Art faculty

Phil Scorza, M.F.A.

Assistant Professor of Art and Design
Department Chair

M.F.A., Lesley University
B.A., Iowa State University

TGK 112


Professor Scorza’s interests and experience lie in the area of graphic design and photography. He teaches Introduction to Studio, photography and the graphic design courses for the department. A former Northwestern College student, he earned a bachelor’s degree in graphic design from Iowa State and a Master of Fine Arts from Lesley University College of Art and Design. Prior to joining Northwestern's faculty, he established a career as a graphic designer and creative director for over 20 years, both in the corporate setting and as a freelancer. He frequently uses his art to serve nonprofit and community-based organizations.


  • Introduction to Studio

    Introduction to Studio

    (4 credits) (IGE option under Aesthetic Experience) A course placing emphasis on the introduction to studio art media and learning the basics of two- and three- dimensional design. Art terms and concepts will be explained and essential vocabulary will be utilized. Basic problems of aesthetics and the nature of art will be explored throughout the course. Emphasis is upon learning creative problem solving using visual media. Art history is introduced in the course in the presentation of projects. Studio projects, discussions and criticism of art works are features of the course.
  • Photography I

    Photography I

    (2 credits) Taught as a medium of creative expression or as an art form and as a journalistic tool. Film processing and printing are taught as well as camera techniques, darkroom procedures and presentation of work for exhibitions.
  • Graphic Design I

    Graphic Design I

    (4 credits) Graphic Design I is an introduction to the computer applications used in the communication, design and publishing fields. There will be an introduction to graphic design problems and projects in order to learn how these applications all work together.
  • Photography II

    Photography II

    (2 credits) The fundamentals of photography as an art medium and a journalistic tool are used to develop an individual style or method of composing and printing photographs. This individual aesthetic approach will be seen in all the work presented at the end of the course. Prerequisite: ART164.
  • Graphic Design II

    Graphic Design II

    (4 credits) Graphic Design II is a course for students to gain the understanding of what good design is and how to clearly communicate with it. Students will produce finished examples of graphic design with a specific use in mind such as advertising, public information, business communication, etc. Prerequisite: ART220.

Publications and presentations

  • August 2009 - faculty exhibition at the Te Paske Gallery Northwestern College
  • January 2008 - The Briar Cliff Review. A black and white photograph entitled Moonflower was selected for publication in the Volume 20 issue. Photo on view in the Sioux City Art Center.
  • November 2006 - solo show entitled dè•já vu at the Te Paske Gallery Northwestern College

Professional involvements and accomplishments

  • Artist Statement
  • The act of creating art is a process in which the actual creation of the work takes on a life of its own. It starts as an idea that involves problem solving and a great deal of planning. I tend to have the piece completed in my head and can visualize the final object completed before I physically start art making. In the end, I want to be as captivated by my work as everyone else. To me, creating art is as much about the process as it is the final piece.
  • In my work, I transfer elements and apply them to the surface along with layers of different types of media that produces a visually more interesting piece. This layering creates an excitement, as well as a richness and depth to my work. I use easily recognizable images that are intended to give the viewer a sense of familiarity with what they are looking at and hopefully will draw them in closer. Once in closer, there is a connection and the familiar is seen in a different way; being juxtaposed with something unexpected. It’s the illusion of having previously experienced something even though you are encountering it for the first time. When I experience this myself, it’s uncomfortably familiar.