How do artists make art? How do we evaluate it? In this course, students of all levels get to experience firsthand the particular challenges and rewards of art making through practical engagement with five fields — creative writing, visual art, theater, dance, and music — under the guidance of professionals.
Visual Arts Courses
This studio class is about painting and practice. Painting has such a long and complicated history that is now transforming and including adjacent events, perspectives, and artists—that there is no real place to start. It has become professional and is an academic area of study. That said—anyone can use a paintbrush somehow and make a painting.
Using an array of site-specific, creative research methods, students will explore their local environments (inside and out) searching for data and the patterns, stories, and observations that follow. They will catalog and document their findings in evolving multimedia archives, iterating on various modes of collection and communication.
This class will be a hands-on investigation into performance and photography through making self-portraits. What does it mean to photograph yourself? Is it an act of self-exploration, narcissism, self-love, representational justice, theatre, performance? What are the possibilities and limitations of making art in this way? What can our own bodies teach us if we start to pay attention?
The great thing about drawing is you can do it anywhere! This course approaches drawing as a way of thinking and seeing. We'll introduce basic techniques while also encouraging experimentation, with a focus on both drawing from life and drawing as an expressive act. Students will be introduced to the basics of line, shading, proportion, composition, texture and gesture.
An introduction to the materials and methods of painting, addressing form and light, color and its interaction, composition, scale, texture and gesture. Students will experiment with subject matter including still life, landscape, architecture, self-portraiture and abstraction, while painting from a variety of sources: life, sketches, maquettes, collages, photographs and imagination.
This studio course engages students in the decoding of and formal experimentation with the image as a two-dimensional surface. Through projects, readings, and discussions, students take a hands-on approach to making with an array of technologies (the camera, video camera, computer, solar printing, web publishing) and forms (billboard, symbol, screensaver, book) to address the most basic principles of design, such as visual metaphor, composition, sequence, hierarchy, and scale.
This studio production class will engage in a variety of timed-based composition, visualization, and storytelling techniques. Students will learn foundational methods of 2D animation, acquire a working knowledge of digital animation software and technology, and explore the connective space between sound, image, and motion possible in animated film.
In this course, students will reconsider sound as material through projects exploring physical technologies of sound-making along with listening and viewings of related arts and artists, readings and writings in theories of sound, new media, and phenomenology. This class offers a hybrid experience-an engagement with art-making and seminar, reconsidering our relationship to the body, physical material, and sound embodied in the world.
In the real world, what relationships have the necessary friction to generate compelling films? Documentary Filmmaking I will introduce you to the art, craft and theory behind attempts to answer this question. Through productions, readings, screenings, and discussions, you'll take your first steps into the world of non-fiction filmmaking. You will analyze documentary filmmaking as an aesthetic practice and a means of social discourse. Further, as films are often vessels for their directors, preoccupations, the course will push you to examine the formal, social and political concerns that animate your life during these turbulent times.
Narrative Filmmaking 1 is a hands-on production class designed for students from all academic backgrounds to learn about the art of video production and develop their creative voices using cellphones! The course will cover technical aspects of making films, including shot language, sound recording, and editing, and will explore what it means to make images at this critical moment of time.
This course will examine photography's constant negotiation of evolving technologies. Students shoot black and white and color film and scan and print it digitally to broaden their photographic strategies, their technical skills, and their understanding of the medium of photography. A range of tools will be introduced, including analogue film development, scanning negatives, Photoshop processing, and inkjet printing.
An introduction to the art and craft of lighting design for the stage and an exploration of light as a medium for expression. Students will develop an ability to observe lighting in the world and on the stage; to learn to make lighting choices based on text, space, research, and their own responses; to practice being creative, responsive and communicative under pressure and in company; to prepare well to create under pressure using the designer's visual toolbox; and to play well with others-working creatively and communicating with directors, writers, performers, fellow designers, the crew and others.
How can posthumous research on a curatorial subject influence the structure and form of an exhibition or a new conceptual artwork? This course retraces the steps taken to produce McClodden's 2015-2019 artistic and curatorial work centering the lives of three Black gay men—poet Essex Hemphill, writer/poet Brad Johnson, and composer Julius Eastman—in order to examine key concepts central to research-based practice. Students will be expected to produce a research/exhibition study of an artist whom they feel has been obscured posthumously.
This course offers an exploration of visual storytelling, combined with a grounding in the practical, communicative, collaborative and anti-racist skills necessary to create physical environments for live theater making. Students are mentored as designers, directors or creators (often in teams) on realized projects for the theater program season.
This advanced screenwriting workshop will introduce students to the fundamental elements of developing and writing a TV series in the current "golden age of television." Students will watch television pilots, read pilot episodes, and engage in in-depth discussion about story, series engine, character, structure, tone and season arcs. Each student will formulate and pitch an original series idea, including season arcs, and complete most or all of the pilot episode by end of semester.
The structure of Senior Issues and Exhibition Methods is to create a conversation and vision for, and in regards to and around your Senior Thesis. The nature of the class is somewhat informal and conversational, with the majority of class time being for student studio presentations and visiting artists lectures. There are two projects; a proposition presentation and a “handmade” poster project which will be virtual this year.
Although "alienation" might seem passé as a concept, modern art and literature were long steeped in this condition. This seminar will explore its principal expressions by its primary voices—artists, writers, and philosophers—from Baudelaire, Marx, and Manet through Rimbaud, Nietzsche, and Gauguin, to Existentialist philosophy and outsider art, and on to "Black Dada" today. Among our themes will be the underground, spleen, dandyism, detachment, primitivism, art brut, absurdity, and objectification.