall in the distance behind her
Liz Kenlan sits atop Time Sweeps

Jon also spoke on the installation process and similar love of smashing things: “I’ve done a lot of construction work. I’m all about three-dimensional thinking and I’m all about swinging hammers and breaking stuff.”

The sculpture isn’t just a beautiful work of stone. As the name suggests, it’s also an interactive teller of time. There’s a spot under the arch that allows for a person to view the winter and summer solstice, adding an almost magical element to not only Discovery Hall but Rowan as a whole.

Though Jon and Liz remember the summer fondly, Jon spoke candidly about the representation of Rowan’s Art department and the community as a whole. 

“More can be done to represent the Art Department here at Rowan,” Jon speaks openly. “They have good faculty, but oftentimes, it feels like many universities want a lot from their art students without giving them respect in return.”

Time Sweeps serves as not the physical embodiment of the hard work and dedication of Jon, Liz, Thea and all those who worked on it but as the tenacity of artists at Rowan as a whole. 

“They want us to put paintings in the Business building or for us to do something for the medical building in Camden,” Jon told me as our discussion came to a close. “Everyone needs artists.”

Group of students and faculty under the stone archway of Time Sweeps
Liz (top left) with several of the Times Sweeps installers, including Thea Alvin (second from bottom)

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Story By:
Bianca Gray, senior English major

Photos By:
RJ Wentzell, senior exercise science major and the 
Digital Scholarship Center

Senior Reflects: Art Education Major Bianca Fusaro

Bianca smiles with the top of Bunce Hall in the background.

Today, we speak to graduating senior Bianca Fusaro. Bianca is an Art Education major from Randolph, NJ (Morris County). She shares more about her favorite times at Rowan and offers some advice to incoming students. 

Could you please share your favorite moment with a faculty member or a favorite experience in one of your classes?

My favorite moment with a faculty member is with Doc Appelson in Printmaking. He made the class fun to be in and I learned so much. Almost everything in printmaking I know because of him. he also helped me become a better teacher by giving me tips and tricks on how to create printmaking lesson for little kids!

Bianca stands on the steps of Bunce Hall.

Could you please share your favorite social memory?

My favorite memories I have with clubs is every year TRAC, or The Rowan Arts Collective, participated in Homecoming Banner Competition. It was so fun and exciting to complete a banner in a matter of a couple of hours.

What are your career aspirations?

I want to become an elementary art teacher. I love little children, their love to learn and their drive to want to create.

How did the people or programs at Rowan help to support you with your professional growth or career aspirations?

The Art Education program is very small here, but that smallness created a family. Everyone in the program helps each other when it comes to teaching, even our senior project, which is presenting at the Art Educators of New Jersey conference. The professors in the program have been art teachers throughout their life. They know what you’re going to go through when you get a job. They want you to succeed and they share stories to help you become the best art teacher you can be.

Bianca smiles inside a gazebo on campus.

Do you want to give a thank you shout out to your family, friends, advisors or mentors?

I want to thank everyone in the Art Education program. These professors helped my classmates and I become who we are today as teachers. We learned from the best, and I hope that I can be an amazing art teacher like they are.

Who is your favorite professor? What class did you take them for? And why is this person your favorite?

Fred Adelson is my favorite professor at Rowan University. I took his Art History classes during my time at Rowan. He is so knowledgable about everything he teaches. He makes art history fun to learn about because he is so energetic and passionate about everything he teaches.

What advice would you give to incoming first years or transfers about making the most out of their college experience?

Make friends with the people in and outside of your major. Get out there and join clubs that you are interested in. You may make lifelong friends!

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Story by:
Bianca Torres, music industry graduate

Photos by:
Brian Seay, Brian Seay, junior sports communication and media major

Lifting Black Creative Voices

Desi smiles outside on campus.

Today we are highlighting Black students who major in creative fields at Rowan University. Each share insight on being a Black student in a major/field where there is not strong representation and tell us where they are headed in their professional careers.

Jabreeah smiling and wearing a grey Rowan sweatshirt with a burnt orange jacket.

