ART 360B:

Topics in Studio Art: Why is That Art?

Winter 2008
M, W 11:30-2:20
Room: Art 327

Instructor: Timea Tihanyi


Discussion Board
The goal of this forum is to stay informed about and discuss issues related to ongoing events in contemporary visual arts (both local and global).
Use the Announcements discussion area to post announcements about shows to see, articles to read, websites to check out, and any other events you would like to recommend to your peers.

Check the Announcements discussion area weekly for fresh recommendations.
Each art360 student needs to contribute to the discussion topic within each one of the Weekly discussion areas.
You may propose a new topic and/or add your thoughts and research to an existing thread. The most interesting discussions are to be continued in the classroom. All discussions are reviewed and your contribution is part of your grade for this class.
Use the Non-specific discussion area to post miscellaneous announcements. (Recommend movies, music; Post your own artwork for feed-back; etc...)

Important: When you log in for the first time, please create a profile for yourself. Your profile should include your first and last name, an image of your avatar, and your email address.

Schedule & assignments

Week 1 Artworlds, criteria and definitions.
Read Chapter 1.
M 1/7: Syllabus; Intro
W 1/9: What is art? (seminar discussion)
Th 1/10 7pm Kane Hall Robert Storr lecture Buy tix at Brownbag tickets:

Week 2 Art as a reflection of reality (Realism)
Read Chapter 2.
M 1/14: Project ideas DUE
W 1/16: Realism (slide lecture and seminar discussion)

Week 3 Art as a reflection of reality (Realism)
Read Chapter 2.
W 1/23 Work in progress review

Week 4 Art as a metaphor. Art as an experience (Expressionism)
Read Chapter 3.
M 1/28 Expressionism (slide lecture and seminar discussion) Guest artist: Margot Knight
W 1/30 Work in progress review

Week 5 Art as a metaphor. Art as an experience (Expressionism)
Read Chapter 3.
M 2/4 Realism and Formalism (seminar discussion)
W 2/6 Individual meetings on Project #1
Th 2/7 6-8pm Timea’s show opens at 4Culture gallery

Week 6 Art as an aesthetic experience. Abstraction (Formalism)
Read Chapter 4.
M 2/11 Project #1 is DUE
W 2/13 Formalism (slide lecture and seminar discussion)

Week 7 Art as an aesthetic experience. Abstraction (Formalism)
Read Chapter 4.
W 2/20 Field trip to 4Culture, SAM and/or Suyama Space. Post Formalism exercises on message board.

Week 8 Art as coexisting alternatives (Deconstruction)
Read Chapter 5.
M 2/25 Review of Formalist Theories
W 2/27 Deadline to post Final Project Plans (also bring them to class for discussion) Introduction to Postmodernism

Week 9 Art as coexisting alternatives (Deconstruction)
Read Chapter 5.
W 3/3 Group 1 Project Progress Reports (Structuralism and Language)
W 3/5 Group 2Project Progress Reports (Identity and the Body)

Week 10 Conclusions and applications
Read Chapter 6.
M 3/10 Group 3Project Progress Reports (Deconstruction, Postmodern concerns and critcism)
W 3/12 Individual Consultations

