Menu button
Home » Headline, Programs

NECC Redesigns Its Art Program

Submitted by on August 14, 2013 – 9:28 am
NECC Redesigns its Art Program

Arts Students celebrate at the end of the spring semester

Northern Essex’s art program, which is already first-rate, will become even better this fall after undergoing a major redesign.

Art students will now major in General Studies: Art with a choice of four focus areas including fine arts, visual communication (formerly graphic design), multimedia and, for the first time, photography. Students will be required to take 25 credits in a mix of any of the focus areas along with the foundational art courses.

In the past the college offered General Studies degrees in visual arts and multi-media and degrees in graphic design and illustration.

“We redesigned the program for our students,” said Shar Wolff, assistant dean of technology, arts and professional studies. “This new curriculum will make it easier for them to transfer. Another benefit is that they will graduate with fully developed portfolios which is the standard when looking for jobs.”

As a result of the redesign, the college has hired its first full-time multimedia faculty member, added new courses to the curriculum, and purchased new equipment and software.

NECC Redesigns its Art Program

Brian Knoth, NECC’s new full-time multimedia faculty member

New multimedia faculty member Brian Matthew Knoth has a master’s in Media Arts from Emerson College and a Master’s and Ph.D. from Brown University. In the past he has taught at the University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College, Bridgewater State University, and Emerson College. At Northern Essex, he will be teaching new multimedia courses such as video, motion graphics, and advanced image editing.


New courses that have been added to the curriculum and will be taught by members of the art faculty include video, typography, studio lighting, digital imaging II, 3D modeling and rendering, and motion graphics.

A third MAC lab was added on the Haverhill Campus and these labs will be equipped with industry standard software such as Maya, Final Cut Pro, and Adobe Creative Suite as well as professional series inkjet printers. The college has also purchased new equipment including video and digital cameras.

“We’ve been working hard on these changes for the past couple years, and we’re very excited about the end results,” said Wolff. “We’ve strengthened our traditional art programs—such as fine arts, drawing and painting—and added exciting new options in new media.”

For more information, contact Wolff at or 978 556-3863.