Bowdoin College Catalogue and Academic Handbook

Visual Arts (VART)

VART 1099  (c, MCSR, VPA)   Interactive Media: Designing Applications for the Arts  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 18.  

A hands-on introduction to the creation of interactive art and digital media. Students construct programs to analyze data from physical sensors to characterize motion, proximity, and sound. Through experimental and project based studio work, students design and implement interactive applications for theater, dance, sculpture, installations, and video. Collaborative work focuses on problem solving at the intersections of creative arts and technology. Readings in media theory support the critical examination of contemporary interactive art. Note: This course does not serve as a prerequisite to 3000-level visual arts courses. (Same as: MUS 2561)

Previous terms offered: Spring 2019.

VART 1101  (c, VPA)   Drawing I  

James Mullen.
Every Semester. Fall 2020; Spring 2021. Enrollment limit: 18.
  

This course is an introduction to drawing, with an emphasis on the development of perceptual, organizational, and critical abilities. Course projects entail objective observation, exploration of the abstract formal organization of graphic expression, and the development of a critical vocabulary of visual principles. Lectures and group critiques support studio projects in various drawing media. The online version of this studio course includes recorded content as well as real time dialogue and demonstrations. It will alternately involve group presentations and regularly scheduled meetings of smaller groups to share and review work together.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2020, Fall 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016.

VART 1201  (c, VPA)   Printmaking I  

Carrie Scanga.
Every Semester. Fall 2020; Spring 2021. Enrollment limit: 14.
  

This course introduces the concepts and techniques of printmaking, specifically focusing on relief printing. We explore printmaking strategies and materials, including ink, pressure, stencils, and multiples. Exposure to historical and contemporary examples of printmaking through virtual collections visits, demonstrations, and critiques supplement our practical, hands-on learning. Prior experience with other methods of image making, such as drawing or photography, is not required.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2020, Fall 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016.

VART 1301  (c, VPA)   Painting I  

Mary Hart.
Every Semester. Fall 2020; Spring 2021. Enrollment limit: 18.
  

Painting I provides an in-depth introduction to painting, with an emphasis on the development of perceptual, organizational, and critical abilities. Home studio projects entail objective observation and analysis of still-life, landscape, and figurative subjects; exploration of the painting medium and chromatic structure in representation; and the acquisition of a critical vocabulary of painting concepts. The online version of this course supports the growth of an active learning community, offers inspiration and critical feedback, and gives practical guidance on creating a home workspace. Online lectures and group critiques support projects in painting media.

Prerequisites: VART 1101.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2020, Fall 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016.

VART 1401  (c, VPA)   Photography I  

Michael Kolster.
Every Semester. Fall 2020; Spring 2021. Enrollment limit: 18.
  

Photographic visualization and composition as consequences of fundamental techniques of still photography. Class discussions, readings, and demonstrations; examination of masterworks; and shooting assignments using digital capture. Students are encouraged to provide their own manually adjustable digital SLR (single-lens reflex) cameras, but the department has cameras for loan if necessary.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2020, Fall 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016.

VART 1601  (c, VPA)   Sculpture I  

Jackie Brown.
Every Semester. Fall 2020; Spring 2021. Enrollment limit: 14.
  

An introduction to sculpture, with emphasis on the development of perceptual, organizational, and critical abilities. Studio projects entail a variety of sculptural approaches, including exploration of the structural principles, formal elements, and critical vocabulary of the sculpture medium. Lectures and group critiques augment studio projects in paper, wood, and other media.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2020, Fall 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016.

VART 1701  (c, VPA)   Digital Media I  

Erin Johnson.
Non-Standard Rotation. Fall 2020. Enrollment limit: 18.
  

A studio class designed to introduce students to digital photography, sound, and video. Students learn the basic skills necessary to work with these three media, including recording, editing, and installation. In addition, students learn about the history of these media and the ways they inform and expand upon each other.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2020, Fall 2018, Fall 2017, Fall 2016.

VART 2101  (c, VPA)   Drawing II  

Mary Hart.
Every Spring. Spring 2021. Enrollment limit: 18.
  

A continuation of the principles introduced in Visual Arts 1101, with particular emphasis on figurative drawing. Studio projects develop perceptual, creative, and critical abilities through problems involving objective observation, gestural expression and structural principles of the human form, studies from historical and contemporary examples, and exploration of the abstract formal elements of drawing. Lectures and group critiques augment studio projects in various drawing media.

Prerequisites: VART 1101.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2020, Spring 2019, Spring 2018, Spring 2017.