Note: Wednesday, MARCH 19, starting at 2:30 FINAL PROJECT critique

printable SYLLABUS and Course Information

Course Description

ART360: “Why is that art?” is a hands-on studio course exploring a variety of themes, concepts, and criticism in the contemporary visual arts.
The objective of the course is to consider contemporary visual arts from the maker’s point of view, through the lens of a selection of established approaches and theories of art: realism, formalism, expressionism, and deconstruction. A major component of the course will be an exposure to these theories and applying them in your own art making practice. We will explore a set of criteria to define what art is and is not; what expectations we have towards it, and
how it is to be evaluated.
Students will be able to set their own assignment goals in any mediums, work on an idea during an extended period of time, and fully develop that into a finished project.
This is an interdisciplinary visual arts studio course; we will be thinking and talking about, as well as making art in this manner. In addition to the studio assignments, assigned readings, guest lectures, gallery visits and discussions will provide content for the course. Please note that the majority of assignments will need to be done outside of class time. Expect to spend at least 6-8hours/week on your studio practice. As a class, we have access to the woodshop and to the digital equipment of the SOACC but if you need access to specialized equipment, arrange in advance with the respective program. For example, if you want to do some welding as part of your project, you need to have previous experience with the equipment and arrange with the technician/faculty in the sculpture program. Class time will be spent on topical discussions and consultations, critiques, logistical issues, field trips and guest artist presentations. One-on-one consultations and group brainstorming sessions will prepare you to tackle challenges from the conception of the initial idea to the execution of the finished project.
Consultation and demos on unfamiliar materials and techniques are always available upon your request.


1. Participate in building an environment of learning and experimentation where:
a. taking risks and challenging conventions is preferred;
b. safe to ask questions and debate issues;
c. positive and critical feedback is offered in a supportive spirit;
d. all participants are attentive and respectful of each other.

2. Class begins and ends at the appointed time. Arrive on time and prepared to discuss your progress with the project as well as the assigned topic.

3. Be responsible for your own successful completion of the course. This means to:
a. Keep an open attitude. Experiment, challenge yourself and strive for new ideas.
b. Attend all sessions and complete all assignments on time. Participation in discussions and critiques is required and an important part of your course experience (and grade.)
c. If sudden illness, emergency or random act of nature should prevent you from attending class, contact me ( IN ADVANCE.
If you take an absence you are responsible for following up with a classmate, receiving any assignments and
completing them on time.
d. All projects must be completed and presented on time. Late projects will not be accepted.

4. This course prepares you for real-life studio practice. You are expected to take your own work seriously and to be organized and conscientious in planning and managing project work time.

5. Most projects are just not practical to do at home. The classroom is your studio space for the duration of the quarter. You have full access to the room outside of the scheduled class times. Check the schedule by the door for open periods.
Wherever you work, always leave your work area clean. Observe safety, traffic flow, and maintenance rules when working in public spaces outside of the classroom. Attain permission before installing your project. LEAVE NO TRACE policy applies!

6. Absolutely NO cell phone calls are to be taken or made during class. Turn off and put away all cell phones and digital equipment for the entire duration of class.

7. If you have any questions, concerns regarding the class or need extra help, talk to me ASAP.

You will complete two major projects for this course. Each project will be presented in a group critique session in the format appropriate to the project’s conception.
In addition, during the quarter you’ll be responsible of attending at least two of the artist lectures advertised in class, as well as conducting and presenting a research on selected topics.

Your final grade will be determined by the following:
• Effort shown in, artistic merit of completed projects: 30%
• Participation in class activities, including critiques, class discussions, etc.: 30%
• Preparedness to discuss assigned readings, site visits and screenings: 30%
• Professional manner, individual effort, commitment, progress throughout the quarter: 10%

You are responsible for purchasing:
REQUIRED TEXTBOOK: Terry Barrett Why is That Art? Oxford University Press 2008
• Notebook/sketchbook
• Writable CDs and DVDs (CD-R, DVD-R, DVD-RW are acceptable for use)
• Whatever materials your project requires
Equipment NOT REQUIRED but helpful if you have or able to borrow:
• digital camera
• tripod
• USB portable data storage unit “flashdrive” for backup and archiving

Art Resources

Research: SOA Library and Slide Library (1st floor)

- laptops and data projectors:
SOA Media Center (basement)
Classroom Support Services: STF Equipment (Kane Hall or reserve online:
- video and digital cameras, tripods:
SOA Computing Center (2nd floor)

Woodshop: SOA Woodshop (1st floor)
You’ll be checked out on the equipment before you are allowed to use it on your own.

Nearest Art Supply:
Thrift stores, dumpster and recycling
Hardwicks Hardware on Roosevelt & 43th
Artist and Craftsman Supply (behind PETCO off of 45th)
ACE Hardware on the Ave