Visual Arts Courses

Visual Arts

Poetry in the Political & Sexual Revolution of the 1960s & 70s

FRS 102 · Spring 2021

FRS 102 · Tuesdays, 1:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: Alex Dimitrov

What does artistic production look like during a time of cultural unrest? How did America’s poets help shape the political landscape of the American 60s and 70s, two decades that saw the rise of the Black Panthers, “Flower Power,” psychedelia, and Vietnam War protests? Through reading poetry, studying films like Easy Rider, and engaging with the music of the times (Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors) we will think about art’s ability to move the cultural needle and not merely reflect the times but pose important questions about race, gender, class, sexuality, and identity at large.

Representation in Documentary Filmmaking

FRS 138 · Spring 2021

FRS 138 · Tuesdays, 7:30 - 10:20 PM

Instructors: Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt

Documentary filmmakers engage with the world by representing it in a myriad of subjective ways. This course will focus on cross-cultural issues surrounding representation in documentary filmmaking, both in front of and behind the camera. Through film production, screenings, texts, and discussions, this course will explore the central question of “who has the right tell whose story, and why?” Each student will produce, direct, shoot, and edit two 3-5 minute documentary films.

Drawing Data

FRS 174 · Spring 2021

FRS 174 · Tuesdays + Thursdays, 1:30 - 2:50 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 into evolving multimedia archives, iterating on various modes of collection and communication. Some of the topics covered include: Personal and Local Data, Documentary & Observational Drawing, Sound & Sensory Visualization, Data Collection, Data-Driven Storytelling, and Archival Research and Design.

Drawing I

VIS 202 / ARC 202 · Spring 2021

Multiple sections offered

Instructors: Eve Aschheim

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 204 / ARC 328 · Spring 2021

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.

Feminist Technoscience: Art, Technology, & Gender

VIS 206 · Spring 2021

U01 · Tuesdays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Ani Liu

How does scientific research produce and reinforce concepts of gender? How is sexism propagated through technological media? This course investigates how scientific and technological media shape culture and society, particularly through the lens of gender and sexuality. Through interdisciplinary art making, students will use various technological media to reflect on the social, political, and ethical aspects of technoscientific feminism. Students will develop skills in 3d modeling, rendering, augmented reality, Illustrator, and Photoshop, creating art works in critical social discourse and gender theory.

Analog Photography

VIS 212 · Spring 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. Students will receive a kit that will contain the equipment and materials for analog image making, beginning with cyanotype printing and culminating with large format film exposure and processing.

Digital Photography

VIS 213 · Spring 2021

Multiple sections offered

Instructors: Deana Lawson · 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.

Introduction to Set and Costume Design

THR 213 / MTD 213 / VIS 210 · Spring 2021

C01 · Mondays, 1:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: Rachel Hauck · Sarita Fellows

This course introduces students to set and costume design for performance, exploring theater as a visual medium. Students will develop their ability to think about the physical environment (including clothing) as key components of story-telling and our understanding of human experience. Students will expand their vocabulary for discussing the visual world and work on their collaborative skills.

Graphic Design: Image

VIS 218 · Spring 2021

U01 · Mondays, 1:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: Laurel Schwulst

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 · Spring 2021

S01 — Tim Szetela · Wednesdays, 1:30 - 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 222 · Spring 2021

Multiple sections offered

Instructors: Amy Yao · 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 · Spring 2021

U01 · Fridays, 1:30 - 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.

Video Installation

VIS 230 · Spring 2021

U01 · Thursdays, 1:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: Glen Fogel

This studio course investigates video installation as a contemporary art form that extends the conversation of video art beyond the frame and into live, site-specific multi-channel environments.

Methods of Color Photography

VIS 231 · Spring 2021

U01 - Deana Lawson · Mondays, 1:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: Deana Lawson

This course takes an exciting approach to color photography using methods of cameraless and lens based analog photography. We will experiment with Anthotypes, Lumens, Chlorophyll printing, and Polaroids. Several of the materials needed for this course can be found in your backyard or kitchen cabinet!

Narrative Filmmaking I

VIS 265 · Spring 2021

L01 · Wednesdays, 1:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: Charlotte Glynn

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.

Body and Object: Making Art that is both Sculpture and Dance

VIS 300 / DAN 301 · Spring 2021

U01 · Mondays, 1:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: Martha Friedman · Susan Marshall

Students in VIS300/DAN301 will create sculptures that relate directly to the body and compel performance, interaction, and movement. Students will also create dances that are informed by garments, portable objects, and props. Works will be designed for unconventional spaces, challenge viewer/performer/object relationships, augment and constrain the body, and trace the body's actions and form. The class will consider how context informs perceptions of the borders between performance, bodies, and objects. A lecture series of prominent choreographers and artists will accompany the course. This studio course is open enrollment.

Printmaking I

VIS 309 · Spring 2021

C01 - Daniel Heyman · Fridays, 1:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: Daniel Heyman

In an increasingly digital world, this course promotes the hand-made image, teaching students to cut blocks, fashion stencils, plan and execute color layers all in pursuit of the development of subject matter. Block and stencil printmaking can be done anywhere - non-toxically - while still producing strong expressive images.

