Visual Arts Courses

Visual Arts

Introduction to Art Making

LCA 101 · Fall 2022

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

Instructors: Colleen Asper · Chesney Snow · Mark Doten · Ruth Ochs · 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.

Looking Lab: Experiments in Visual Thinking and Thinking about Visuals

ART 106 / VIS 106 / ENT 106 · Fall 2022

C01 - Lucy Partman · Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:00-4:20 PM

Instructors: Staff

It can be remarkably easy to take the process of looking for granted. Each day, humans contend with an onslaught of visual information. Education primarily focuses on teaching people how to read, write, and deal with numbers. But what about learning how to look closely and critically at images, at the world around us, and at ourselves? In this transdisciplinary course, we will question common assumptions and our own about looking; interrogate the anatomy and physiology of vision; develop our looking muscles; practice visual problem-solving strategies; and together design new tools to help people engage with the visual world.

dot dot dash — Exercises in Mark Making

FRS 124 · Fall 2022

S01 · Tuesdays, 7:30-10:20 PM

Instructors: MJ Daines

This course explores the fundamentals of drawing through process-based mark making on paper and fabric, building images through repetitive actions, line by line, color by color. A range of techniques such as hand and machine sewing, embroidery, and resist dyeing techniques such as stamping, stitching and batik will be explored to build a drawing vocabulary through accumulation.

Drawing Data

FRS 174 · Fall 2022

S01 · Tuesdays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Tim Szetela

Using an array of creative research methods, students will explore their environments, searching for data and identifying connective patterns, stories, and observations. They will collect and catalog their findings in evolving digital archives, iterating on modes of communication and techniques of design.

Drawing I

VIS 201 / ARC 201 · Fall 2022

Multiple sections offered

Instructors: Lex Brown · 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.

Painting I

VIS 203 / ARC 327 · Fall 2022

Multiple sections offered

Instructors: Colleen Asper · Pam Lins

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 2022

C01 · Tuesdays, 12:30 - 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.

Digital Photography

VIS 213 · Fall 2022

C01 · 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 2022

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 2022

U01 · 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 2022

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 2022

S01 · Wednesdays, 12:30-4:20 PM

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 2022

Multiple sections offered

Instructors: Joe Scanlan · Martha Friedman

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.

Fabric Logics: Textiles as Sculpture

VIS 229 · Fall 2022

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 2022

Multiple sections offered

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 2022

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

Instructors: Moon Molson

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

Intermediate Photography

VIS 313 · Fall 2022

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.

Words as Objects

VIS 321 / CWR 321 · Fall 2022

C01 · Thursdays, 12:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: Joe Scanlan

This course will explore ways that language can take on material properties and how objects can have syntax and be “read.” Through studio assignments, readings, and discussions, students will investigate the idea of language as a tangible material that can be sliced, bent, inserted, reproduced, embedded, and scattered.

Ceramic Sculpture

VIS 331 · Fall 2022

U01 · Fridays, 12:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: Jennie Jieun Lee

This course is designed for students who are interested in learning the fundamentals of working with clay. A wide variety of hand-building will be taught, enabling students to make utilitarian vessels as well as sculptural forms.

Photography of Violence and the Violence of Photography

ART 338 / VIS 338 · Fall 2022

C01 - Katherine A. Bussard · Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM

Instructors: Staff

Photography and violence have been entwined for as long as there have been photos. These images pose questions about the past and present: What are the ethics of global representations of war, so-called natural disasters, and other atrocities? How have violent pictures particularly shaped US culture? What does it mean to bear witness through photographs? Grounded in visual analysis of complex and disturbing images such as photographs of enslaved people and photographs of victims of the Holocaust, this class will engage in rigorous conversations about the meaning, circulation, and power of photos.

Art Archives in Latin America

LAS 339 / VIS 329 / ART 336 · Fall 2022

L01 · Mondays and Wednesdays, 3:00-4:20 PM

Instructors: Staff

This course, taught by Visiting Fellow Agustin Diez Fischer, aims to help students elaborate a critical and historical perspective on transformations, taking Latin American art as its case of study. This course is developed for students interested in the Latin American region including those focusing on art history, literature, politics, and students from additional fields interested in pursuing comparative perspectives to conduct their research.

Narrative Filmmaking II

VIS 365 · Fall 2022

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.

The Hidden History of Hollywood – Research Film Studio

CHV 385 / VIS 385 / AAS 385 · Fall 2022

Multiple sections offered

Instructors: Staff

This course surveys a hidden canon of Afro-American film while also uncovers the roots of representational injustice in Hollywood and the secret, but cardinal role Woodrow Wilson played in the production and distribution of Griffith's "The Birth of a Nation" that led to the rebirth of the KKK. Wilson's policy of segregation was adapted by Hollywood as a self-censoring industry regulation of representation. Black people could only appear on screen as subservient and marginal characters, never as equals, partners or leaders. This industry code, Wilson's legacy, has become second nature to Hollywood.

Films about the Theater

THR 391 / COM 391 / VIS 391 · Fall 2022

S01 · Mondays and Wednesdays, 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM

Instructors: Michael Cadden

Some of the best movies ever made focus on the how and why of theatermaking. This course will focus on five classics of Global Cinema that deploy filmic means to explore how theaters around the world have wrestled with artistic, existential, moral, cultural, and professional issues equally central to any serious consideration of moviemaking.

Artist and Studio

VIS 392 / ART 392 · Fall 2022

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 2022

C01 · Fridays, 12:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: 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. Individualized class plans allow students to design for realized productions, to imagine physical environments for un-realized productions, or to explore contemporary visualization techniques, depending on their area of interest, experience and skill level.

Advanced Screenwriting: Writing for Television

CWR 405 / VIS 405 · Fall 2022

C01 · Thursdays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Susanna Styron

This workshop class 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 discussions about story, series engine, season arcs, character, structure, tone and dialogue, which will be applied to their work.

Drawing II

VIS 407 · Fall 2022

U01 · Wednesdays, 12:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: Troy Michie

This course focuses on the development of various approaches in observational drawing from the human figure.

Exhibition Issues and Methods

VIS 416 · Fall 2022

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.

Counterworlds: Innovation and Rupture in Communities of Artistic Practice

HUM 434 / VIS 434 / ECS 434 / ART 404 · Fall 2022

S01 · Thursdays, 7:30-10:20 PM

Instructors: Staff

Co-taught with Brigid Doherty and renowned artist Josephine Meckseper, this seminar will explore the dynamics of creative collaboration through case studies of utopian communities of artistic practice in 20-c. Europe and the US (Worpswede, Bauhaus, Black Mountain) and the architecture of modern cities planned and imagined.

Introduction to Screenwriting: Adaptation

CWR 448 / VIS 448 · Fall 2022

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.