“I really didn’t have an insight being a Black student coming from a predominantly white high school; however, when I got to college I was able to express myself about my views. In terms of my professional goals, I want to work behind the scenes in movies.” – Jabreeah Holmes, senior Radio/TV/Film major, Camden, NJ

Check out some of Jabreeah’s work on her YouTube channel.

An artistic photo of Giovanna with a halo over her head.

“Since Black women artists are not predominant in the art field nor get the representation that they deserve, it motivates me to stand out and make work that’s unique or different. Also, to make work that responds to Black issues and beauty. For my professional goals, I’m still debating about that. Right now, I’m considering a career in the museum field like a museum archivist, a curator or a crime scene technician in the forensic/ law and justice field.” – Giovanna Eley, senior Art major with a minor in Law and Justice and CUGS: Forensic Studies, transfer student from Rutgers Camden,  Plainfield, NJ (Union County)

Check out Giovanna’s portfolio here:

Sabrea posing for a photo on the beach.

“It feels really good to be who I am and be a part of this field that I think is also teaching me more and more of who I am. I was mainly the only Black person in my writing courses, there were maybe one to two more if that. My professional goals are to just write, to be happy in doing so, I hope to maybe get a book published of a selection of pieces I have written! Maybe even submitting a script to a production company!” – Sabrea Bishop of Newark, NJ (Essex County), junior, first-generation college student, Writing Arts (Creative Writing) major, transfer from Albright College, PA 

Check out Sabrea’s work here

Daija posing outside the student center while wearing a furry black coat.

“It gets a bit lonely, especially walking into a class and being able to count the Black students in the room on one hand. But with that it mind, it keeps me determined to make sure other Black creatives feel comfortable enough to be in the room in the first place. I feel as though creative fields aren’t taken as seriously, but people are always enjoying new books and shows and pieces of art. So, I feel as though by being confident in myself in my creative life, I can be an inspiration for others to actually go for their creative craft, instead of pushing it away because of fear. My professional goals are to write movies, books, and possibly television shows for people to enjoy. I also want to create different forms of art like paintings and sculptures and have my work displayed in galleries all over.” – Daija McNeil, junior, first generation college student, Studio Art major with a minor in Creative Writing, Willingboro, NJ (Burlington County)

See Daija’s artwork here.

Read Daija’s written piece, “A Love Letter To Black Women,” here.

Desi sitting outside the student center holding her book.

“It’s definitely difficult, when I come to class I am either the only Black student or it may be me or maybe two others, never more than five. In any field you want to see a model to follow and it’s hard when you have to be your own model. In terms of professional goals, I have so many; however, the one related to this field would be to start my own production company.”  – Desi Jones, junior Radio/TV/Film major, transfer from Camden County College, Camden County, NJ

Check out and purchase Desi’s book “Daily Dose of Desi, A Year of Light, Love, and Inspiration” here

Bryce outside the Campbell library wearing a yellow and black jacket.

“The writing industry is no stranger at all to minorities, but Blacks are rarely highlighted in that field. I think a part of that is due to both the immutable nature of the industry and Blacks being unaware of how much they can benefit from having a career in creative fields. I feel that Black students are the perfect participants for writing arts by the simple fact that we don’t go through the same experiences as everyone (even ourselves) and have a different view on life than most others. While I’m currently a freelance writer for an online publication (Screen Rant), I plan to expand my writing to an even greater professional level with my ultimate goal of working on a TV series or film.” – Bryce Morris, junior Writing Arts major, Trenton, NJ (Mercer County)

Read one of Bryce’s published pieces here

A selfie of Mya.

“I feel like there’s a different type of pressure. I personally feel like I have to be better and focus more in order to do what. One reason I wasn’t interested in doing broadcasting was my hair. I didn’t want to have to wear it straight or certain way to look “professional.” I find it difficult on how to be myself yet also “professional” because the second you might sound rude you have an “attitude” or maybe you talk “too loud” and now you’re considered the loud Black girl with an attitude. For my professional goals, I hope to become a magazine writer, focusing on music!” – Mya Calderon, junior, first-generation college student, Journalism major with a minor in Psychology from Hanley Falls, Minnesota

A selfie of Khadijah.

