Professors of the Visual Arts (VA) Major presented their courses on April 4 for students to promote the program and hopefully grow enrollment, according to the Chair of Visual Art Studies Karolina Dolanská.

Photo by: Ela Angevine

The presenters asserted that VA offers a wide variety of classes focusing both on the studio and the curatorial side, covering marketing, art critique, performance, photography, individual projects, history, and skills in everything from abstract to contemporary work.

“The program is small. We are hopefully going to grow if you bring your friends and relatives…[the courses available] depend on the number of students,” said Dolanská.

This was the first ever open discussion solely dedicated for the Visual Art students and those interested in the program, said Dean Karen Grunow-Hårsta. There are fewer VA students than journalism students, so the arts professors usually don’t get the time to showcase what the major has to offer, according to former Dean Tony Ozuna. 

Nine professors, including the new Lea Petrikova who will be teaching a course on the Contemporary Art Scene next semester, promoted their classes and what they offer.

“I wish [the VA information session] was here the first semester or at least the second; it would have made things so much easier,” said Dominika Dudys, a third-year with an Art Curator focus. 

Photo by: Ela Angevine

Veronika Bromova, who specializes in fine arts and multimedia and is well-known in the Czech art scene, started off introducing the VA Major. She discussed what it means to be an artist and do art—don’t be afraid to make mistakes and be crazy—and spoke about her Cross Media classes.

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Senior Lecturer, Alena Foustkova, spoke next about her courses, including Concept—Pursuing an Idea in the Art Process, Visual Literacy, and Prague Art and Architecture. Karolina Dolanská too teaches Prague Art and Architecture at a different time slot in addition to Survey of Western Art and potentially curatorial classes in the future.

“Art history is my favorite course because we cover ancient art history until the middle ages, and [Zaruba] is an amazing person with a great amount of knowledge,” said Olha Kachan, a third-year Visual Art student when asked about her favorite classes and professors, “and the three hours of class we have is not enough!”

Also teaching Survey of Western Art, Josef Záruba-Pfeffermann, has taught at the Charles University Faculty of the Arts, and he has experience in performing as a former opera singer, though he does not teach it. Ewa Żurakowska specializes in performance, teaching the famous Performance and Ritual class that presents their semester work to the public at the end of each semester.

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“I teach you how to breathe more consciously, how to move, how to be in your body, how to have a deeper awareness of your body and your mind,” said Żurakowska about the course, explaining how the final project changes based on the interests of the class. “I am very much into working with nature and hugging a tree, so this is definitely a fundamental beginning of the course,” she adds.

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Douglas Arellanes, who hovers in the space between Journalism and Visual Arts, is the self-proclaimed “nerd in residence,” specializing in software development and audio. His Radio in the Age of Spotify and Digital Tools for Media Arts classes use technology he created—AAU’s radio station, Sound Bricks, that broadcasts 24-7 and the software Mural which makes journalism more visual and engaging, respectively.

“That would have been a good class to take before graduating,” said AAU student Alejandro Perez, referring to the AI tools and editing skills students learn in Digital Tools.

Photo by: Ela Angevine

The other professors who spoke include: Jana Babincova who leads the final art exhibit projects, Tony Ozuna who focuses on art critique, and Dragan Dragin who teaches profile photography. Their classes can be found on the Study Plan or Timetables.