VART 2201  (c)   Printmaking II  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 14.  

A continuation of the principles introduced in Visual Arts 1201, with particular emphasis on independent projects.

Prerequisites: VART 1201.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2020, Spring 2018, Spring 2017.

VART 2202  (c, VPA)   The Living Print  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 18.  

Through traditional and digital print media, we will explore how prints function and “live” in the common places we inhabit. Silkscreen and letterpress printing, laser-cut, and woodcut techniques will be introduced as we make images by hand and with computers. Installation, book arts, wearable art, and text-based printmaking projects will provide an aesthetic framework for exploring concepts in contemporary printmaking. Studio projects will be supported by critical discussions, museum visits, and field research about historic print examples, zines and posters, animation works, and installations.

Prerequisites: VART 1201 or VART 1101 or VART 1401.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2019.

VART 2301  (c, VPA)   Painting II  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 18.  

A continuation of the principles introduced in Visual Arts 1301, with studio problems based on direct experience.

Prerequisites: VART 1301.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2019, Fall 2017.

VART 2302  (c)   Landscape Painting  

Every Other Fall. Enrollment limit: 18.  

A continuation of principles introduced in Visual Arts 1301, with an emphasis on landscape painting. Studio projects investigate various relationships to nature through painting at a variety of sites and through the changing seasons of the coastal landscape. Painting activity is augmented with readings and presentations to offer a historical perspective on different languages, approaches, and philosophies in relation to the pictorial interpretation of landscape experience.

Prerequisites: VART 1301.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2018, Fall 2016.

VART 2401  (c, VPA)   Large Format Photography  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 18.  

Review and expansion of concepts and techniques fundamental to black-and-white photography, with exploration of image-making potentials of different formats such as 35mm and view cameras. Seminar discussions and field and laboratory work. Students must provide their own non-automatic 35mm camera.

Prerequisites: VART 1401.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2016.

VART 2402  (c, VPA)   Photography and Color  

Michael Kolster.
Non-Standard Rotation. Spring 2021. Enrollment limit: 18.
  

A continuation of principles encountered in Visual Arts 1401, with an added emphasis on the expressive potential of color. Cameras of various formats, from the 35mm to the 4x5, are used to complete assignments. Approaches to color film exposure and digital capture, manipulation, and printing are practiced and the affect of color is examined. Through reading assignments, slide presentations, and discussions, students explore historical and cultural implications of color photography. Weekly assignments and group critiques structure class discussion.

Prerequisites: VART 1401.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2019, Fall 2017, Spring 2017.

VART 2403  (c, VPA)   Documentary Photography  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 18.  

Sustained photographic exploration of situations that appear unfamiliar or foreign to the student's experience. A consideration of connections between the different moments encountered and described by the camera, followed with written and further visual articulation of discoveries made from these insights. Narrative strategies, viewer expectations, and the role of the image in the dissemination of knowledge are central concerns of critiques, discussions, and readings. Photographic prints to be produced only through the exposure of black-and-white film and traditional darkroom techniques. Final project consists of a book, exhibit, or publishable article employing both text and photographs.

Prerequisites: VART 1401.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2019.

VART 2405  (c, VPA)   Photo Seminar  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 18.  

This online course is an extension of principles and techniques developed in Visual Arts 1401, with emphasis on the development and pursuit of a longer term independent project. Seminar discussion and critiques. Participants must provide their own non-automatic camera. Remote learning will accommodate digital photographic production and experimentation, group discussions of work in progress, presentations and discussions with visiting photographers, readings, and individual directed study.

Prerequisites: VART 1401.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2020, Spring 2018.

VART 2601  (c, VPA)   Sculpture II  

Jackie Brown.
Non-Standard Rotation. Fall 2020. Enrollment limit: 18.
  

This course is a continuation of principles introduced in Visual Arts 1601, with particular emphasis on independent projects adapted to support students with limited workspace in a home setting. Class content is supported by guest artists, lectures, discussions, and critiques with consideration for historical and contemporary approaches. Final projects will be shared through a virtual exhibition of student work.

Prerequisites: VART 1601.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2017.

VART 2602  (c, VPA)   Sculpture - Mold Making and Casting  

Every Other Year. Enrollment limit: 18.  

Course builds on the use of everyday objects from Sculpture I and introduces advanced mold making and casting techniques. Students engage with a wide range of materials including clay, concrete, plaster, rubber, wax, and alternative materials like chocolate and soap. Through this process, students can alter and reimagine familiar everyday objects to explore how materials, forms, and images convey meaning in life and culture. Additional themes include art-by-instruction and installation.

