Art History Majors: 500 Years of Female Portraits

For all you Art History Majors, here is a video to geek out on!  Beautiful video on the 500 Years of Female Portraits in Western Art by Philip Scott Johnson.  Even an Art Major would be inspired of the work done of the last 500 years!

A great visual representation and transition of Wester Art and female portraits.  Hey Art History majors…How many portraits can you name from the video?

Art History is the study of the historical development of art as social and intellectual phenomenon, the analysis of works of art, and art conservation. Includes instruction in the theory of art, art history research methods, connoisseurship, the preservation and conservation of works of art, and the study of specific periods, cultures, styles, and themes.



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Chris Mayfield – Art Teacher of the Year Nominee

Christopher Mayfield Chris Mayfield   Art Teacher of the Year NomineeSenior Kagen Dunn nominated her art teacher, Chris Mayfield for the 2014 Creative Outlook Magazine’s Art Teacher of the Year. He has been an art teacher for the past six years. She says, “Chris Mayfield is one of those teachers who influences his students to think outside the box and really further their boundaries. Along with guiding us in our own artistic journeys, Chris still works on his artistic abilities as well. You will find him often broadening his portfolio and teaching us along the way,” she says.

He teaches Art I, Art II, Art III, Art IV, Photography, and AP Studio Art at Wichita Falls High School, Wichita Falls, Texas.

For Dunn, Mayfield’s impact is difficult to describe:
“The impact Mr. Mayfield leaves on his students is something like no one else has been able to achieve. He makes the art room seem like a second home for his students. He gives us a place where we can be ourselves and just create whatever our little minds desire. Chris Mayfield truly deserves this award.”

For Mayfield, defining his impact is a little tougher. “I think that my relationships with my students are unique. I do teach them about how the creation of art translates into every aspect of their lives. I make sure that by the end of their time in my class, they know that I have given them my best and that I care about each one of them and want them to be their best and succeed in any path they choose, whether it’s art or not,” he says.

Nominate your favorite art teacher here.

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Spring Show 2014 – Academy of Art University

2014 landingpage header Spring Show 2014   Academy of Art University

Academy of Art University’s President, Dr. Elisa Stephens, and the department directors cordially invite you to see the best emerging talent at our annual student showcase, Spring Show 2014.

See their sensational work Opening Night, May 19 from 7:00PM – 9:00PM, and ongoing, beginning May 20. For more information, click here.

MAY 19, 2014 7:00PM – 9:00PM
For more information, visit:


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7 Tips to Graduate from College in 4 Years

You are taking the next step, you are ready to further your education and receive your degree and accept your dream job.  All you have to do now is go to college and get in and get out in 4 years, right?  Well…

84% of students think they will graduate in 4 years.

Only 38% actually graduate in 4 years.


NACAC ButtonImage2 7 Tips to Graduate from College in 4 Years

This will cause additional costs, living expenses, and longer time before start your future career.  The longer you are in college, the higher likelihood that your normal life will get in the way and decrease your chances of graduating.  Why is graduating in 4 years important?  Each additional year of college can cost you over $15,000 in tuition, fees, room and board.  Also, many schools offer a Finish in Four program that includes financial benefits for students.  Finishing in the least amount of time possible can help you save money.  Right now you might be a little scared, but after reading these tips you can be prepared for the challenges ahead and have a plan to graduate in 4 years!

There are many causes to adding an extra year or two or three or FOUR of college, here are some of the most common:

  • college life the best 7 years of my life 7 Tips to Graduate from College in 4 Years

    Don’t be THAT guy…

    Changing Majors – 50% of students change majors at least one time in college. (Penn State University)
    *Changing to a major not offered at your current school can cause this next issue…

  • Transferring – transferring credits can be wasted if not properly planned while enrolled.  National averages show 30% of students don’t return their sophomore year. (NCES)
  • College Choice – your initial college choice was not what you thought it would be, you will need to make a switch.
  • Cost – the cost of college has increased every year and can be too expensive if not budgeted properly in the beginning – tuition, fees, books, pizza, room and board, meals, travel, parking, MORE PIZZA!
  • Family or Personal Challenges - you need to take time off or take less credit hours each semester and manage any life experiences.
  • GPA – most colleges require a certain GPA to enter a specialized school or degree program, failure to hit that mark might mean repeating classes to increase your GPA.

Did we miss any?  Comment below for any reasons that could lead to not graduating in 4 Years.

