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Spring 2022 Art Courses



This page features a selection of studio art courses being offered in spring 2022. Offerings are subject to change; please visit WUCRSL for the latest updates and course registration.


Photography: Art Practice (Documentary Photography in the 21st Century)


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This praxis-based course explores the evolution of documentary practice in photography from the 1930s until the present day. Lectures, readings, and film screenings will introduce students to the history, problems, and promises of documentary photography, as conceived by photographers, critics, and art historians. Studio and critique sessions will assist students in developing a personal documentary project and attaining new visual strategies for engaging a photographic form that originates from the entanglements of life. The course will also discuss documentary photo books, and strategies for editing a documentary series for book production. Students will have the option of producing a photobook.

Faculty: Meghan Kirkwood


Time-Based Media: Animation for Buildings


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In this art production course, students will create projection-mapped animations that will transform three-dimensional structures such as building exteriors and installation spaces. Through lectures, readings, and discussion, students will be introduced to fundamental considerations that inform projection mapping-based creative work such as site-specificity and the impact of advertising on the perception of public space. This course will also explore technical skills for using popular 2D animation and projection mapping software. 

Course number: F20 ART 530M
Faculty: Tim Portlock


Sophomore Studio Art: Research Methods


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In this course, students explore what research-based studio practices are. How do artists conduct research? What research methods can be adopted by artists to generate and gather ideas? Can methods come from disciplines outside the arts, and how is research embedded in an artwork? This course proposes research-based studio practices as a means for artists to extend their ideas. It is a praxis course that acts as both a query into the research methodologies used by contemporary artists and a laboratory for students to integrate their studio-based practices with coursework in other disciplines. This class recognizes that there is no single standard for what constitutes research-based practice and, accordingly, it will explore both established and unconventional strategies for creating artworks. Students will use case studies of artists who use research as a basis of their studio practice and generate a semester-long, individual project that mines the information, methods, techniques, or discoveries of another discipline they have engaged at Washington University. Consequently, students should concurrently be enrolled in a course in another discipline on campus.

Course number: F20 ART 294A
Faculty: Patricia Olynyk


Print Installation, Multiples, and Site Specificity


This course explores a range of basic techniques—silkscreen, block printing, and risograph, for example—to create immersive installations. Students will orient their site-sensitive investigations to place through history, context, and materials. Conventional and unconventional installation spaces will be used, both on campus and off, to experiment. The course will introduce planning techniques and approaches to site analysis. Students will be encouraged to incorporate other media within their installations, espe­cially as they relate to other courses they are currently taking within or outside of studio art. Students are encouraged to work at a level suited to their individual technical skills and conceptual interests. This class counts toward the Minor in Art. No prerequisites.

Course number: F20 ART 316U
Faculty: Sage Dawson


Printmaking for Architecture and Art Students


This course will focus on monotype mixed media printmaking using both a press and digital print processes. The class is designed to be responsive to current issues, with a focus on contemporary printmaking practices and various ideas about dissemination in the age of social media. The class will include an examination of historical examples of diverse global practices; prints made in periods of uncertainty, disruption, war, and disaster; and speculative projects by architects such as Superstudio, Zaha Hadid Architects, and Archigram. Students will be expected to create a series of work with a conceptual framework developing a personal visual language. No prerequisites.

Course number: F20 ART 316T
Faculty: Carmon Colangelo


Book Binding


This class will serve as an introduction to the book as artifact of material culture. A variety of traditional and non-traditional book structures will be explored. Students will learn from historical approaches to constructing the codex form, including the single signature pamphlet, the multi-signature case binding, the coptic, and the medieval long stitch. Students will learn Japanese binding and its many variations. Several contemporary variations will be introduced, including the tunnel, the flag book, the accordion, and the carousel. Students will explore the visual book using found imagery and photocopy transfers, and will produce a variety of decorated papers to be used in their bindings.

Course number: F20 ART 3714 (Same as F20 1714, 2714, 4714; juniors (only) register for F20 3714).
Faculty: Michael Powell


Printmaking


This course is a survey of printmaking covering basic processes in intaglio, lithography, relief, and monotype. Emphasis is placed on mixed media and experimentation with a foundation in traditional, historical, and philosophical aspects of printmaking. Students are encouraged to work at a level suited to their individual technical skills and conceptual interests. This class counts for the Minor in Art.

Course number: F20 ART 316
Faculty: Tom Reed


Photography Black & White


This course provides an introduction to the fundamentals of black and white photography. Emphasis is placed on control of film, paper, and black and white photographic processes in the classical fine arts tradition. Topics may include portrait, landscape, street photography, the figure, and contemporary issues in photography.

