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New ACC art instructor makes space for learning

News Photo by Crystal Nelson Alpena Community College Art Instructor Brian Schorn is pictured Wednesday hanging art in the Olin H. Joynton Fine Arts Center.

ALPENA — Alpena Community College Art Instructor Brian Schorn has big plans for the college’s fine arts program.

Schorn, an Alpena native, who officially began working as faculty member on Monday, is settling into his office, developing a new art curriculum, and reimagining how the space in the Olin H. Joynton Fine Arts Center on the college campus will be used.

“I’m looking forward to a fresh start, really, in everything,” he said.

Schorn plans to teach photography and digital imaging in the fall and is busy revamping the building’s computer lab for when the fall semester begins on Aug. 30. He said the state-of-the-art computer lab includes new iMac computers, new scanners, printers, and a 3-D printer.

The art program’s curriculum is also being redeveloped to include five courses students will be able to transfer to other colleges and universities under the Michigan Transfer Agreement — art history I, art history II, drawing, 2-D design, and 3-D design.

“These five classes will then allow students to automatically know that their credits will transfer from here to another college within the state of Michigan,” he said. “That’s been a challenge, because students take classes and then they end up having to take them over at another college, and it causes a lot of grief and is unnecessary.”

The college will also begin offering a concentration in graphic design in 2022, which will align more closely with the trades industry.

“This allows the art program to sort of fit in with the rest of the trades and, essentially, allow us to offer a different type of trade,” he said. “That’s going to be a two-year program that will have to be developed with four to five new courses in graphic design, which I will teach.”

“I really wanted to do that because it’s difficult for students who take art, particularly fine art, to find a career, even though they do exist, but to add graphic design allows for a lot more options for jobs for people who are interested in the arts. So this makes it similar to the concrete program, the nursing program, the electrical engineering program, in that they learn a skill that is needed in the world, and it provides jobs easily.”

Schorn also has plans for other classrooms and spaces in the building. He has cleaned out the building’s gallery, which he said has never been used as a gallery, and wants to offer student and faculty exhibitions as well as art from nationally recognized artists.

A new space for a student lounge was also created in the building and space for vending machines if students need a drink or a snack.

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