Introduction to Visual Arts course

Art 110: Introduction to Visual Arts Syllabus (partial)

 Introduction

 Have you ever wondered what it means to be an artist who creates stone sculptures, takes photographs, or paints murals? Perhaps you remember drawing faces or cars as a young person or you may see a child in your life happily using crayons or color pens to create vivid images. What is the urge to use colors, lines, and shapes to express an inner vision that we want to bring to life and perhaps share with others?

In this course you will learn about the process of making art in many forms including drawing, painting, printmaking, digital imaging, sculpture, clay, metal, and fiber. You will explore art made in the western world from ancient Greece to our modern day and the artistry of non-western cultures including Asia, Africa, and the Islamic world. You will also discover present day artists who may be creating art work in your own community!

This course offers you an opportunity to experience artmaking yourself. You will do some drawings and create a photographic print. Don’t worry, your artistry will not be graded, only your ability to fulfill the assignment. Most students find that the artmaking activities are enjoyable and make the art they read about more meaningful. Artmaking is an experiential process and the art activites in this course provide a gateway to experiencing the process directly.

It is also important to have a framework for analyzing a work of art. We will use a four-category evaluation process that helps you understand a work of art. This helps you see beyond “liking” or “not liking” art. Being able to use the visual elements and principles of design to discuss and analyze artwork leads you to a deeper understanding of the art.

How has art making changed over the centuries and how has it stayed the same? Does today’s art have anything in common with Dada or Impressionist art? You will see many different styles of art and learn how art reflects and influences society. Artists exist in a cultural context and this influences their subjects and the materials and techniques they use. There are many threads that connect artists of the 21st century with those in previous eras. Over the centuries, artists have created a rich tapestry of personal expression and artistic achievement. Seeing and understand this complex tapestry is the purpose of this course.

Textbook

Frank, Patrick. Prebles’ Artforms: An Introduction to the Visual Arts (10th edition), 2011. Pearson: Prentice Hall. ISBN 13: 978-0-205-79753-0.

Note: You must have the 10th edition of the Preble text for this course. You may be able to get a used book or rent the book, if you don’t want to purchase it, from the UND Bookstore.

Course Objectives

In this course you will accomplish the following objectives:

  1. Describe the purposes and functions of art and visual communication.
  2. Identify the visual elements and principles of design.
  3. Explain the characteristics of two-dimensional and three-dimensional art media.
  4. Compare and contrast art in non-western cultures.
  5. Describe art in the western world from the Classical era to the twentieth century.
  6. Describe art in the modern western and non-western world.
  7. Provide examples of present day art and artists.
  8. Use the four-categories of evaluation to analyze a work of art in a gallery setting.

Lessons

This course has thirteen lessons and you must complete all of the lessons to receive credit for the course. You are to complete the lessons in sequence. All the lessons have required reading from the textbook. Be sure to complete the assigned readings and read the instructional notes carefully. The notes provide content that supplements the text and include detailed explanations for the assignments.

Assignments

Assignments include short answers questions, essays, and written papers as well as blogs, Internet research and a visit to an art gallery or art museum. There are no quizzes and there is no final exam in this course. There are detailed instructions for how to use and upload files to a blog in each of the lessons where it is used. These features allow you to interact with fellow students and share your ideas and experiences. Files should be saved as word documents (.doc or .docx), rich text format (.rtf), or open office (.odt). Be sure to check the file format when you save it to ensure it is one of these, otherwise I will not be able to open it.

Some assignments require you to submit electronic files or Internet sites. To create an electronic file when required, you may save it from the Internet or print the file and either scan it or make a digital photo of it. Save your files as .pdf or .jpg formats. IMPORTANT – Check the size of the file and if it is large, reduce the image size so it is easier for you to upload and for me to view.

Grading

Each lesson has assignments that are worth various points. The total for the course is 465 points. Your final grade for the course will be based on your total points accumulated out of the total points possible. There are no quizzes and no final exam.

