Explorations in Clay and Ceramics
This course examines the use of clay as a raw material as well as the breadth of its applications in ceramic pyrotechnology. Topics considered include raw clay in relationship to the body, the role of sun-dried clay in architecture, ceramic tile as architectural ornament, the figural form from pre- history through contemporary times, the vessel, and transmedia works. Students will be exposed to weekly demonstrations and lectures on both historical and contemporary works. They will be challenged to make artworks that explore meaning and metaphor in relationship to contemporary issues.
This course is an introduction to ceramics that includes hand-building, slip-casting, tile-making, and wheel-throwing. Students learn to fabricate ceramic objects and are introduced to a variety of surface treatments such as glazing, under-glazing, sgraffito, slip-trailing, sprigging, decal application, and photo-transfer. Students will be exposed to weekly demonstrations and lectures on both historical and contemporary works. They will be challenged to make artworks that explore meaning and metaphor in relationship to contemporary issues.
This course provides an intensive, interdisciplinary approach to contemporary art that is born out of ideas and employs the materials, practices, and processes required to express them. Emphasis is placed on artistic research, the development of ideas, and the exploration of materials and processes, and meanings as conveyed through them. The course includes a writing component and integrates the generation of a student’s body of work with an awareness of the context in which the work will be presented.
This course explores the historical and contemporary applications of performance art and inspires students to adapt performance topics into their individual practice. The course blurs the lines between performance, photo and video documentation, photographic and video works, wearable art, sound, lighting, set-design, and site-specific installation.
For this semester the students will be developing a suite of images that communicate a connecting theme or concept. Each student needs to complete extensive research and preliminary drawings before beginning any of their studio paintings. Drawing is a major part of this class, and work done on drawings is a major part of the semester grade. Drawing is emphasized because this is where each student works through all the important foundational aspects of their work – more sophisticated conceptual development, technical and perceptual drawing problems, allowance for exploration, growth and communicating the concept over the entire suite of images. Students are encouraged to use whatever paint media works for their concept, but I encourage oil and acrylic painting techniques because of their technical range. Regular group critiques and discussions are conducted in order to emphasize a more sophisticated understanding the media and how to use that media to communicate their ideas.
This class has been structured to emphasize the technical and logistical aspects of painting, in order to give each student the tools to be able to explore their personal thematic approach. The beginning of the semester emphasizes color theory and basic technical aspects of painting (use of medium, emphasis on palette work, mark making). The remainder of the semester emphasizes instruction in more sophisticated methods of development of the painting, preparatory drawings completed in a larger format that help expand how to use subject matter from various sources, and presentations on both historical and contemporary artists that inform and empower each students towards recognizing the myriad ways that painting can be used to communicate an idea or philosophy.
Introduction to Photography
This class presents the basics of film photography – camera function, film processing, darkroom techniques, shooting techniques and methods, use of materials and equipment, use of studio lighting, and the history of photography. Film photography is presented because it gives each student a strong base in how the photographic image can be used and manipulated to communicate a strong idea through the distinct inherent qualities of film. Film and digital imagery are presented and compared, and constant critiques and group discussions are conducted in order to encourage each student to understand the specifics of the media, how to use those specifics, and how to manipulate formal elements that are inherent in film photography in order to communicate their ideas.
This class presents more sophisticated use of film and digital photography as a means for each student to further explore a personal thematic direction in their imagery. This class uses a standard 35mm SLR camera, as well two medium format camera sizes and digital imagery to help the students become more sophisticated and thorough in their imagery. Students also have to “storyboard” their imagery first, as well as complete extensive research and logistical notes before shooting. The students are encouraged to use all of the media presented to explore their concept. Presentations are also conducted that introduce some alternative darkroom and processing techniques (photo emulsion on fabric and other surfaces, toning of prints, digital manipulation of film negatives, etc.). Group discussions and critiques are conducted, as a vital method of developing a sophisticated understanding of the media and how to use formal elements to communicate their personal theme.
Two-Dimensional Mixed Media
This class uses printmaking, drawing and painting media as a way of exploring how to combine those various media and techniques to allow the student to develop imagery with a personal thematic approach. In class presentations are conducted that present monoprint, intaglio, stone lithography, silkscreen and relief print techniques (wood and linoleum cut) as a means for each student to explore and develop their imagery. Students are expected to complete a full range of preliminary and exploratory drawings as a way to develop their concept, as well as a way to improve their technical and perceptual drawing abilities. The various media are presented as something to be a means for each student, not to be used a trick by the student to show their proficiency with each media on a pure technical level.
Visual Literacy serves as a two-dimensional foundation to the other visual arts studio courses. Students investigate the elements and principles of two-dimensional art as well as learn the basic methods and tools of art making. Along with studying art elements and principles, students create finished art pieces as well as conduct artistic and personal research in an attempt to develop their personal artistic voices. Incoming freshman and sophomore visual arts majors are required to take this course.
