Some recent and current courses typical of the department's offerings:
History Of Collage
This seminar examines how collage practices have engaged society, culture, and politics throughout the 20th and 21st century, from the scrapbook to the mash-up. Special attention is paid to how collage, montage, and assemblage allow artists and authors to express the gaps in official narratives, tell unwritten histories, and forge new conceptions of identity and community. As we investigate the structure of collage, this course will examine its varied artistic and vernacular uses in different historical and cultural contexts. Our study, therefore, is organized by select cases in which collage practices has engaged critical social issues (such as race, class, gender, sexuality, and nationality) in order to offer new forms of political resistance and strategies for being and belonging in the world. The selected readings pose critical questions and take experimental stances that will be rigorously analyzed in seminar discussion, written work, and several creative projects. Creative and collaborative work will be prioritized in this course, making the class itself a kind of multi-vocal assemblage.
Spaces: Art in Context
Have you ever looked at the art in a gallery and skeptically wondered, “Why do people say this stuff is art?” Well, the answer is almost always “context:” a combination of factors including who made it, when it was produced, and where it’s exhibited, plus many more. In this course students produce artworks fit for and with an understanding of specific contexts. Projects will delve into concepts of public art, installation art, readymades, and digital representation. Materially, this course has a foundation in 3D design and sculpture, but it is interdisciplinary and students will be encouraged to experiment with unfamiliar materials. Students will be tasked with creating several works of art, each of which will be assessed on contextual awareness, personal artistic merit, and craftsmanship. This assessment will take the form of in-class group critiques in tandem with individual per-project evaluation by the professor. Prereq: ARTS 170 Intro to Sculpture (or other introductory art course, pending professor’s approval)
An intermediate photography course, designed for students who have learned the fundamentals of film photography, and are interested in exploring creative expression within a visual framework. The course will introduce the basic aesthetic and technical theories and techniques of digital photography. Students will be trained in DSLR camera controls, memory cards, file formats, white balance, studio lighting, scanners, large format printing and image editing software. Technical training will support creating conceptually centered projects within a studio art environment. Students will be expected to become proficient in the basics of digital photography, while also thinking critically about the computer as a tool for making art. Developing a personal vision will be one of our main goals for the semester.
Assignments will cover some of the following: basic training in color management (including light and time of day experiments); portraiture in the lighting studio; text and image combinations within a visual language; panoramas and the landscape; the scanner as a camera; triptychs and image cohesion; the photo-tableau; and the composite image.
Finally, students will also be introduced to the history of digital imaging within the field of photography, as well as the early origins of montage and negative compilation from the late 1800’s. Like any field, and photography is no exception, technical advancements do not happen in a vacuum. These discussions will invite questions about photography’s inherent relationship to notions of the real.