Exploring the Arts as an Economics Major
After taking courses in virtually every department and editing my major plan spreadsheet more times than I can count, I'll be finishing my Economics major at the end of spring term 2023. To complete the major, students must take a total of twelve courses exploring different branches of economics. The required number of courses to graduate from Dartmouth is 35. So, if you schedule your courses correctly, there is plenty of room to explore other majors and take classes for fun and out of interest. In my time at Dartmouth, I took advantage of the flexibility that the liberal arts curriculum offers by taking Studio Art and Digital Art classes whenever possible. Below are some of my favorites, and a little bit about the projects we worked on!
SART 15 - Drawing 1
The main objective of this class is to allow students to explore the issues of mark, line, scale, space, light and composition. The majority of our projects were based on observed forms — like still-life sets with flowers, personal objects, and self-portraits. For these projects we played around with charcoal, ink, and pencil to familiarize ourselves with different styles of drawing. My favorite project of the course was the self-portrait. I chose charcoal as my tool, and based my drawing off a picture I'd taken recently. It took a couple of long nights in the studio, but I loved the results.
SART 25 - Painting 1
Painting 1 introduced me to oil painting techniques, painting language, and critical thinking in the visual arts. Like in Drawing 1, our projects were based on observed forms. One thing I found surprising was how long it takes to mix paint! It's a skill on its own and took a lot of practice to get just right. Our professor and TA were awesome, though, and were always available to help. My favorite project was the final assignment, where we got to choose our subject. Since I was in the middle of my senior year, I decided to paint some of my favorite memories from my time at Dartmouth — looking back on my freshman year, sophomore summer, and my time studying abroad.
COSC 22 - 3D Digital Modeling
Lastly, one of my favorite courses was 3D Digital Modeling, where I learned how to make models and environments like those in films, games, and VR applications. Each week, we learned to use different features of Maya, an animation program used by studios such as Pixar. It was time-intensive work, but extremely rewarding. For one of my favorite projects, we were to create a room that meant something to us. So, I decided to recreate my high school band's practice room — complete with Led Zeppelin posters and a Fender guitar.