Though Lehigh’s high ranks for engineering and business have created a stigma against students studying in the College of Arts and Sciences, Jaclyn Sands, ’17, and others have been able to explore their passion for art.
She’s accomplished more than students might envision when they think of the stereotypical “arts and crafts” undergraduate.
Sands graduated last semester with a degree in art and graphic design. She is staying another semester as a presidential scholar to take classes in graphic design and marketing to accompany her degree.
“People recognize that being an art major is a big time commitment, but they don’t necessarily recognize that it can be as difficult as other majors,” Sands said.
Although there isn’t a lot of traditional studying or required readings, Sands said art majors are required to put an extensive amount of thought into what they produce. Additionally, there is academic coursework in distribution requirements and art history core classes.
Sands said being an artist means devoting time to developing a process and figuring out exactly what to do creatively, as opposed to reading hundreds of pages in a textbook. She said art could be the most time consuming major, depending on how many studio classes a student takes at one time.
“I like that I don’t have to study as much, it’s more execution, so I can use my creativity for projects,” said Max Morenberg, ’19, an art design major with a focus in graphic design.
Morenberg said comparing art majors to other majors isn’t a good way of assessing how hard the major is. He said it depends on the student, and it’s all relative to his or her abilities and interests.
Both Sands and Morenberg know Lehigh has a small art program with a limited amount of students and professors.
Sands came to Lehigh undecided in what she wanted to study, but by the end of her first year she declared her art major.
She had some mixed feelings about whether she wanted to stay at Lehigh or transfer to another school with a bigger art program to pursue her degree. She decided to stay at Lehigh because the size of the art program allowed her to get to know her professors and receive more personal attention from them.
Maxine Derrick, ’19, came to Lehigh to pursue a biology degree on the pre-med track. She chose to attend Lehigh because of its prestigious scientific research opportunities for undergraduate students.
However, after a year of biology and heavy coursework in science classes, Derrick decided she also wanted to major in art. Although she plans to attend medical school, she wants to eventually incorporate her artistic abilities into her profession as a doctor by opening an art wing in a hospital to introduce uplifting art into the lives of her patients.
Morenberg said he probably will end up working in advertisement but ideally would like to continue making fine art for a living. Sands hopes to find a career in the field of marketing and graphic design and would like to work at a graphic design firm someday.
Sands is involved with art related clubs on campus as well as an academic honors fraternity. Morenberg is a new member of a fraternity and said social integration with other students on campus isn’t a problem, as Lehigh gives everyone common ground, art majors and engineers alike.