Newly formed Art and Design Association brings art, business students together

Post courtesy of newsroom intern Amanda N. Marino:

Sophomore Rachel Taylor has a passion for business, but, she said, it’s not her only love.

While in high school, Taylor said she loved art as well. Since she came to IU, though, she had been missing that part of her life. While exploring the possibility of getting an art minor, she said she realized some art students are disconnected from the Bloomington arts scene.

To bring art and business together in a way that benefits both student artists and students studying business, last fall Taylor founded the Art and Design Association. The campus group is dedicated to helping IU art students find opportunities to show and sell their work in the Bloomington community.

Apollo Infinity art

Tommy DeNardo titled this digital work “Apollo Infinity.” Photo courtesy of the artist

Taylor said their first art show, held at The Hub in downtown Bloomington, drew a crowd of about 50 people. It featured the work of about 30 students, including sophomore Tommy DeNardo.

While DeNardo is not an art student, he said he has had a love of graphic design and digital art since he was in middle school.

Ever since DeNardo heard about the Art and Design Association, he has been pursuing his art further, creating more work to show in gallery events hosted by the group.

DeNardo had no idea what was in store for him at the gallery. He admitted he was intimidated, assuming all of the art students’ work would be vastly superior to his.

“I wasn’t actually planning on selling anything when I got there,” he said.

Despite that uncertainty, DeNardo managed to sell multiple pieces during the event. He said the sales were motivational to him and encouraged him to continue working on his art and design.

“I do art mostly because it’s a great way to express myself,” he said. “Anyone can make art.”

Taylor said the organization she formed last fall isn’t just for art students. Students with an interest in business also have a place at the Art and Design Association, especially as she continues to try and establish a strong executive board.

“This organization is a really great combination of my two passions,” she said.

Students like freshman Simone Siew work on the marketing side of the organization. While the group is not permitted to help with any kind of transaction, its members can help educate students on how to expand their brand and make sales.

Siew, the vice president of social media for the group, said she wanted to be a part of the association as soon as she heard about it. To her, the group has a great balance of art-oriented and analytical minds.

Both types of people can learn and grow in the Art and Design Association, Siew said. “I think everyone on all sides should get involved in this organization.”


Sophomore Rachel Taylor founded the Art and Design Association at IU Bloomington. Photo by Chaz Mottinger

Moving forward, Taylor said she hopes the organization can arrange more gallery exhibitions and hold a workshop for its members in the fall.

Along with expanding their social media outreach and trying to develop relationships with venues where gallery shows would be possible, Taylor said her main goal is to help art students find more opportunities.

She said the group is open to sculpture, photography and other types of design. “We don’t really have a limit on what type of art we accept,” Taylor said.

What was originally going to be called the Art Association was expanded at the suggestion of its faculty sponsor, Martha MacLeish, who has served as director of undergraduate studies in studio art at IU Bloomington.

The change of the student organization’s name and its inclusion of design aligns with the formation of the School of Art and Design at IU Bloomington, which will become official July 1.

The new school will bring together the studio art programs within the current School of Fine Arts and the Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design. The united school, which will reside within the College of Arts and Sciences, recently announced Peg Faimon as its inaugural dean.

Students interested in learning more about the Art and Design Association should contact taylrach (at)

Tags: , , , , , , , ,