Art never stops, even in the midst of a global pandemic. For Farrah Karapetian, MFA, an assistant professor of visual arts at the University of San Diego, the past year has been an opportunity for her students to explore art in new and different ways, expanding their skill sets and reimagining their role as artists.
“Every class is different in respect to the pandemic and virtual teaching,” says Karapetian. “It’s basically been a chance for us to say, ‘we don’t have the normal tools, what’s better about this? How can we use this moment to make something new and different?’”
Although art changes in a virtual environment, Karapetian’s classes this semester, which include a virtual exhibition design course and a course on Black subjectivities, have pushed the boundaries, encouraging students to experiment with their own relationship to art.
From self-portraits taken with the use of a home scanner to exhibitions that are virtually rendered on campus locations, the students are creatively applying what they have learned in ways that broaden their views on what art is.
“They’ve basically had to reimagine their tools and their skill sets, but not the quality and not the engagement with professors around the evolution of their work,” says Karapetian. “So I have not felt a real loss in terms of their growth. I’ve felt, in fact, an expansion of their capacity to be creative, which is going to happen to them the minute they step outside these doors.”
As her students forge new paths through a world still addressing a global health crisis, Karapetian is proud of what they have accomplished, knowing that their resiliency and determination will serve them well as they continue on their journey.
— Allyson Meyer ’16 (BA), ’21 (MBA)