Fiber Properties and Structure
Fiber Properties and Structure introduces students to a variety of foundational fiber art approaches and techniques, which build a base understanding of fibers and how they can be manipulated. Techniques to enjoy include but are not limited to dyeing, surface design, embroidery, and sewing. Students will create quality crafted art pieces while exploring the ways in which ideas may be expressed through fibers.
Advanced Fiber is offered to students who have taken Fiber Properties and Structure and will therefore build upon students already established skills and knowledge in fiber art. The meaning of materials is explored through both traditional and non-traditional approaches which may include installation and performance art. Student's fiber knowledge is greatly expanded in advanced fiber as many new techniques are introduced such as printed textile, dimensional sewing, crocheting, felt making, basketry methods, papermaking, weaving. We build upon fiber art's history of quality craft as we create conceptually based, fine art pieces.
The Structure of Drawing
The Structure of Drawing investigates the foundations of drawing and encourages proficiency in a wide range of approaches to the medium. Students will strengthen basic drawing abilities and knowledge through practice and progressive exploration. Study of perspective, visual measurement, portraiture, mark and value making, and a wide range of materials will occur. In addition to learning to draw, the elements and principles of art and design will be reinforced and conceptual development will be promoted.
Two-Dimensional Mixed Media
This course takes a cue from collage/assemblage as we combine techniques and materials to create exploratory and conceptual art pieces. We will investigate a wide variety of materials and approaches, both traditional and non-traditional. There will be a strong fiber art component to this course as we implement and combine techniques such as printed textiles, sewing, weaving, and paper making with drawing, painting, and collage.
In this course, students will study the human form through direct observational drawing of live figures. Additional understanding of the body will come from the study of musculoskeletal anatomy. By learning about the underlying structures of the body, students will be able to more accurately and sensitively render their subjects. Students will have the opportunity to explore a variety of media and techniques throughout this drawing course.
In this course, students will explore the many ways that the element of color influences art. Students will conduct research, make technical samples, as well as create conceptually based, fine art pieces. We will explore the gamut of what color has to offer from the emotional to the scientific.
Sculptural Forms will explore visual and physical concepts and processes such as form, volume, plane, line, space, texture, surface, etc. Students will gain experience with a diverse selection of sculptural processes including addition (construction or fabrication), subtraction (carving), manipulation (modeling) and substitution (casting). Students will also be exposed to innovative methods such as working with found objects, kinetics, installation and 4D applications. Contemporary and traditional issues related to sculpture will be explored through assigned readings, personal research, class discussion, critiques and individual projects. Students will be required to work proficiently in their sourcebooks and develop their ideas through course-related research.
Interdisciplinary Sculpture will explore visual, social and physical concepts of sculpture in relationship to idea development. Working on a more advanced level, students will have the ability to immerse themselves in a diverse selection of sculptural processes including construction or fabrication, carving, manipulation and casting. Students will expand on the range of materials and methods to include such as working with found objects, kinetics, installation and 4D applications. Contemporary issues related to sculpture will be explored through assigned readings, personal research, class discussion, blog postings, critiques and individual projects.
The Metalsmithing course introduces students to a variety of metalsmithing processes, suitable for further development in metals as well as applications in other media. Students will design and create a variety of three-dimensional functional and non-functional objects in metal and mixed media. Three- dimensional design and creative problem solving will be emphasized. In addition, students will be presented with historical and contemporary examples of metal and jewelry design.
Metals Studio will allow students to continue their investigation of metalsmithing processes and expand their skills and technical proficiency. As students gain metals experience, more advanced techniques will be introduced, such as enameling, raising, fabricating mechanisms and casting. Students will develop original designs into finished pieces using traditional and/or contemporary methods and materials. In addition, students will continue to research historical and contemporary examples of metal design, with an emphasis on developing a personal aesthetic.
Art History: 20th Century
This course is designed to provide students with an in-depth study of the history of art. The special topic of the "20th Century"; students will explore this period of time marked by the fast-paced changes that occurred. By focusing on specific areas of interest–Fauvism, Cubism, Dadaism, Abstract Expressionism, Post Modernism and the Influences of Technology on Art–students will gain an appreciation and understanding of 20th century art and its connection to culture, economics, politics and social issues.
Art History: Renaissance to Modernism
The Renaissance to Modernism Art History course will offer students a historical framework of architecture, painting, sculpture, and crafts. An exploration of Renaissance of Italy, Renaissance of the North, the Baroque Style, Neoclassicism, Romanticism and Realism will be emphasized. Students will gain an understanding the role of the visual arts in the development of western culture.
The Curatorial Practices course will examine the history and role of the curator in relationship to museums, galleries and artistic collaborations. Through case studies and hands on exhibition management, students will gain a broad understanding of this complex and exciting field. During the course of the semester, students will work collaboratively to curate an exhibition of their own.