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Sculpture: Mixed Media

Course Number: ART 292
Transcript Title: Sculpture: Mixed Media
Created: September 1, 2012
Updated: December 19, 2014
Total Credits: 3
Lecture Hours: 0
Lecture / Lab Hours: 60
Lab Hours: 0
Satisfies Cultural Literacy requirement: No
Satisfies General Education requirement: Yes
Grading options: A-F (default), P-NP, audit

Course Description

Explores sculptural form, processes, techniques, and concepts while addressing historical and contemporary issues in sculpture. Develops creative problem solving skills through making sculpture using a variety of mixed media techniques. Establishes critical skills necessary to evaluate sculpture through critiques, discussions, and sculpture presentations by exploring artistic intent, examining aesthetic and structural solutions, and expanding perceptual awareness of sculpture. May be taken three times for credit. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes

Upon successful completion students should be able to:

  1. Find and develop creative ways to solve problems using a variety of strategies for making mixed media sculpture.
  2. Create personal works of sculpture, which demonstrate an introductory level of understanding of sculptural ideas, materials and techniques associated with mixed media.
  3. Ask meaningful questions, identify ideas and issues, and develop a basic vocabulary so as to be able to actively participate in a critical dialogue about sculpture with others.
  4. Understand, interpret, and enjoy sculpture of the past and the present from different cultures so as to be able to initiate a lifelong process of expanding knowledge on the diversity of perspectives of the human experience.
  5. Develop a heightened awareness of the physical world, the nature of the relationship of human beings to it, and our impact on it via the experience of making mixed media sculpture.
  6. Use self-critiquing skills so as to develop autonomous expression through mixed media sculpture while recognizing the standards and definitions already established by both contemporary and historical works of art from different cultures.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Students will do the following in order to be assessed:

  • Make creative, appropriately crafted, challenging sculptural solutions to given provocations using various mixed media techniques.
  • Comprehend and apply analysis of sculptural ideas, techniques, terminology, and issues through participation in formal critiques and discussions.
  • Develop conceptual ideas through the practice of creative research and preparatory studies (e.g. sketchbooks, journals, maquettes, models, writing assignments, presentations, technical practice tests, etc.).

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Concepts, Ideas, and Issues Pertaining to the Creative Process

  • Strategies for developing ideas (i.e. experiencing and playing with materials, imagining, dreaming, visualizing, symbolizing, writing, reading, researching, studying historical and cultural examples, sketching, collaborating, discussing).
  • Strategies for problem solving towards concretion of ideas in sculptural form (i.e. sketches, plans, maquettes, test pieces, models).
  • Perception and art.
  • Form and content.
  • Interpreting art.

Historical and Cultural Contexts

  • Concepts, theories, and issues addressed by various cultures and historical periods.
  • Concepts, theories, and issues addressed by contemporary sculptors from different cultures.
  • Relationships between form and content in works of art from different cultures and historical periods.
  • The roles of art and artists in different cultures.
  • Intercultural and interhistorical influences (e.g. the influence of cycladic and African art on western, modern sculpture).

Sculptural Forms and Perceptual Impact

  • Visual/physical elements used to create sculptural form: point, line, plane, shape, form, marks, texture, shadow, light, value, color, space, sound, smell, weight, volume, mass, text, etc.
  • Relationships of characteristics of visual/ physical elements to be considered (e.g. proportion, length, thickness, position, orientation, scale, weight, interrelationship of shapes, relative value and color, movement and stillness, quality of texture etc.)
  • Strategies for manipulating visual/physical elements that is ways of thinking of composing with visual/physical elements (e.g. arrange, juxtapose, relate, contrast, group, balance, unify, repeat, edit, elaborate, classify, divide, increase, decrease, maximize, minimize, dissect, separate, align, vary, diversify, alternate, reduce, connect, etc.)
  • The relationship between materials and their visual/ physical impact(i.e. a stick or string acts as a line, an indentation in a form is simultaneously perceived as a mark, a material is chosen for its shape and color etc, an element is chosen for its weighty quality, an object or material is used for it's olfactory impact, an object is chosen for its associative qualities etc.)

Materials and Techniques

  • Gravity and the basic forces of tension and compression.
  • Materials and meaning.
  • Physical activities used to alter and form mixed media material (e.g. cut, bend, heat, carve, compress, stretch, twist, smash, etc.)
  • Physical ways of connecting mixed media materials together(e.g. butt, prop, lean, bind, glue, stack, wrap, sew, peg, nail, slot, weld, screw, rivet, add, compress, tense, tie, pin, cantilever, balance, etc.)
  • Types of sculptural processes which can be incorporated in mixed media sculpture(e.g casting, carving, assemblage, welding, wood construction, sewing etc.)
  • Safety and Environmental concerns of materials and techniques: proper disposal of waste, places where recycled material can be found, proper safety attire to be used when working with specific materials, health related concerns, sources of information on these subjects.

Critical Analysis

  • Purposes of criticism and analysis of artworks: deepen understanding, reflect on level of quality and possible improvements, heighten creative decision making by observing decisions made by others and oneself, establish and maintain high standards of achievement, ask questions, find new connections, create autonomy and creative confidence, create new problems to solve, discuss art with others to expose oneself to multiple perspectives etc.
  • Vocabulary relevant to ideas, materials, and techniques pertaining to mixed media sculpture.
  • Application, interpretation, and redefinition of sculptural ideas, connection of historical and cultural contexts, personal expression and creative freedom.
  • Aspects of criticism: formal, conceptual, historical, cultural, experiential etc.

Competencies and Skills

The successful student should be able to do the following:

  • Find resources for materials and tools used in making mixed media sculpture.
  • Conduct research to develop ideas, perspectives, and influences from a variety of sources.
  • Employ a variety of strategies to solve problems encountered in the process of realizing an idea for a sculpture in physical form. Students will be able to make models, sketches, maquettes, material tests etc.
  • Use a variety of conceptual strategies to create mixed media sculpture.
  • Understand and use a variety of materials, tools, and techniques associated with making mixed media sculpture.
  • Use the proper safety/health equipment and procedures in working with mixed media materials.
  • Make interesting, challenging, appropriately crafted mixed media sculptures that are personally meaningful.
  • Understand and apply basic vocabulary necessary to discuss the formal, conceptual, and technical aspects of sculpture.
  • Analyze and enjoy the formal and perceptual concerns of sculpture.
  • Communicate with others on a variety of levels (i.e. formal, conceptual etc.) on the subject of sculpture.
  • Assess the ways in which art objects are affected by personal perspectives and experiences.
  • Make historical and cultural connections in determining meaning and understanding of art.
  • Enables student to begin preparing a portfolio of sculptural work.

Department Notes

Emphasis will be on combining a variety of materials to create sculpture. A sense of curiosity and a willingness to experiment are helpful. A cognitive comprehension of college level English is required.