Visual Arts Courses

Visual Arts

Introduction to Art Making

LCA 101 · Fall 2021

C01 · Mondays and Wednesdays, 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM

Instructors: Colleen Asper · Mark Doten · Ruth Ochs · Shariffa Ali · Stacy Wolf · Olivier Tarpaga · Tess James

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.

First Year Painting Studio Seminar

FRS 173 · Fall 2021

S01 · Wednesdays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Pam Lins

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.

Drawing Data

FRS 174 · Fall 2021

S01 · Tuesdays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Tim Szetela

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.

Performance and Photography

FRS 175 · Fall 2021

S01 · Tuesdays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Jennifer Calivas

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?

Drawing I

VIS 201 / ARC 201 · Fall 2021

Multiple sections offered

Instructors: Eve Aschheim · Troy Michie

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.

Painting I

VIS 203 / ARC 327 · Fall 2021

U01 · Tuesdays, 12:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: Colleen Asper

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.

Analog Photography

VIS 211 · Fall 2021

C01 · Tuesdays, 1:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: Jeff Whetstone

An introduction to the processes of photography through a series of problems directed toward lens projection, the handling of light-sensitive material, and camera operation. The processes will begin with cyanotypes and culminate with large format film exposure and processing, and printing.

Digital Photography

VIS 213 · Fall 2021

C01 - Jeff Whetstone · Wednesdays, 1:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: Jeff Whetstone

This studio course introduces students to the aesthetic and theoretical implications of digital photography. Emphasis will be on gaining competency with digital equipment and editing techniques so that students can learn to express themselves and their ideas through the medium.

Graphic Design: Typography

VIS 215 / CWR 215 · Fall 2021

U01 · Mondays, 12:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: David Reinfurt

This studio course introduces students to graphic design with a particular emphasis on typography. Students learn typographic history through lectures that highlight major shifts in print technologies.

Graphic Design: Visual Form

VIS 216 · Fall 2021

C01 · Tuesdays, 12:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: David Reinfurt

This course introduces students to techniques for decoding and creating graphic messages in a variety of media, and delves into issues related to visual literacy through the hands-on making and analysis of graphic form.

Graphic Design: Image

VIS 218 · Fall 2021

U01 · Mondays, 12:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: Laura Coombs

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.

Digital Animation

VIS 220 · Fall 2021

Multiple sections offered

Instructors: Tim Szetela

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.

Sculpture I

VIS 221 · Fall 2021

Multiple sections offered

Instructors: Joe Scanlan · Kenneth Tam

This class will be a studio introduction to sculpture, with particular emphasis on the study of how form, space, and a wide variety of materials and processes influence the visual properties of sculpture and the making of meaning.


VIS 226 / MUS 228 · Fall 2021

U01 · Thursdays, 12:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: Jess Rowland

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.

Fabric Logics: Textiles as Sculpture

VIS 229 · Fall 2021

U01 · Tuesdays, 12:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: MJ Daines

This class experiments with 3D fabric construction, weaving, knitting, knotting and more as a means for making sculpture.

Documentary Filmmaking I

VIS 263 · Fall 2021

C01 · Tuesdays, 1:30-4:20 PM and 7:30-9:40 PM

Instructors: Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt

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 I

VIS 265 · Fall 2021

L01 · Wednesdays, 7:30 - 9:40 PM and Thursdays, 1:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: Moon Molson

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.

Intermediate Photography

VIS 313 · Fall 2021

C01 · Wednesdays, 1:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: James Welling

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.

Lighting Design

THR 318 / MTD 318 / VIS 318 · Fall 2021

C01 · Tuesdays, 1:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: Jane Cox

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.

Ceramic Sculpture

VIS 331 · Fall 2021

U01 · Fridays, 12:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: Adam Welch

This course is course designed for students interested in learning the fundamentals of working with clay.

Narrative Filmmaking II

VIS 365 · Fall 2021

L01 · Wednesdays, 12:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: Moon Molson

An intermediate exploration of narrative and avant-garde narrative film production through the creation of hands-on digital video exercises, short film screenings, critical readings, and group critiques.

Curating Within Obscurity: Research as Exhibition Structure and Form

VIS 373 / ART 372 / AAS 398 / GSS 440 · Fall 2021

S01 · Mondays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Tiona Nekkia McClodden

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.

Artist and Studio

VIS 392 / ART 392 · Fall 2021

C01 · Tuesdays, 7:30 - 10:20 PM

Instructors: Martha Friedman

The course addresses current issues in painting, drawing, sculpture, film, video, photography, performance and installation. It includes readings and discussions of current contemporary art topics, a visiting artist lecture series, critiques of students' work, and an artist book project.

Theatrical Design Studio

THR 400 / MTD 400 / VIS 400 · Fall 2021

C01 · Fridays, 12:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: Jane Cox · Lawrence Moten · Sarita Fellows · Tess James

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.

Advanced Screenwriting: Writing for Television

CWR 405 / VIS 405 · Fall 2021

C01 · Thursdays, 1:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: Susanna Styron

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.

Exhibition Issues and Methods

VIS 416 · Fall 2021

S01 · Tuesdays, 7:30 - 10:20 PM

Instructors: Pam Lins

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.

Extraordinary Processes

VIS 418 / CEE 418 · Fall 2021

U01 · Wednesdays, 12:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Joe Scanlan · Sigrid Adriaenssens

This year, students will design, build, and critically analyze three common objects — a Cushion, a Prosthetic, and a Light Fixture — each of which will be informed by the diverse structural properties of a single material: ash wood.

Introduction to Screenwriting: Adaptation

CWR 448 / VIS 448 · Fall 2021

C01 · Wednesdays, 1:30 - 3:50 PM

Instructors: Christina Lazaridi

This course will introduce students to screenwriting adaptation techniques, focusing primarily on the challenges of adapting “true stories” pulled from various non-fiction sources.

Seminar in Modernist Art & Theory: Alienation in Modern Art & Literature

ART 455 / VIS 455 / ECS 456 · Fall 2021

S01 · Mondays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Hal Foster

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.