You will receive a letter grade for the course based on the following scale:

A 90 – 100% 418 – 465 points
B 80 – 89% 372 – 417 points
C 70 – 79% 325 – 371 points
D 60 – 69% 279 – 324 points
F Below 60% Less than 279 points

You can view your grades by clicking on the Course Tools button under Tools on the navigation bar to your left and then click on My Grades.

Understanding Assignment Points

Please note that the points awarded each assignment are carefully considered and can help you understand the value placed on the assignment. The designated points may also help you plan the time needed to complete the assignment. In other words, if an essay is worth 6 points you probably want to write a half-page rather than just two sentences in order to receive full points for the essay. In order to include a complete response it would take a certain amount of writing to convey the content.

Your performance is based on the following criteria and you will be graded accordingly:

  1. Directions are followed correctly.
  2. All assignments are completed, labeled, and well-organized.
  3. Papers are proofread and edited to achieve college-level work.
  4. Content is consistent with the points assigned for each assignment.
  5. Written assignments are clearly written, thorough, precise, and accurate.

Grading Rubric for Assignments

Refer to the rubric below to understand the expectations and standards used for grading the assignments.

Grading

Standards

90 – 100%

A

80 – 89%

B

70 – 79%

C

60 – 69%

D

Below 60%

F

Format

Exactly follows the required format

Mostly follows the required format

Somewhat follows the required format

Mostly does not follow the required format

Is not acceptable; does not follow the required format

Editing

Contains no spelling and/or grammatical errors

Contains a few spelling and/or grammatical errors

Contains many spelling and/or grammatical errors

Contains a distracting number of spelling and/or grammatical errors

Contains an unacceptable number of spelling and/or grammatical errors

Clarity

Writing is clear: always uses complete sentences, appropriate punctuation, and paragraphs

Writing is mostly clear: usually uses complete sentences, appropriate punctuation, and paragraphs

Writing is somewhat clear: sometimes uses complete sentences, appropriate punctuation, and paragraphs

Writing is not clear: infrequently uses complete sentences, appropriate punctuation, and paragraphs

Writing is not acceptable: does not use complete sentences, appropriate punctuation, and paragraphs

Accuracy

Information is accurate and sources are cited properly

Information is mostly accurate and sources are cited properly

Information is not completely accurate; sources are cited

Information is mostly inaccurate; sources are not cited

Information is unacceptable; inaccurate and sources are not cited

Precision

Information is focused; pertinent to the assignment

Information is mostly focused; is mostly pertinent to the assignment

Part of the information is not focused; is not pertinent to the assignment

Most of the Information is not focused; is not pertinent to the assignment

Information is not acceptable; completely unfocused; not pertinent

Depth

Explores the subject in appropriate depth; appears to understand complexity and layers of ideas

Explores the subject in some depth; appears to somewhat understand complexity and layers of ideas

Does not explore the subject in much depth; does not appear to understand complexity and layers of ideas

Does not explore the subject in any depth; does not appear to understand complexity and layers of ideas

Not acceptable; does not explore depth; does not recognize complex ideas

Breadth

Recognizes many connections and themes; appears to understand widely diverse perspectives; can take an open view of an issue

Recognizes many connections and themes; appears to understand diverse perspectives; can often take an open view of an issue

Usually recognizes connections and themes; appears to usually understand diverse perspectives; tries to take an open view of an issue

Recognizes few connections and themes; does not appear to understand diverse perspectives; can rarely take an open view of an issue

Does not recognize connections and themes; does not appear to understand diverse perspectives; takes a limited view of an issue

Scholastic Dishonesty

Students enrolled in this course are expected to be aware of the seriousness of scholastic dishonesty. Unacceptable behavior such as submitting someone else’s work as your own, cheating on exams, or plagiarizing can result in failure of the course or other sanctions. For a more detailed description of these policies, please refer to the UND Code of Student Life, Section 3-3 at http://sos.und.edu/csl/

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