Midland College Art Program Embraces 21st-Century Technology

Midland College Art Program Embraces 21st-Century TechnologyJuly 02, 2020

The image to use for this article. Listing image managed through RSS tab. Robotic potter etches vase

Artists are renowned for their creativity and innovation. Throughout history, they have adapted to changes in technology and have created amazing artistic creations.

The Midland College (MC) Art program is embracing 21st-century digital technologies with the purchase of several new pieces of equipment designed to streamline and enhance MC students' educational experience.

This new equipment includes two new high fire kilns, a 3D potter, a micro 3D printer and a Cricut cutting machine, which will allow students an entirely new way to visualize the creative process and allow for a higher level of detail. Also, the art program has added a new GlowForge laser cutter/etcher. The GlowForge can cut and etch a wide range of materials and has many real applications for design and fabrication.

The Hanley Charitable Trust provided funds to purchase this equipment, which is part of a new MC Art technology initiative. The Hanley Charitable Trust will also provide funding for a new filament-based 3D printer and a 3D scanner.

The goal is to allow experimentation with technology, material and artistic potential. Michael Richardson, MC associate professor of Art, sees the addition of this new equipment as a means to help students develop new skills and discover additional ways to create 3D Art. It will be a merging of the handmade art object with the virtually designed and printed art object.

"The addition of this new technology puts us at the cutting edge of what's going on right now with virtual design and 3D printing," Richardson said. "For ceramics, we can use that specific medium to design, create, and fire new student creations. It is an exciting time."

This fall, Midland College will expand its academic programs by offering a hybrid course format in Art which will combine on-campus (hands-on) and online coursework. The new equipment will enable students to create/design using the software at home or in the computer lab and then to render their projects on site.

"This equipment will allow students to print things that would be impossible or very difficult to throw on the potter's wheel or even to hand build," MC student and part-time employee Jayce Barrett said. "People can design something on their computer, print it and then incorporate it into their work."

MC Office of Institutional Advancement

Pevehouse Administration Building, Room 141
Midland College, 3600 N. Garfield
Midland, Texas 79705
(432) 685-4556


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