Course Descriptions

http://www.stmarys-ca.edu/academics/schools/school-of-liberal-arts/departments-programs/art-and-art-history/course-descriptions.html


Studio Art

 

Lower Division Courses

10: Beginning Sculpture: Form and Concept
An introduction to specific 3 -dimensional design problems using basic sculptural materials such as cardboard, plaster, wood, clay and found materials. Students will study the myriad formal concerns that comprise sculpture: form, structure, negative and positive space, balance, symmetry, texture, weight, tension, proportion and scale. Each material will be reviewed for its relationship to longevity, weight, effectiveness, and meaning. Practical, sculpture-related drawing will also be introduced.Fee $100.

12: Beginning Design: Visual Literacy
As an increasing number of images and messages are delivered to us through the media, it has become crucial to understand how to decipher these images and more, to learn to create our own. The purpose of visual literacy is to construct a basic system for recognizing, making, and understanding art and other types of visual messages. In order to gain an understanding of some of the essential characteristics of visual expression, to gain literacy in this language, this class will examine basic 2 -dimensional design elements and techniques as well as the psychological implications of creative composition.Fee $100.

20: Beginning Painting
This fundamental course emphasizes traditional painting techniques and materials, focusing on composition, value, color, and surface for both abstract and realistic work. Students will be introduced to several painting mediums and painting-related drawing techniques in the form of problem-solving exercises. Exploration and discovery is emphasized over results. There will be slide presentations, museum and gallery visits, and critiques as necessary.Fee $100.

30: Beginning Drawing
This course is an introduction to the basic materials and techniques of drawing. Using still-lives, landscape, models, and the students own imagination, drawing exercises focus on line, space, contour, composition, value, proportion, and perspective. As students sharpen their ability to see and depict the world around them, we introduce more challenging issues of abstraction, content, and process.Fee $100.

40: Beginning Metal Work
This course is designed to introduce students with simple metal tool and techniques such as hot and cold metal forging, sheet metal forming and fastening, and an introduction to the use of simple hand machine tools. By semester's end, each student should be familiar with, and capable of using, all hand and power tools related to metal.Fee $100.

50: Digital Media
This introductory course investigates the digital editing tools, processes,
and concepts through which digital technology extends traditional fine
art practice. Students will develop digital imaging, video, and interactive
art projects using Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, and Flash. The
course will combine extensive software demonstrations, hands-on
exercises, theoretical and technical readings, discussion of a broad
range of examples of media art, and group critiques.

60: Beginning Ceramic Sculpture
This course is an investigation into various technical and conceptual issues related to ceramic sculpture. This beginning course trains students to visualize and interpret all types of forms and will ask them to explore a range of creative and technical problems particular to the ceramic idiom. Students will explore coil forms, handbuilding, extruding, mold making, as well as simple staining, painting, and decorating techniques. There will be guest lecturers, demonstrations, and visits to artists' studios Fee $100.

70: Printmaking
An introduction to the medium of printmaking, this class explores the process of monoprint, dry-point etching, linoleum and woodcut as well as other non-traditional techniques. The course also examines the use of tools techniques, and machinery used in printmaking for their application to the students' images and ideas.Fee $100.

Upper Division Courses

110: Advanced Sculpture: Material Culture
Since the use of collage in paintings by Pablo Picasso, and the revelation of ready-made" art objects by Marcel Duchamp, artists have been free to select and use almost anything as an art material. This course is for advanced students who want to expand their knowledge and application of non-traditional materials toward more complex and poetic expression. We explore a variety of permanent and ephemeral materials and methods. The emphasis will be on determining the appropriate material needed to reinforce the concept of the work and on problem solving the use of that material.Fee $100.

112: Advanced Design: Collage
Collage is design exploded. It combines all of the elements of 2 and 3 -dimensional design in a form free from the constraints of traditional technique. For contemporary artists, collage is not just a way of working, but a way of thinking. This course is intended to introduce students to the many concepts and techniques of the genre of collage and to begin to understand the pervasiveness of the technique in contemporary art practice. During the course of the semester, students will make several different types of collages including a 3 -dimensional sculptural assemblage and a short video piece.Fee $100.

120: Advanced Painting
Further study of painting methods in a variety of traditional and non-traditional materials and techniques. This course challenges students' comfort with their craft and emphasizes the development of personal issues in their work. To gain a better understanding of the state of the contemporary art scene, students are encouraged to keep current through readings, attending art lectures and exhibitions. During class, there will be slide presentations, museum and gallery visits, and critiques as necessary.Fee $100.

130: Advanced Drawing: Beyond Looking
Since the Renaissance, artists have looked for ways to depict the world around them in a more realistic way. In this century, some artists have sought another kind of artistic clarity, reaching into the subconscious to explore an uncharted, inner world. If drawing is visual thought, this course aims to expand thinking through the study and application of many graphic methods such as frottage, transfer, automatism, blind drawing, and collaboration and chance procedures.Fee $100.

140: Advanced Metal Work
Further exploration of metal tools and techniques as they relate to advanced sculptural practice Fee $100.