So now you know what to avoid, or at least plan for the future, here are the…

Tips to Graduate in 4 Years:

  1. Start your planning early in high school, as early as sophomore year:
    • What classes do you like, which ones do you hate?
    • What extracurricular activities do you enjoy outside of the classroom?
    • Get a summer job, preferably in a field you are interested in following, to gain experience and see if you like a specific career path.
  2. Find your Major and Career before College:
    • Take a quiz to figure out what is best for your strengths and weaknesses.  Take the College Major Quiz to find your recommended majors.
    • Research the major and career field – what types of students major in this, which classes will I take (do they coincide with the classes in #1?), what are the career potentials (salary, job growth, careers where I live).
    • Create a back-up plan – OK, I know you have your dream job and major in mind, but the reality is 50% of students change their majors at least once.  Even if it is in the same “School of…” you at least have a plan for taking the right classes.  For example: if you are thinking about Finance, many of the other business majors (Accounting, Marketing, Management, etc) might be a good fit as well for you, but make sure you have these in mind so you take the right classes.  Even if you are thinking Finance or Biology, make sure you understand the core classes that you need to have completed by the beginning of your junior year.  Or even think about a minor in one of those fields.
  3. Find the right College:
    • Create a list of schools that offer your intended major (and backup), and research which schools you can afford financially each year.  Look to FAFSA, scholarships and merit aid to get down to your estimated net tuition.  Find out what schools you can afford by visiting the Tuition tab on your School’s page.
    • Create time the spring of your junior year, during the summer, or fall of senior year to visit your list of colleges.  One of the common reasons for transferring or dropping out is because that campus might not be right for you, do your research, read reviews, watch videos and talk to actual students and alumni to get personal experiences.  Visit with academic advisors to talk about the program you are interested in enrolling, they will help you start your course planning and give you required courses to complete for graduation.  (Here a list of good questions to ask)
  4. Confirm your plan with Counselor, Teacher, Parent or Mentor while in High School:
    • These individuals will help you take the next steps to fulfilling your college and career plan.
    • They will also help connect you with individuals in your career plan to do a job shadow, and can talk to you about your future campus.
  5. 15 Credit Hours per Semester:
    • Your magic number is 120 total credit hours.  Typically you will need to complete 15 credit hours per semester to stay on path to graduate in 4 years – 120 total credits (4 years x 30 credits per year).  Some degrees and colleges require more credits for graduation, confirm the details with your advisor and tell them you are on a graduate in four plan.  Normally 60 credit hours will be for your specific career and the other 60 will be core courses for graduation – choose these courses wisely for enhancing your education and working with your GPA.
    • If you can’t complete 15 hours in a semester, think about taking summer classes online or on campus.  Advice: if you know one semester you are taking a very challenging course, take 12 credit hours, and then take a 3 credit hour course over the summer to get back to 30 completed for the year.  Even take that one difficult course in the summer so you will only have one class to focus your efforts for studying.
    • Some degree programs, such as engineering, require students to be enrolled in degree required courses early their freshmen and sophomore year, which makes #2 on this list important to find out first.
  6. Focus on GPA early and often:
    • Any college student will tell you high school courses are very different than a college class and exam.  This can impact your GPA your first semester of college, which might force you to fight to get your GPA back up.  Many degree programs require a certain GPA to be accepted in that major/school.  For example: to be an Accounting Major, you may need to have a 3.6 GPA compared to a Management Major may only be 3.0, this will influence your major and graduation time.  If you completely mess up a class final exam, think about retaking the course over the summer to replace that eye sore on your GPA.
  7. Meet with an Academic Advisor every semester:
    • The last thing you want in the final semester of Senior year is to realize you missed a required degree course to graduate.  If it is one class, don’t stress, many schools will let you walk in May, but you will have to complete a summer course to finish your degree and receive your diploma.  If you are short 6 or more hours, normally you will think about taking the fall semester and graduating after fall semester is completed.

      Graduate in 4 plan1 7 Tips to Graduate from College in 4 Years

Many times graduating in 4 years is not the best plan for students.  For example, if you need to work a full time job and are taking night classes, you might not be able to complete 15 credit hours per semester.  Speaking with your Advisor you can create the best plan to complete your degree for what is right for you and your personal situation.

Do you have any personal tips for students to graduate in 4 years?  Add a comment below on your tips to share with others.  If you liked the tips share this with your colleagues, students and friends.

Are you a Counselor or Advisor and want to help your students create their College and Career plan, sign up for our free resources:


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2013 Cover Contest Finalists

Paper Lion online 540x540 2013 Cover Contest FinalistsGIANNA MANGICAROPaper Lion
Gianna Mangicaro, a senior in upstate New York, took her first art class as a junior and created Paper Lion Sculpture. “The project came to be because I didn’t want to do the normal. I wanted to do something out of my comfort zone. It took me about a whole week to do this significant art piece.” Gianna says she also wanted a larger piece and she estimates the art to be about three feet by four feet.

“I am pleased that I had such success in my first art class,” she says. The piece is white paper cut and designed to make the lion’s face and mane. Each strand of the mane was placed individually. “I am still making art, but with all the classes for college preparation and several AP courses, I couldn’t take an art class. I do whatever pops into my head. I may find something on the computer that inspires me. I taught myself how to crochet because I was bored one day.” She learned she dislikes charcoal as an artist’s medium. “We were doing a self-portrait where we had to draw half our face and the other half was the skeleton underneath the skin. It was so messy. I really like paper sculptures. It’s my favorite.”

