4.301 | Spring 2007 | Undergraduate

Introduction to the Visual Arts


Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 3 hours / session

Course Description

This class will introduce students to a variety of contemporary art practices and ideas. The class will be begin with a brief overview of ‘visual language’ by looking at a variety of artworks and discussing basic concepts revolving around artistic practice. The class will work in video, sculpture and in public space. The class will be using puppetry to explore such as ideas the real/unreal, body/identity, performance, intervention and collaboration. Projects evolve through stages of conceptual and material development to final presentation and critical discussion. Lectures, visiting artist presentations and readings supplement studio practice, providing an index to the historical and cultural forces that affect both the development of an artistic practice and the reception of the work of art.

The course meets twice a week for 3 hours each session for a total of 12 units of credit. A minimum of six hours per week outside class work is expected. There will be 3 studio projects that must be completed for the course. You are required to prepare a written 1 page statement for each project. Readings are assigned to provide a historical and theoretical framework for each studio project.


Assessment and critique of your studio projects will take place through:

  • Individual conferences with professor and TA (in class or during office hours)
  • In-class work-in-progress reviews
  • A final critique where comments from the previous assessments will figure into a more complete/cohesive final project


Grading will be based on: concept (25%), execution of individual projects (25%), class participation (25%) and demonstrated growth over the course of the semester (25%). Completion of all projects is required for a passing grade, as is regular attendance. Unexcused absences will automatically lower a grade by 1/2 a letter grade.

Concept of individual projects 25%
Execution of individual projects 25%
Class participation 25%
Demonstrated growth over the course of the semester 25%


You are responsible for obtaining most of your own materials. The bulk of the lab fee covers printing costs for handouts and certain basic materials which the program will buy in bulk, and which are available to everyone (for example, plaster and some molding compounds) as well as upkeep of shop tools.

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2007
Learning Resource Types
Lecture Videos
Image Gallery
Projects with Examples