150: Experiments in New Media
This course explores experimental processes in media art production
using digital and traditional tools. We take a multidisciplinary approach
to investigating the history, theory, and practice of experimental media
art with an emphasis on the dialectic between personal expression and
public significance, between aesthetics and ethics, and between artwork
and its context of reception. Students will work individually and in
groups to produce projects with media ranging from photography, film
and video to net art to installation, text and sound art. The class will
consider mounting exhibitions on campus, online, and/or in the local
community. Fee $100.

160: Advanced Ceramic Sculpture
Clay is the prima materia of the arts. Dirt is the oldest and most basic material for making sculpture: terra cotta, fired ceramics, concrete, sand carving, etc. We will explore this ubiquitous material in its many forms (mud, sand, clay, concrete) paying particular attention to its unique plasticity and impermanence. Advanced Ceramic Sculpture will also look at the roots of the medium and study certain time-based and process-oriented artwork such as African mud sculptures, Tibetan sand painting, sculptural topiary, the work of Andy Goldsworthy, Walter DeMaria, Kathy Spence, James Croak, and many other sculptors of the 20th century. The class emphasizes idea and process and will be project-based, encouraging bold exploration of the medium to advance personal expression.Fee $100.

170: Multiple Narratives
This course investigates the concept of the multiple, both theoretically
and in art practice, as it emerges from mechanically and digitally
reproducible forms, such as photography, printmaking, film, video, and
interactive media. While the mechanical and digital reproducibility of art
apparently minimizes the expressive power of difference within any
series of multiples, the aim of this course will be to nudge multiplicity
into expressive and engaging directions beyond its mechanical roots.
Using digital and traditional processes, students will produce 2D, time-
based, recombinant, and interactive narratives aimed precisely at
challenging and expanding a limited notion of the multiple. Fee $100.

 

Art History

 

Lower Division Courses

1: Survey of World Art, Prehistory to the Gothic Era
This course is the first part of a 2 -part survey of world art. The class looks at visual art and architecture from the caves of North Africa to Chartres Cathedral in France. Students will study the diverse cultural highpoints which have illuminated the past and which continue to fuel contemporary cultural production.Fee $20.

2: Survey of World Art, Renaissance to the Nineteenth Century
This course is the second part of a 2 -part survey of world art. This class introduces students to the history of art from the early Renaissance to the late 19th Century. Paintings, sculpture, and architecture from diverse cultures will be presented in their historical, social, religious, and stylistic context. Fee $20.

25: Survey of Asian Art
This course surveys the architecture, painting, and sculpture of India, China, and Japan. Particular attention is given to technique, style, content, and the role of art in Asian society and culture.Fee $20.

Upper Division Courses

111: Philosophy of New Media Art
This course examines the historical, philosophical, and socio-political basis of contemporary new media art. We read theoretical and historical statements that articulate the concepts driving new media art production, coupled with studying examples of representative work, including photography, experimental film and video, installation and net art. Project assignments integrate a critical and creative exploration of concepts.

117: Practice of Art Criticism
This course introduces students to the history of critical writing about art. A broad sampling of twentieth-century texts from art historians, critics, philosophers, social scientists, and artists are brought together for discussion and reflection.Fee $20.

118: Art since 1930
This course focuses on the major stylistic movements in Europe and the United States from the Great depression to digital age. Topics covered include existentialism, the beat generation, pop art, politics and postmodernism, and art in cyberspace. Students are encouraged to develop an understanding of the trends and debates in contemporary art.Fee $20.

144 Issues in Ancient Art
This upper-division course explores diverse cultures in the ancient world. Topics, which vary from year to year, include the early history of Asia and the Pacific, Africa, Mesoamerica, and Europe. The connections between visual art, sacred architecture, and spirituality are emphasized.Fee $20.

145: Issues in Renaissance and Baroque Art
This course traces the development of Christian and secular themes in architecture, sculpture, and painting. Individual artists are considered in light of their influence on the history of art. Special emphasis is placed on the relationship between religion and visual art during this period.Fee $20.

165: History of American Art, From the Pueblo Cultures to the Abstract Expressionists
This course introduces students to the tradition of visual art in America. Students will be exposed to the diversity of artistic production as revealed in the ancient earthworks and cities of the Mississippian Cultures, colonial portraiture, post-war abstract painting and other visual art production.Fee $20.

166: The Artist in 20th Century Society This course explores the history of visual art, social reform, and twentieth-century culture. Special consideration is given to issues of class, gender, and race, when discussing modern visual art practice.Fee $20.

194: Special Topics in Art History
The topic of this course varies from semester to semester. Each course focuses on a different area of study within art history. Special emphasis is placed on the history of non-European art. May be repeated for credit as content varies.Fee $20.

 

Research and Independent Study

 

197: Special Study
An independent study or research course for students whose needs are not met by the regular course offerings of the department. Permission of the faculty member and department chairperson required.

199: Senior Special Study
As a capstone to their studies, seniors in both art history and studio art are required to work independently with a departmental faculty member in order to complete a thesis or final project which displays their ability to think, read, and write about art as well as create works of art which express their own beliefs and interests. This course is limited to seniors in the major. Permission of the faculty member and department chairperson required.

* Offered in alternate years.
** Offered at least once in a 3-year period.
# Does not fulfill an Area requirement.

 

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Mailing Address

Saint Mary's College of California
1928 Saint Mary's Road
Moraga, CA 94575
(925) 631-4000
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