Art and Design adds a pair of top five program rankings

Art and Design adds a pair of top five program rankings

The nationally renowned School of Art and Design at NIU has earned a pair of new top five rankings.

Animation Career Review has announced their 2020 Graphic Design School Rankings. More than 700 schools with graphic design programs across the nation were evaluated and NIU has placed a pair of programs in the top five.

This is the second year that Animation Career Review has ranked illustration programs, and NIU’s is ranked third in the state.

For the sixth year in a row, Animation Career Review has ranked graphic design programs and NIU’s visual communication program is ranked fifth in the state.

The School of Art and Design is no stranger to recognition. US News and World Report has ranked the illustration program in the top 20 nationally, and ranks the school’s Master in Fine Arts program in the top 125 in the nation. and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities ranks the school 35th in the nation.



Art History’s Catherine Raymond to present on the Future of the Cathedral Notre Dame of Paris

Art History’s Catherine Raymond to present on the Future of the Cathedral Notre Dame of Paris

Catherine Raymond, professor of art history and director of the NIU Center for Burma Studies is presenting a free, open to the pubic, online lecture through the DeKalb Public Library on “The Future of Cathedral Notre Dame of Paris After the Great Fire.” Raymond is a native of France, earned her doctorate in art and archaeology from the University of Paris III, Sorbonne Nouvelle, and graduated in Burmese Language and Civilization from the Institut des Langues et Civilisations Orientales. (more…)

NIU Center for Burma Studies presents online exhibition “Looking At Women in Contemporary Burma”

NIU Center for Burma Studies presents online exhibition “Looking At Women in Contemporary Burma”

The Center for Burma Studies at Northern Illinois University has launched an online exhibition, “Looking At Women in Contemporary Burma.” It focuses on the evolving portrayal of Burmese women as depicted today by Myanmar artists reflects a politico-cultural milieu in transition between tradition and modernity. After some fifty years under military rule, extreme censorship, and isolation, Burma —also called Myanmar— a vibrant artistic scene has emerged welcoming a new era under the leadership of an iconic womanly figure; Daw Aung San Suu Kyi: current State Counselor of Myanmar, and 1991 Nobel Peace Prize laureate. (more…)

Grad profiles – Dajhumbay Russell

Grad profiles – Dajhumbay Russell

The spring class of 2020 hasn’t had a traditional conclusion to their studies, but they do have a lot of great stories.

Over the summer months we’ll be profiling some of them.

Dajhumbay Russell

Dajhumbay RussellDegree Earned: Bachelors of Arts in Music Education and Music Performance
Hometown: West Bloomfield Michigan
High School: Homeschooled through Accelerated Christian Education program (A.C.E)

What are some of your best memories of your time at NIU?

  • NIU Steelband for all six years
  • Rides to and from performances with my band mates and the performances themselves
  • Got to perform with steel pan greats like Andy Narell, Victor Provost, Leon Foster, and our very own professor Liam Teague
  • NIU Huskie Marching Band my first year
  • Percussion Ensemble
  • Jazz Combo
  • Going to the football games (when I had time)
  • Lastly, the many people that I met that made the experience so much fun and inspiring. My peers and the daily journeys we embarked upon. Ha ha.

What’s next for you?
Now that I’ve completed my degree I am looking to start teaching music in the public school system. I’m open to teach in Illinois (of course) Michigan, and/or Florida. I will also continue what I’ve always loved to do which is perform at many different venues over the summer. Gigging will always be a part of my professional career. Looking further down the path I’d like to start a private lesson studio where I will teach students how to play the steel pan, drum set, and piano.

What’s one piece of advice or something you learned that you know you’ll be leaning on as you start the next phase of your career?
One piece of advice I’ve learned is that you should always be looking for ways to improve yourself. Never stop growing. However, make sure to pat yourself on the back for the accomplishments you have made and be confident in yourself. There will always be people who will criticize what you are trying to do. Stay true to yourself.

How was your experience at Northern different than what you expected when you started?
Something that was different from what I expected in my first year were the people I spent my free time with. I spent a good deal of time with friends from a slightly different demographic from my own. Between the steel pan studio (consists of all pan majors) and people from drum line, I was welcomed into more of a family type of environment than one might expect their first year.

If you could thank someone, or more than one person, that you didn’t get a chance to thank before you left, who would it be and what would you say?
It would be Professor Liam Teague, Lynn Retherford, and Dr. [David] Maki.

To Liam:
Thank you for all that you poured into my life. Thank you for teaching me to reach for the stars and to always be aware of my progress. Thank you for always keeping it real with me and being more than just my professor. You’ve been a mentor and a true inspiration! I’ve learned so much just from your work ethic and dedication to your craft alone. I feel blessed to have been your student.

To Lynn:
Thank you for all of your assistance and support. As the music students always say you’re the one that we come to when we’re in need of serious help! You’re like a superhero. I can’t count how many times I came to you with issues regarding registration, licensure and just day to day questions and every time you were able to help me in some way or another! So, I thank you so much for always being a helping hand.

What’s something you’d like to come back to do one more time?|
That’s easy! Come back and play with the NIU Steelband just one more time!

What are some of the things you’re most proud of from your time at Northern?

  • Greatly improving  my musicianship both on paper and practice
  • Getting to trade solos with Victor Provost (truly an Honor)
  • Performing at Virginia International Pan Fest
  • Performing with the Chicago Sinfonietta at the Chicago Symphony Center
  • Producing a great senior recital

If you could give some advice to the high school class of 2020, what would it be?
Always be true to yourself, but be open minded and hear people out. Choose your professors/classes wisely and your friends even more wisely. Enjoy every moment of this experience! Meet new people. Go to as many events as you can without sacrificing your homework. Take breaks. Get yourself a great study buddy. Always have a plan! Face every obstacle with courage. Be confident in what you do know but also realize you don’t know everything. Most Importantly, don’t be afraid to ask for help! That is one of the most mature things you can do.

Keep an eye out for more profiles of the NIU College of Visual and Performing Arts class of 2020.