USD Magazine Spring 2013

“I spent more time working on the weekly assign- ments in that course than in any chemistry course,” Boyd says with a grin. “But I loved it.” Over the past four years, Boyd’s work has included the review and revision of the core curriculum, a three- year process headed by a 39-member committee, pri- marily made up of faculty from the arts and sciences, business and engineering. Now in year two, the commit- tee is scheduled to have an articulated core curriculum for faculty consideration and vote this spring. Future developments aside, the Department of Art, Architecture + Art History already has a powerful mix of studies. Visual arts alone covers sculpture, drawing, painting, printmaking, photography and visual communi- cations. Additionally, with the recent addition of Victoria Fu, that concentration now includes new media art, an area that explores film, video and time-based media as an art form. Just as important as the course offerings, say the faculty, is synergy. Department professors see the three majors not as parallel areas of study, but as intertwined, an approach which is natural for disciplines that encour- age high levels of collaboration. Students mimic their mentors and help each other’s artistic instincts to flourish in spaces such as the senior studio. Before long, students find themselves working in multiple disciplines within the department by double majoring or by majoring in one area and minoring in the other two.

That scenario defines Olivas, a triple threat who is hard at work behind Camino Hall several days a week, rebuild- ing his creation from the tires up. Still largely out of public view, the project, “Untitled: A Rolling Social Structure,” is drawing interest not only from his arts faculty and peers, but from the facilities workers who pass by in their duties. “They’re peeking their heads in and I’m hearing their comments and their ideas. It’s an awesome experience,” says Olivas. “That’s what got me excited about this proj- ect, the idea of the community coming together and hav- ing this dialogue. It’s fantastic.” When it’s finished, the exterior of the working-class van will be an intentionally nondescript gray and the interior will be a professional exhibition space with hardwood or cork flooring, white steel walls and track lighting. In addi- tion to housing an enlightening exhibition program, the van itself will serve as a space for dialogue. “I like the idea of fostering the starving artist, showing our friends’ work, showing work that we enjoy,” Olivas says. “It’s really about bringing this community together — all the different disciplines — and sharing art in whatever location we might be. It doesn’t have to be in San Diego; I really want to take advantage of the mobile capability.” In the end, Olivas’ intentions are quite simple. “I’m just trying to have fun and at the same time, trying to make an impact,” he says, pausing. “All of us are trying to make an impact.”

Outgoing College of Arts and Sciences Dean Mary Boyd has maintained a clear vision of how important the arts are for USD students during her tenure.

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