Course number: F20 ART 1186 (undergraduate students register for F20 1186; only non-Graduate School of Art students register for F20 4186)
Faculty: Jennifer Colten


Ceramics


This course provides an introduction to the design and making of functional pottery as well as sculptural objects. Students learn basic forming processes of the wheel, coil, and slab construction. While the emphasis is on high-fired stoneware, students will be introduced to Raku and soda firing. Content and advanced processes and skills are encouraged according to the individual’s skill level.

Course number: F20 ART 320
Faculty: Maya Parnas


Sculpture: Foundry


The focus of this course is to introduce students to the basic principles of bronze and aluminum casting according to the lost wax method. Students will learn mold making, direct organic burnout, ceramic shell investment, metal chasing, and patination in order to create finished sculpture. In addition to metal casting, students will use other materials such as plaster, resin, steel, wood, rubber, plastic, and foam to create a mixed media project that explores a specific idea or theme. Additional work outside the regularly scheduled class time is required.

Course number: F20 ART 314F (same as F20 114F, 214F, 414F; sophomores only register for F20 114F)
Faculty: Noah Kirby


Blacksmithing


This course is an introduction to blacksmithing materials, tools, and techniques. Students will explore the fundamental techniques of hand-forged metal. Metal can be manipulated as a plastic material and offers enormous possibilities for three-dimensional form. In this class we will explore these possibilities and expand our sculptural vocabulary.

Course number: F20 ART 314H
Faculty: Noah Kirby


Digital Fabrication for Object Makers


This course explores the potential of digital tools in the creation of tangible objects. We will focus on “component manufacture” as a means of sculptural production—i.e., creating linkages, universal fittings, and adaptors that connect disparate materials. Toys, mechanical systems, and construction products will be researched as a point of inspiration. Students will be introduced to various modeling software such as Rhino, AutoCAD, and SolidWorks and explore the potential of these platforms to design three-dimensional forms. A variety of output tools will be used, but we will focus primarily on the planning for and use of laser cutters, 3D printers, and CNC routers. We will develop, design, and manufacture components that, when combined with readily available materials, can be used to create sculptural forms. This class will use iterative processes that move between digital and analog model-making and sketching. Students will be introduced to the concept of kitbashing, and the modification of salvaged and found parts. This course introduces these concepts to artists, designers, engineers, and anyone interested in exploring the possibilities of digital fabrication tools towards the creation of sculpture. No prerequisites.

Course number: F20 ART 314R
Faculty: Matthew Branham


Contemporary Discourses: Art + Feminism


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This course investigates the impact of feminism on contemporary art, focusing on artwork produced between the 1960s and the present day. Through an examination of global practices in a wide range of media, including artworks in the collection of the School’s Kemper Art Museum, students will delve into innovative aesthetic strategies that criticize assumptions of gender, race, and social class and consider the intricate tie between the identity of the author and the content of the work. Taught by a practicing artist, this is a lecture course with a discussion component. Together we will uncover historical developments and epic omissions. Requirements include participation in weekly discussion sections, regular response papers, and a final written curatorial project.

Course number: F20 ART 378
Faculty: Heather Bennett


The Painted Figure



This studio course is an introduction to the practice of painting with an emphasis on the pictorial representation of the human figure. Instruction will encompass a range of technical, conceptual, and creative skills to be used for developing projects. In-class projects will include working from the live model. Students will be encouraged to consider traditional and alternative forms of painting. Lectures, critical essays, and analysis of historical precedents and contemporary practitioners will support students in their coursework.

Course number: F20 ART 312P
Faculty: Jamie Adams



Why Art Matters


This lecture and discussion course will examine how art, which productively utilizes ambiguity and discontinuity, is a distinctive form of expression and communication. Functioning not as a bearer of meaning but rather as a shaper of meaningful questions, art invites interpretation and introspection. As such, art, which often functions to rekindle perception and give rise to new ways of thinking about and being in the world, empowers individual thought, encourages empathy, and celebrates the diversity of ideas and opinions that are vital to conditions of freedom. With this in mind, multimedia lectures will explore the perspectives of contemporary artists (such as James Turrell, Cerith Wyn Evans, Wangechi Mutu), psychologists (Winnicott, Frankl, Freud), philosophers (Heidegger, Bataille, Merleau-Ponty), linguists (Lacan, Pierce, Saussure), sociologists, cognitive scientists, cultural theorists, and others. Readings, discussions, in-class group interpretations, and written critical analysis will provide students with the tools required to understand how art, which is a distinctive form of expression and communication, matters; it matters, as Bill O’ Brien argues, because it teaches us how we matter.