Fascism in Italian Cinema

ITA 312 / VIS 445 · Spring 2021

Multiple sections offered

Instructors: Gaetana Marrone-Puglia

This course, conducted in English, is a study of Fascism through selected films from World War II to the present. The approach is interdisciplinary and combines the analysis of historical themes with an in-depth cinematic reading of the films.

Writing Near Art/Art Near Writing

VIS 323 / CWR 323 / ENG 232 / JRN 323 · Spring 2021

C01 · Fridays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Rindon Johnson

What we'll be writing together won't quite be art criticism and it won't quite be traditional historical writing either, what we'll be writing together is something more akin to poetry, fiction, art criticism and theory fused into a multivalent mass. Keeping in mind that language can hold many things inside of itself, we'll use somatic and idiosyncratic techniques as a lens, reading a range of poets, theorists, critics, writers and artists who are all thinking with art while writing about bodies, subjectivity, landscape, and the inimitable forms that emerge from the studio.

Introduction to Screenwriting: Writing for a Global Audience

CWR 349 / VIS 349 · Spring 2021

C01 · Wednesdays, 1:30-3:50 PM

Instructors: Christina Lazaridi

How can screenwriters prepare for the evolving challenges of our global media world? What types of content, as well as form, will emerging technologies make possible? Do fields like neuroscience help us understand the universal principals behind screenwriting and do tech advances that alter the distance between audience and creator, man and machine, also influence content of our stories?

Performance as Art

VIS 354 / DAN 354 / THR 354 · Spring 2021

U01 · Mondays, 1:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: Colleen Asper

This studio class will explore a broad range of approaches to art-based performance: from instruction pieces and happenings, to the body as language and gesture, to performance as a form of archiving

Documentary Filmmaking II

VIS 363 · Spring 2021

C01 · Tuesdays, 1:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: Su Friedrich

What does it take to make a great documentary film? How does subject matter influence decisions about camera, lighting, sound and editing? This class will take a deep dive into those questions by screening, discussing and writing short analyses of various films.

Advanced Screenwriting: Writing for Television

CWR 405 / VIS 405 · Spring 2021

C01 · Mondays, 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, and complete the first draft of the pilot episode and season arcs by end of semester.

Advanced Questions in Photography

VIS 411 · Spring 2021

C01 · Wednesdays, 1:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: James Welling

Advanced Questions in Photography will examine ways in which lens-based media can interrogate representation, class, gender and race. The class will look artists of the 1960's through 1990's such as Eleanor Antin, Adrian Piper, Douglas Huebler, Martha Rosler, Barbara Kruger, Carrie Mae Weems, Felix Gonzales Torres, Lyle Ashton Harris and more recent artists Trevor Paglen, Hank Willis Thomas, Jason Lazarus, Walead Beshty and Hito Steyerl.

Advanced Graphic Design

VIS 415 · Spring 2021

U01 · Tuesdays, 1:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: David Reinfurt

This studio course builds on the skills and concepts of the 200-level Graphic Design classes. VIS 415 is structured around three studio assignments that connect graphic design to other bodies of knowledge, aesthetic experience, and scholarship. The class always takes a local concept or event as the impetus for investigations. Studio work is supplemented by critiques, readings and lectures. Students will refine their approaches to information design and visual problem solving, and to decoding and producing graphic design in print and electronic media.

Spring Film Seminar

VIS 419 · Spring 2021

S01 · Mondays, 7:30 - 10:20 PM

Instructors: Su Friedrich

This class concentrates on the editing process. Students will re-edit samples from narrative and documentary films and analyze the results. We will also critique ongoing edits of your own thesis films.

Sculpture II

VIS 421 · Spring 2021

U01 · Wednesdays, 1:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: Amy Yao

This sculpture class will engage contemporary approaches to the figure with an emphasis on the figure as body. Students will take a multivalent approach to the historical precedents from which current representations have emerged and explore the limits of what constitutes the body and figuration in contemporary sculpture through the process of class discussions and making sculpture.

Avant-Gardism & (Anti) Capitalism

ART 494 / VIS 494 / ECS 494 · Spring 2021

S01 · Mondays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: AnnMarie Perl · Hal Foster

Modern art is coeval with the modern market. This seminar examines key moments in this complicated relationship. Under what conditions does an artistic avant-garde emerge? In what ways does it advance the interests of capital? In what ways does it challenge them? How do artistic forms change vis-à-vis transformations in economic modes of production and consumption? These and other questions will be probed with test cases drawn from Impressionist painting, modern architecture, mass culture, Dada, Pop, Minimalism, and postmodernist art.

Visualizing the Battle Cry

ATL 497 / AAS 497 / VIS 497 · Spring 2021

C01 · Fridays, 7:30-10:20 PM

Instructors: Imani Perry · Mario Moore

Inspired by the experience of Black Civil War soldiers, the visual aesthetics of 19th century posters, and contemporary hip-hop, the award-winning writer and historian Imani Perry and the visual artist Mario Moore will collaborate on a groundbreaking new project. Using hip-hop to reimagine the soundscape of battle in the mid-1800s, Moore and Perry will negotiate both the historical record and the idea of what might have been. Students will work alongside Moore and Perry in drawing on language, visual prints and audio to make connections between the 19th century and our own revolutionary moment.