Following the trend of growth in Central Oregon's arts and culture and related industries, Oregon State University-Cascades is offering a new "Arts, Media, and Technology," degree program, exclusive to the campus in Bend. With degree-related courses being offered as early as summer term—that's right now, folks—the program officially begins fall term and enrollment is already underway. The program offers "an integrated education combining cutting-edge technical skills and traditional studio arts both on campus and through community internships." This is great news for a region that currently has more than 200 "Creative Jobs" posted on Indeed.com.
- Students at OSU-Cascades learn how to incorporate their art with technology,
Unlike a traditional art degree, this new track offers diverse opportunities for students to deepen their studio practice through the utilization and understanding of creative technology. For example, an illustrator who works in watercolor can learn how to take their drawings and animate them into a short film, or a painter can learn to create an app that allows users to collaborate on a painting with them. The aim is to expose the curious and creative student to the rigors of a traditional art education and studio practice, while teaching them to apply technology to art thinking, or to apply art thinking to technology. Either way, grads will be well equipped to enter the job or entrepreneurial markets with a well-rounded set of skills.
Kiel Fletcher, the program's lead, says, "With the new degree, students will [also] have the option to fulfill graduation requirements by completing internships." WHAT?! Enrollees can intern in the community for the Bend Design Conference, for example, or at 1859 magazine and get credit toward a degree. As Fletcher put it, "Honestly, we're stoked to have such an awesome program here."