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Create Your Education

Welcome to the The Department of Art at Youngstown State University. Whatever your passion, there is an artistic career that will fulfill your personal and professional interests. We offer a customizable studio art curriculum that will give you the freedom and flexibility to define your educational direction and focus your talents.

The Department of Art at YSU prepares students to become artists, designers, art educators or art historians. As part of a cultural milieu, students will witness a wide variety of styles, philosophies and histories. They will be exposed to various techniques, processes and experiences in the development of a commitment to their work, their community and to the outside world. Expanded visual horizons as well as exposure to various histories will enable students to look both within themselves and outside in a broader cultural context.

Education in the arts is paradoxical. Art making and the study of art require skills training as well as perceptual awareness. Participation in the process is the primary means of education. Students and faculty alike are immersed in the quest for knowledge and creative self-realization, whether it is in the form of computer graphics, printmaking or the study of art from the past.

The North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools accredits Youngstown State University in an accreditation that includes all undergraduate and graduate programs. In addition, the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), an organization whose membership includes 250 schools out of approximately 2,000 art departments nationally, accredits the Department of Art.

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Meet Tony Armeni

Tony Armeni
Recently we were in Youngstown Ohio doing our super secret testing of all the commercially available printers we could get for our upcoming 3D printer issue (November 25th). An interesting fellow walks up to me and says “Hey, I’m Tony and I make stuff”. That was enough to capture my interest. He says his studio is less than 5 minutes away and asks if I’d like to go see his work.


Jason Babler and I took a trip to Tony’s studio and absolutely loved what we saw. Tony seems to work with pretty much everything, though the majority of things we saw around the studio were made of metal. Some sculptures were static, some moving, some interactive.

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Rich Helfrich, assistant professor at the Youngstown State University Art Department, unveiled on Thursday that his graphic design students would have 24 hours to design a campaign for the Warren Philharmonic Orchestra.

For two weeks, Helfrich kept his students in the dark about the daunting challenge ahead of them and the client for whom they would be gearing all of their design efforts toward.

The secrecy was not without warrant — it was to give the students experience in crisis management and working as a team under those kinds of conditions. When asked why the WPO was chosen, Helfrich just said that it was suggested to him from various people in the department.

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Thinking About Art: Emergent Futures Now lecture series


To contribute to the art department’s Emergent Futures Now lecture series, Dana Sperry, an assistant art professor, invited the Think Tank That Has Yet to be Named to speak at Youngstown State University’s McDonough Museum of Art on Monday night.

Artists Jeremy Beaudry, Katie Hargrave and Meredith Warner collectively make up this think tank, and they share a similar passion — creating art that brings people together and inspires conversations regarding pressing urban issues.

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Youngstown State University’s art department invited Shaun Slifer and Bec Young, artists from the Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative, to the McDonough Museum of Art to speak to students about their group and provide a functioning example of modern artists working cooperatively.

Dana Sperry, professor of digital media, said the speech aimed to provide students with a working model of how artists work together.

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YSU CCAC Faculty Trip to Turkey!

View YSU CCAC Faculty Trip to Turkey blog! Here is a brief post about her upcoming trip:

Headed for Turkey in a few days through the generosity of the Niagara Foundation. We have an amazing itinerary planned, which will start in Istanbul. I love this particular mosaic from the city as it encapsulates so much of what I love about the Byzantine art and architecture of the city. In this vestibule lunette over an entrance to St. Sophia from the south, Mother and Child are flanked by Justinian on the left and Constantine on the right. Justinian offers a model of the church, which was built under his reign between 532-537 AD. Constantine offers a model of the city (note the walls), which he made the capital of the Roman Empire in 324 AD. The emperors are further identified by inscriptions: Constantine the great Emperor amongst the saints and Justinian Emperor of illustrious memory. The mosaic post dates the iconoclastic controversy of 726-843 and so demonstrates the continued debt to these two emperors who laid the foundation for the Byzantine Empire's great city on the Bosphoros. The city of Istanbul is one of my favorites. Can't wait to get started!

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