Along with school work and art during her free time, Gianna is also involved in her school’s drama club and DECA (Distributive Educational Clubs of America), an organization that looks at marketing, finance, hospitality, business management or entrepreneurship. During the musicals, she has served as a dance leader to teach the cast the steps to dances for the school musicals. Along with school and art, Gianna is also a black belt in karate and is an avid horseback rider. “I sometimes volunteer with children who have disabilities and enjoy a therapeutic horseback ride.”

Her college could take her into the world of nursing. “I am still looking at college but I am interested in neonatal care or intensive care nursing,” she says. “I like math and science and math is my favorite subject. During a visit to a NICU, I saw that the nurses made colorful and well-designed name tags for the babies and I realized I could bring my art to work too.”

Hystericblue online 590x441 2013 Cover Contest FinalistsCAMERON JENKINSHysteric Blue
Cameron Jenkins, 17, a senior, North Farmington High School, in Farmington Hills, Mich., calls his art mostly mixed media as he uses acrylics and colored pencils to draw, but then manipulates colors in Photoshop. He submitted four works for the Creative Outlook Magazine cover contest. Hysteric Blue rose to the top, not only in online voting, but also with the panel of judges.

“I have been working on a series and practicing painting people,” he says. “Hysteric Blue was a painting that came from an image that inspired me and did the work and then changed the mid-tone colors in Photoshop. It brought on unique colors with the blues, grays and pinks. The title happens to come from a song I listened to while I was painting.”

Cameron says the series was for his drawing and painting class. “The teacher wanted us to do four paintings. The subjects were our choice, but definitely they turned out well.” In high school, he is also involved in leadership development programs. One specifically titled POWER pairs younger students with older ones to be peer mentors. “The goal is to close the achievement gap for African-American students. We look at younger students and help them through school. I try to get them into art. I want them to see that art is cool especially if they see me doing art.” He also sings in his church choir.  As for the future, Cameron is exploring the possibilities of fine arts and entertainment arts. “I love cartoons, animation and illustration,” he says.

As a matter of fact, one of his heroes happens to be Japanese artist Akira Toriyama, a cartoonist known for his manga series Dragon Ball as well as for being the character designer for the Dragon Quest series of video games. “Cartoonists can create worlds and characters that are both nostalgic and modern. Akira’s work inspires me in that way.” The two colleges he has been exploring are the College for Creative Studies in Detroit as well as the International Academy of Design & Technology, also in Detroit.

Chained Dreams online 539x540 2013 Cover Contest FinalistsALEXA ECONOMACOS – THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE – Chained Dreams
Alexa Economacos, a senior at Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart, Miami, Florida, submitted two pieces of art for the Creative Outlook cover contest. Facade and Chained Dreams both landed in the top 10 as far as most votes. As a matter of fact, Chained Dreams took the People’s Choice award with the most votes.

Chained Dreams is a mixed media piece Alexa says brings awareness to the plight of those who are affected by human trafficking. “The butterfly represents those who are brutally forced into lives of servitude and oftentimes stripped of their innocence. The butterfly is still beautiful in its fragility, but its beauty is disregarded. The transparency of the box symbolizes the fact that these victims live among us, but we may not take the time to notice their metaphorical chains.” At school, there is a human rights club that tackles a different theme each year. Last year happened to be about human trafficking.

Even in her International Baccalaureate Visual Arts 2 HL (higher level) class, the environmental issues of coral bleaching will be part of their work, she says. “Our 3D clay works will end up looking like coral reefs.” The IB program for art will give Alexa at least 18 pieces to present to the IB organization. “We continue to create, research and work in our sketchbooks.”

Alexa has been an artist for as long as she can remember. Her parents are both in the banking industry, but they also share art with their daughter as her father sketches and her mother paints. “I guess I inherited both talents,” she says. “When I was about 8 or 9 years old, I started taking art lessons from Puerto Rican artist Ximena Perez. She had me start with acrylics, but by the time I was in sixth grade, I moved to oils. I still visit Ximena when I get stuck.”

While art has seemingly been part of Alexa’s life, her high school career started in her junior year when she was evaluated to join the IB art program under the watchful eye of teacher Kari Snyder. During her freshman and sophomore years, she did policy debate. “I wanted to try something new, but art has always been my true passion.” She has been part of exhibitions around the Miami area.

Along with her art, Alexa is a National Merit Scholar semifinalist. She competed in the 2013 National French Contest and she is the French Honor Society president. She also received an honorable mention as part of the 2013 Scholastic Art Exhibition at the Miami Art Museum. She is also a member of the National Honor Society, National English Honor Society and National Science.

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