On February 18th, 2009 the College of Humanities and Fine Arts IT team installed a new Apple computer lab in the Studio Arts Building. This lab has been planned for several years. Its purpose is to provide the Department of Art with tools for imaging, sound, and multimedia projects. The lab consists of seventeen iMacs with twenty-four inch displays and Core 2 Duo processors. The software on each iMac includes FinalCut Studio 2, for video editing, and Adobe Creative Suite 4, which includes Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.

In order to remain a competitive university it is crucial that UMass implements advancing technology. Within the Department of Art, modern technology aids in the creation of innovative, high quality art in the form of pictures, videos, animation, and architectural design. Students opportunities should be unlimited, and having such resources as the new lab and the print center right in the Studio Arts Building greatly increases accessibility to these opportunities. For example, a class of 16 can now learn video editing techniques simultaneously, each student working on her or his own state of the art computer. Many of the finished projects can be brought into existence in the Digital Print Center.

The lab will be used for regularly scheduled classes, but there will also be times for students and faculty in the Department of Art or other departments in the College to use it on their own. This lab will support such Studio Art courses as: Digital Imaging and Silk Screen Printmaking, where students design prints in Photoshop and then use non-toxic paints and transparencies and transfer the design to its destination; Animation, in which students learn to create 2-dimensional, stop frame, and digital media time based animation; Time Based Digital Media, for production of digital videos and research into topics like color manipulation, time, motion control, and sound using FinalCut Pro, Quicktime, Soundtrack Pro, and DVD Studio Pro 4; and Information Design, which teaches students the theory and practice of information design, including data communication through charts and maps, and teaching through interactive media.

The new Mac lab is also set up to meet the physical requirements to become an Apple certified training center. This would potentially allow for iLife certified trainers to teach classes for various Apple certifications. In addition to this new lab, UMass has a number of previously installed Mac labs currently on campus in Department of Art space in the Fine Arts Center, the LGRC, and the W.E.B. Du Bois Library.

Click here to read an interview with Professor and Undergraduate Program Director for Studio Art Rosanne Retz, who oversaw the design of the studio.

Sierra Simmons