“For my professional goals, I want to be a freelance concept artist for a video game one day. But I also want to make and direct on my projects and hopefully be financially stable. Some advice for Black high school students going into creative majors: Make sure you build your portfolio and be aware that traditional pieces are a must have when trying to get into the art program. Make sure you bring at least two traditional art pieces for your review! This was a hard pill for me to swallow when I first did an art portfolio review, and I only drew cute anime-inspired chibis. But trust me, your hard work will pay off! Cartoony/semi-realism stuff is okay to add too! If you do digital, I recommend coming in with a time-lapse of your workflow process on a tablet/laptop to show! Also, don’t listen to cynical individuals saying you drawing anime and character art, won’t get you a job. Sure, the market is competitive but there are plenty of art jobs out there looking for different art styles of all sorts! Anime included! Make sure you do your research!” – Khadijah Owens of Sicklerville, NJ (Camden County), junior Art major working toward a dual major in Art Education, transfer from Rowan College at Gloucester County.

Check out some of Khadijah’s work here.  

Like what you see?


Story by: Bianca Torres, senior Music Industry major

Photography not submitted by: Jabreeah Holmes, senior Radio/TV/Film major and Joe Gentempo, senior Art major

Faculty PROFile: Art Department’s Dr. Robert Whyte

Meet Dr. Robert Whyte, Assistant Professor of Web and User Experience (UX) Design and Graphic Design & Digital Media within the College of Communication & Creative Arts.

What is your area of expertise?

Robert Whyte standing at a table in the Campbell Library Web and User Experience (UX) Design and Graphic Design & Digital Media

Share an “aha!” moment that you’ve had within your discipline that made you feel passionate about your field.

I have been hooked on the immediacy and sheer scope of the internet since the late 90s when I went back to school. Early on I had no idea how many seriously sharp folks were working in the background trying to connect with people in contextual communication.

Describe for us an experience you’ve had with a student that made you feel excited about educating the next generation in your field.

After a crash course in learning new XD software in web class and the usual OMGs from all the students, one student returned next class with a full blown series of user-experience designs, along with task analysis and customer journey maps. It made cohesive sense and all the right questions were asked and answered. Something kicked in, I was blown away.

Robert Whyte helping a student with a project in the Campbell Library

What is one thing you wish people knew about your academic discipline or your research focus?

How important it is to make things that are useful, meaningful and impactful for our fellow humans, not just look good. This requires human research and iterations.

What’s your favorite thing about being on campus on a typical Thursday?

I love the smell of Westby Hall on Thursdays. Students have been working on art and design for days — bad ideas in the trash cans and good ideas on the board for further critique. Art is a process.

Like what you see? Come visit us!

Story and photography by:
Chad Wittmann, rising senior journalism major

#PROFspective: Art and Secondary Education Dual Major Molly Moore

Today, we speak with Molly Moore, a junior art and secondary education major from Robbinsville, NJ (Mercer County), who rents a house off campus. Molly will share her #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be a Rowan University student and how she’s getting the most out of her college experience as a Rowan […]

Open Doors to Prospective Students

Dean Tweedie of College of Communication and CreativeArts at Rowan talking inside the High St art gallery

Rowan University recently hosted Open Doors Day, a banquet for students accepted into the College of Communication & Creative Arts. Prospective students and family members began their day with breakfast in the new High Street Art Gallery, followed by campus tours. Writing Arts, Communication Studies, Public Relations & Advertising, Journalism, Art and Radio, TV & Film […]

#PROFspective: Art Education Major Melissa Glenn

Rowan student Melissa holding her drawing outside Westby art building

Today, we speak with Melissa Glenn, a recent graduate this fall with a bachelor’s degree in art education from Randolph (Morris County), NJ, who lives in a rental house off campus. Melissa will share her #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be a Rowan University student and how she got the most out […]