Campus Life

Department of Art expands palette

The University of West Florida Department of Art has expanded its palette-students now have the opportunity to choose pixels ratherthan paint to express their art. The department offers two new program specializations: Digital Art and Graphic Design.

“Students entering the Bachelor of Fine Arts program and specializing in digital art consider the computer as their tool for art-making,” said Joseph Herring, assistant professor for Art at UWF.

Herring said the aim of the new specializations is to keep the ideas as fresh as the technology. He encourages his students to see the relevance and influence of technology as it relates to human interaction, communication and thought.

“A really exciting thing is that we are trying to prepare creative theorists who will be designing the jobs that don’t yet exist,” said Herring. “As technological advances appear faster and faster, the ability to just perceive what’s going on and to participate and help advance the creative side of new technology is where we want our students to be.”

Students who specialize in digital art may work on software-based cinema which involves interactive, non-linear narrative using contemporary video and graphics technologies. Next semester, Professor Thomas Asmuth will teach a digital multimedia class where students will have the opportunity to work on physical computing projects.

“Students this semester engaged in many exciting areas of the new media art practice, including 3d modeling, social media to explore identity, intervention and social practice,” said Asmuth.

Both Herring and Asmuth teach their classes in newly renovated computers labs. Specifically, there is a main classroom with 20 iMacs, each outfitted with the Adobe Creative Suite, as well as Final Cut and Adobe After Effects. Lessons are projected onto a video screen. There is also an advanced lab which contains five powerMac computers-soon to be 12-that feature the Adobe CS as well as the full Final Cut Studio. Last, but not least, there is a state-of-the-art print lab.

“I chose to specialize in graphic design because it’s a very new and exciting field which has a broad range of opportunities within it,” said Samantha Williams, a senior majoring in fine arts with a specialization in graphic design. “UWF has helped me prepare for my future career by providing wonderful opportunities for networking and also building a strong portfolio.”

To learn more about the digital media and/or graphic design specializations at the Department of Art, visit or contact Herring at

Written by Lauren Smith, University Marketing Communications