Intro to Visual Art Syllabus - Fall 2009


Title: Introduction to Visual Art

Catalog Number: ARTH-105.2

Credit Hours: 3 Lecture (or Lab):

Instructor: Julie Brown-Zinchuk

Location: CAR02

Office: E-mail: jbdesign@maine.rr.com

Course Syllabus

Course Description

The class serves as an introduction to the world of visual art. We will explore the seven major classifications of visual art such as drawing, painting, sculpture, architecture, textiles and printmaking. We will explore different techniques such as, mosaic, collage, paper art, textile, illustration, and mixed media. You will be responsible for keeping a sketch book, weekly assignments, and bi-weekly projects. Attendance and class participation is a must!

Course Objectives

  • Recognize and articulate an understanding of the concepts of visual art in academic and studio settings.
  • Employ comprehension and vocabulary of visual art concepts to engage in critical discussions.
  • Develop skills and experience working in a variety of art media.
  • Produce a portfolio of studio art work and a collection of critical writing.
  • Present and display finished work in a professional manner.

Course Requirements

  • Complete studio projects for critique deadlines; submit all completed projects for final critique.
  • Complete required readings and demonstrate comprehension in class discussion.
  • Complete a weekly journal of writing about art, participate in discussion about writings.
  • Actively participate in studio work, discussions and critique.
  • Deliver a research presentation.

Semester Outline

Introduction to Visual Art is organized by classifications. Each week we will explore a different topic that has served as an important component to visual art. In class, we will explore the weekly topic through two components: the research and discussion of art history and theory, and the creation of a studio project. At the end of the semester students are required to complete a research presentation to the class and present their full studio portfolio to the class.

1: drawing

2: painting

3: Sculpture

4: architecture

5: Textiles

6: printmaking


You are required to provide all of your own art supplies. We will talk about supplies per assignment. You will need a sketchbook and drawing supplies to begin.

Artist & Craftsman Supply, 772-7272, 540 Deering Avenue in Portland, at Woodfords Corner.

Michael’s and A.C. Moore, two large art and craft supply stores, are out by the mall.


There is no required text for this class, but you will be required to complete weekly writing assignments which may require the research and reading of reviews and articles about contemporary art.


Criteria for evaluation include: completion of assignments; level of self-challenge, time and effort spent; quantity and quality of work produced; understanding of concepts covered; and growth and development of aesthetic sensibility. Grades will be assigned as follows:

A The highest level of commitment, effort and enthusiasm, demonstrated by working independently and carrying through ambitious and challenging projects. All assignments are complete, often taking more than the expected three hours per week.

B A high level of effort and enthusiasm. The student demonstrates a sincere level of commitment and a devotion to learning the skills of the class. All or most assignments are complete.

C A sufficient level of achievement in quantity and quality of work. Multiple assignments are incomplete or rushed.

D Deficiency in commitment and accomplishment. Many assignments are incomplete.

F Extreme deficiency in commitment, understanding and accomplishment. Very few assignments are attempted.

Your grade will be calculated as follows:

Studio Projects (10 points each) 50%

Writing Journal (5 points each) 30%

Participation 20%

Research Project 10%

Studio Projects Portfolio

Your Studio Projects Portfolio is defined as all of the studio art projects created in this class throughout the course of the semester. Each project will explore art-making in a different media. Ample class time, resources and access to facilities will be allotted for each project, but student should plan to spend at least 1-2 additional hours per week working on studio projects, either at the Art Studio or at home. We will critique each studio project at the following class, and students are expected to rework projects based on class feedback. All studio projects will be presented at the end of class for the final review.


Your participation grade is made up of three parts: Participation, Preparedness and Attendance.

Participation: Playing an active role in class discussions, exercises and critiques is essential to success in this class. The majority of seminars will consist of in-class lectures and studio projects that occur under the guidance of the instructor and in tandem with your class mates. Studio classes, group critiques, field trips and lecture days are all equally essential toward meeting the learning objectives of the course.

Please practice civility when in class. Honor your classmates’ opinions by listening during discussions and offer your own critique respectfully. And turn off your cell phones. Seriously.

Preparedness: It is your responsibility to refer to the syllabus to know what assignments and readings are due and what materials are to be brought to each class. It is your responsibility to obtain the reading and proper art materials for the class. It is expected that you will arrive to class with the completed projects required for each group critique. Tardiness, unpreparedness, and nonparticipation will lower your participation grade.

Attendance Policy*: You are allowed two unexcused absences. After two absences your Participation grade will be automatically lowered by three points for each class missed. A student who misses five or more classes will be advised to drop the class. A student who misses three classes in a row will be automatically dropped from the class. Late arrivals and early departures may be considered as absences. Excused absences may be allowed if they are requested and approved at least one week in advance. If you miss a class, it is your responsibility to complete the assignments. You are expected to complete all exercises from classes you missed.

ADA Statement

Southern Maine Community College is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution and employer. For more information, please call 207-741-5798. If you have a disability and wish to request accommodations in order to have reasonable access to the programs and services offered by SMCC, you must register with the Disability Services Coordinator, Mark Krogman, who can be reached at 741-5629 (TDD 207-741-5667). Further information about services for students with disabilities and the accommodation process is available upon request at this number.

Teacher Evaluation

Students must, in order to see their grades online, evaluate the instructor online and anonymously by going to “Resources for Current Students” at the SMCC homepage and choosing “Evaluate Your Courses.” Grade reports are no longer mailed to students.

*This syllabus is subject to change as seen fit by instructor.

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