Beginning art students thrive at SCC’s Education Square location

At Southeast Community College’s downtown Lincoln location, a student art wall is on display on the second floor of the College’s art department.

“This is a great way to see the range of talents of our SCC students,” said Dr. Rosemary Zumpfe, art instructor.

In the art studio, about half a dozen students work at their own pace on various assignments for Drawing 1 and 2. The three-hour studio class is taught by Zumpfe, who is nothing but supportive of these students, who are all at different levels artistically.

“The most important thing I want as a teacher is to encourage students to believe in themselves,” Zumpfe said. “Each student has a unique creative voice.”

The students taking this beginning-level art class are all taking it for various reasons; some want to be an artist, others are taking it as a requirement, others are just curious. What they all have in common is they are finding talent within themselves they never knew existed.

Sister Joy (Kristie Le) enrolled in the class because she needed it when she transfers into elementary education at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. She wanted to drop the class after the first day, but changed her mind after talking to Zumpfe.

“She’s a good teacher because she believes in us, and is very patient,” she said. “I’m not good at art at all. I didn’t think I could draw. I have a different view of it now. I see beauty in things.”

Jasmyn White wants to be a secondary art teacher, so she’s taking this class as an academic transfer student.

“I really like how we’re learning different techniques we’ve never learned before,” she said.

Holly Nitzel is a nursing student at Union College. She thought this would be an easy way to get some art credits. She found out that’s not exactly the case.

“It’s not easy, and it’s super time-consuming,” she said. “But I like this class, it’s been very interesting and we’re learning a lot of different techniques.”

Zumpfe teaches art through close observation and analysis. She wants the students to build on the critical thinking and creative abilities they already possess and work in a supportive space to foster that potential.

“I consider students to be artists when they walk into the classroom,” Zumpfe said. “There are no ‘stars’, because all of them are stars in a space of diversity and inclusion.”

Jaydon Moody is a first-year student at SCC. He enjoyed taking art classes in high school and hopes to use his talents to become a graphic designer.

“I like the ideas that come to me and the feeling I get when it looks good,” he said.

“I like the freedom of it,” added Madison Bertie. “I like the parts where I get to explore.”

Zumpfe said many people don’t even know that SCC offers art classes as part of the Academic Transfer program, and hopes more students will consider taking a course and finding the artist from within. Studio art classes have also been taught for many years at the Beatrice Campus.

“I can’t talk about art without noting its vital importance in the college curriculum and the intersection of visual art with all areas of study,” she said. “I hope the ‘A’ will be added back into STEM.”


Andrea Gallagher
Communications Specialist