Course number: F20 ART 362
Faculty: Richard Krueger


Making Things That Function


Heidegger identified “things” as what objects become once they cease to perform their function in society. In this class, we seize that moment of dysfunction as a point for creative intervention. Students will design and make functional objects that engage the body with intention. The meaning of function will be debated so that students develop a definition based on their own values. Highly exaggerated, specific, or experimental works will be encouraged. Techniques for metal fabrication, simple woodworking, and mold-making will be taught in class as needed. No previous experience is necessary. This course will benefit designers, artists, architects, and engineers, and will explore the intersections of design and making between these fields. Prerequisite: 3D Design, Architecture 111 studio, or permission of instructor.

Course number: F20 ART 396B
Faculty: Lindsay Stouffer


Collage: History & Practice in Contemporary Art


This course examines the role of collage in contemporary studio practice. Students are required to assemble an archive of images from various sources, both found and self-generated, to produce work based on specific themes. This course integrates collage practice with other visual disciplines. Readings and discussion related to the course examine the evolution of collage and its present status and application within contemporary art production.

Course number: F20 ART 303B
Faculty: Michael Byron


Making Documentaries in the Time of COVID


Documentary video is a powerful tool to spotlight the frustrations and triumphs of our daily lives. Unlike fiction films, the inquiry and the questions that start the process of making a documentary end up as an adventure—and often the film itself. Many filmmakers discover unexpected answers, reveal hidden histories, humanize previously one-dimensional characters, and spotlight even more in-depth questions. The global pandemic offers a unique opportunity to create videos that acknowledge this moment, with the potential to become a significant part of an international conversation. With urgency, even beginning filmmakers, like you, can give voice to issues that will be included in the historical record. Learn or improve your cinematic aesthetics and professional video editing skills by making three short videos. 

Course number: F20 ART 328D
Faculty: Denise Ward-Brown


Painting: Art Practice (Place and Space)


This course examines ideas of place and space—both observed and invented—established through the surface and materiality of paintings. Students develop a unique body of work through shared exploration of painting processes and materials, along with independent research. Critical assessment of work is complemented by faculty and peer discussions, readings, written critical analysis, and field study. This course is required for a concentration in painting. Prerequisites: Painting Studio: Material Culture or permission of instructor.

Course number: F10 ART 312H
Faculty: Jamie Adams


Sculpture Studio: Material and Culture


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This is the first course in the sequence for those pursuing a BFA in Studio Art with a concentration in sculpture and is open to others as space permits. It introduces students to the materials, processes, and concepts specific to sculpture. Students develop an understanding of, and dexterity with, multiple materials and modes of production, ranging from additive, assembled, molded, and modeled, to subtractive or carved. This course promotes independent working and problem solving in regard to content and intention. Students engage in discourse about their work through critical analysis and explorations of historical and cultural precedent. This course involves lectures, material and process demonstrations, and assigned readings along with creative and technical explorations. Students pursuing the sculpture concentration must complete either F10 213A (fall) or 214A (spring). Prerequisites: Drawing, 2D Design, 3D Design, and Digital Design or Digital Studio, or permission of instructor. College of Art sophomores pursuing the BFA or BA in Studio Art will have priority.

Course number: F10 ART 214A
Faculty: Arny Nadler


Printmaking: Art Practice (Feedback Loop: Process and Print)


This course focuses on variability, mutability, repeatability, and play within the process of printmaking, using etching, collagraph, monotype, and digital methods. The course explores practices and contexts in printmaking as a contemporary art form and promotes advanced conceptual and technical development through creative practice, readings, discussions and critiques. Projects are self-directed and based on course topics that engage different approaches to process-based work, ranging from the improvisational to the systematic. Emphasis is placed on the shift from object to process, from the single manifestation to the series, from fixed to flux and back again. This course is required for students pursuing a BFA in Studio Art with a concentration in printmaking. Prerequisites: Printmaking Studio: Material Culture or permission of instructor.

Course number: F10 ART 316H
Faculty: Lisa Bulawsky


Urban Books


Since the beginning of the 20th century, art, architecture, and urbanism together have investigated the production of images that shape the symbolic dimension of our experience of large cities. The main goal of this course is to critically embrace this tradition through the format of the artist’s book. St. Louis is the focus for our observations because it is familiar to our everyday lives and also because it provides key situations for understanding contemporary forms of urbanity and how urban space is produced and imagined. The course bridges the curricular structures of art and architecture by enhancing the collaboration between the practical and scholarly work developed in both schools, with additional support from Special Collections at Olin Library. It combines the reading, lecture, and discussion format of a seminar with the skill building and creative exploration of a studio. This course is divided into three progressive phases of development: the first consists of weekly readings, discussion, and responses in the form of artist’s books. The second phase focuses on the Derive with physical activities and assignments based on interacting directly with the urban environment. The third phase focuses on individual research, documentation, and final book design and production. College of Architecture and College of Art sophomores, juniors, and seniors have priority. This course fulfills a Sam Fox Commons requirement.

Course Number: F20 ART 335X; A46 ARCH 335X
Faculty: Michael Powell & Zeuler Lima