Q: Where is the Arts Division?
A: Our offices are located in the bottom level of the Business building, near the Learning Resource Center (LRC).
- Traditional (darkroom) Photography and most Studio Art classes are in the Business building.
- Theatre and Music classes are in the Music Building and the Campus Inn, located across the lower quad from the Business building.
- Animation, Digital Photography and TV classes are in the Learning Resources Center (the LRC).
- Graphic Design and Electronic Music Courses are in the Science building (S302).
- Art History classes are in A230, on the 2nd floor of the Administration building.
Q: What types of degrees are available in the Arts?
A: We offer Associate of Arts (AA) degrees for studio art, commercial art (changing to Graphic Design Fall ’17), music, photography, and theatre. We offer an Associate of Science (AS) degree as well as a Certificate of Completion for animation. We also have an Associate of Arts-Transfer (AA/T) degree in studio art, art history and theatre. The AA/T degree is designed specifically to guarantee transfer to a California State University.
Q: Do I have to be into computer science to take animation classes?
A: No but you need to love one of the following:
Q: Will we be making art in this class?
A: No, the art history courses are lecture classes where students study objects of art and architecture to learn how and why they were made, who made them, what significance these objects held in history, and how our contemporary societies value them today. Whereas students learn about art-making processes in art history classes, applying this knowledge skillfully to make their own artworks is a practice of studio art courses. The Visual Art Department at Rio Hondo College offers a full curriculum of both art history and studio art courses leading to transfer degrees.
Q: Do I really need to purchase a big fat textbook for my art history course?
A: Yes, regular completion of textbook and/or assigned readings is essential to your success in a college-level art history course. Students who come to class having completed the reading assignment have an easier time comprehending the lecture material. Your instructor will provide several options ranging in price, such as e-text, unbound, soft-cover, and hard-cover editions.
Q: Are art history students required to visit a museum?
A: Most instructors will want to take advantage of the wealth of art museum, gallery, and private collections in the Los Angeles area. Viewing works of art in person provides an exciting opportunity for art history students to feel a real connection to works of art and to history in general. There is nothing like looking at ancient art at the Getty Villa, a Van Gogh or a Rembrandt at the Norton Simon, or a Pollock painting at MOCA up close! Your instructor will provide detailed instructions regarding your museum visit and can assist with organizing carpools or other transportation. Many local museums are free to students displaying a student i.d. card.
(formerly Commercial Art)
Q: Why the name change?
A: The term Commercial Art has been updated and changed to Graphic Design to reflect the explosive expansion of the visual communication industry. In the Spring Semester of 2015 Rio Hondo started to re-design and rebuild the program. We are adding courses, certificates, updating our AS Degree and creating an exiting department that will give students the Design skills sought in industry and the education needed for them to seek a four year degree and beyond!
Q: Do I need to own a computer to take the graphic design classes?
A: Although having access to a computer is a plus, the courses are structured so that you do not need to own a computer to take the classes. We have recently acquired brand new iMacs and have graphic design quality laser-printers in our classrooms!
Q: What kind of graphic designer jobs are there?
A: The field in Los Angeles is growing! Job market data estimates forecast a 13% increase in graphic design jobs through 2022! A junior designer will typically rise to a senior designer, then art director, and then creative director. Depending on the industry served or the medium, the junior designer may be called a graphic designer, UI/UX designer, visual designer, motion designer, digital designer, web designer, animator, production artist, or graphic artist. At the mid-level, the title may be more specific: information designer, interaction designer, product designer, environmental graphics designer, information architect, package designer, exhibition designer, experience designer, or content strategist. At the executive level, designers occupy positions such as owner/founder, executive creative director, head of design, or chief creative officer.
Q: What exactly do graphic designers create?
A: Graphic designers produce all of the visual images you see in every industry, every day, that aren’t ‘pure art’. These include; posters, advertisements, packages, information visualizations, graphics for newspapers and magazines, motion graphics, design of books and magazines, commercial websites and exhibition catalogues, way-finding (which is a form of environmental graphics), branding and identity design (creates trademarks and logos), editorial design for web and mobile (the most tangible example of content-driven work in this area), websites, mobile apps, and blogs. Graphic design also involves the presentation of streaming information, also known as data visualization, user interface design (UI), which mostly refers to the individual layouts of web pages, and the user experience design (UX)!
Q: Where can I find more information?
A: The AIGA website is the best source for in-depth information and links regarding graphic design:
Q: How much should I practice piano?
A: The more you practice, the better you’ll get. Music Majors should practice piano an hour a day if it is NOT your main instrument. You should practice your primary instrument more than that.
Q: Why do Music Majors have to learn piano if it’s not their instrument?
A: Musicians use the piano for a variety of reasons – to hear what something sounds like, to demonstrate what something should sound like, or to create music that has more than one part.
Q: Why should you learn to read music?
A: In the long run, it is a faster, cheaper way to learn music.
Q: Do I need to own a camera to take photography classes?
A: The school has a limited supply of cameras to loan out from the library. Your instructor can explain the process to you.
Q: Must I be an art major to take an art course?
A: No, art courses are open to all students on campus. Many are transferable to CSU and UC. Ask your counselor or check on assist.org to see the transferability of any course. Rio Hondo’s College Catalog also gives the transferability of a given course to UC and CSU campuses.
Q: What if I just want to take an art class and have no art experience?
A: Most beginning art classes do not have a prerequisite. Those that do can be waived by asking and showing a portfolio to your instructor. It is always best to start at the beginning in any course of study, so if you are an art major, start with drawing and 2 D design, then move on to painting, ceramics, photography, animation or graphic arts. Ask at the art department, our staff will be happy to advise you.
Q: I have never taken art. Can I just try an art class and earn units?
A: Yes. You don’t have to have “talent” to take an art class. We can teach you how to draw, design and paint and you can do this if you apply yourself. But if you are not intending to major in art and have no real experience perhaps an Introduction to Art class will suit your needs. ART101: Introduction to Art is a hands-on studio art class for the non-art major/total beginner. It will fulfill the art requirement for a CSU (but not a UC) and it is designed to show you how many different art mediums work.
Q: As an art major, what areas of study are available to me?
A: RHC has specializations in Fine Arts (painting and drawing), Art History, Ceramics, Photography, Animation, and Graphic Arts. You can take the basics and specialize in an area for a transfer degree, certificate or an AA degree.
Q: Will I need to buy a textbook for this course (painting or drawing)?
A: No, but I do have some book recommendations that you can borrow from the library or purchase from the bookstore if you are interested. You are expected to buy all of the art supplies required on the syllabus.
Q: How much will art supplies cost?
A: Students can expect to pay between $100 to $250 for art supplies. Your instructor will give you a list at the beginning of the semester of all supplies you will need.
Q: Do I have to buy all of the art supplies at the beginning of the semester?
A: No, but it will save you money in the long run if you purchase an art kit containing all or most of the supplies for your class, either through the Rio Hondo Bookstore or Dick Blick Art Supply.
Q: Do I have to be in a play for this class?
A: No you don’t have to be in the play. Most students audition, hoping to be cast in a part, but many students want to help out by being on the crew, assisting the director or stage managing. If you want to be involved in a play in these non-acting ways, you don’t have to audition, but instead will have an interview with the teacher and/or the director.