Prerequisites: VART 1601.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2019, Spring 2017.

VART 2702  (c, VPA)   Advanced Design: Media  

Every Spring. Enrollment limit: 22.  

As technology has evolved so has the world of theater and dance. Advanced Design: Media offers students an in-depth look at the technology, theory, and aesthetic involved in creating highly developed projections and graphic sequences for stunning multimedia theater and dance productions. Students will learn the cutting edge 3D computer animation software Autodesk Maya and Adobe Creative Suite to design digital sets for contemporary performance. Assignments will include creating digital landscapes for specific scenes and developing short loop animations for digital prop placement. By the end of the semester students will have re-imagined and developed their original design of a play through computer generated sound and visuals. (Same as: THTR 2302, DANC 2302)

Prerequisites: THTR 1302 (same as DANC 1302) or VART 1000 - 1999.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2017.

VART 3030  (c)   Site-Specifics: Production of Socially Engaged Media  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 18.  

Guided Independent Studio Practice. Students gain an understanding of how digital media technologies can serve as tools for creative cultural practice through the production of site-specific, socially engaged video, sound, and new media artworks. Site visits and meetings with community organizations will contribute to the development of works distributed and displayed through mobile devices, projection, installation and online platforms. Lectures, readings, and discussions provide a historical overview of the intersection of site-specificity and community-based sound and video works. Students develop technical skills in camerawork, lighting, audio recording, and editing, and are introduced to video and sound artists who consider race, class, gender, sexuality, labor and environmental politics. (Same as: DCS 3030)

Prerequisites: VART 1000 - 1999.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2019.

VART 3031  (c)   Raised by the Internet: Data, Networks, and Time-Based Media  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 18.  

Guided Independent Studio Practice. Explores how the Internet and screen-centric lives change the way we relate to the world and each another. Students create time-based media works that consider the emotional, social, political, and physical effects of new technologies, while addressing questions regarding privacy, artificial intelligence, and digital communities. Additionally, students use information collected by mobile apps, GPS trackers, and more to challenge data culture through creative interventions that include animation, video, interaction design, sound, and other forms of digital expression. (Same as: DCS 3031)

Prerequisites: VART 1100 - 2969.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2017.

VART 3501  (c)   Art, Science, and the Environment  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 18.  

Guided independent studio practice. Explore crosspollination between art, science, and the environment through hands-on projects while also gaining exposure to a diverse range of contemporary artworks and interdisciplinary projects. Early assignments guide students through considerations for form, process, and meaning, followed by an emphasis on self-directed projects. (Same as: ENVS 2433)

Prerequisites: VART 1100 - 2969.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2020, Fall 2016.

VART 3502  (c)   Abstraction  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 18.  

Guided Independent Studio Practice.Through study of interdisciplinary media and studio practice, explores abstraction in historical and contemporary contexts in terms of form, content, process, and meaning. After guided assignments, emphasis on self-directed projects. Choice of media to be determined jointly by faculty and students in the course.

Prerequisites: VART 1100 - 2969.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2018, Fall 2016.

VART 3503  (c)   Installation Art  

Carrie Scanga.
Non-Standard Rotation. Spring 2021. Enrollment limit: 18.
  

Guided Independent Studio Practice. An exploration of installation art in the context of contemporary practice, especially as a means to transform space, create an environment, or offer a visceral experience. Early assignments guide students through considerations for form, content, process, and meaning, followed by an emphasis on self-directed projects. Choice of media to be determined jointly by faculty and students.

Prerequisites: Two of: VART 1100 - 2969 and VART 1100 - 2969.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2018.

VART 3800  (c)   Art and Time  

Michael Kolster.
Non-Standard Rotation. Fall 2020. Enrollment limit: 18.
  

Guided Online Independent Studio Practice. An exploration of the role of time in the visual arts. Through class prompts and independent projects, Art and Time examines how artists can invoke, perceive and transform time and the experience of its passage. The student will choose and test the potentials of various visually expressive media throughout the semester. Attention given to historical and contemporary precedents. Seminar discussions and class critiques. Not open to students who have credit for Visual Arts 2801. Remote learning for this course will assist and support the student in the development of an independent studio practice at home. The course will reflect on how one’s immediate surroundings can serve as inspiration for the creative process. This process models the reality of the working artist with the goal of helping visual art majors and seriously engaged non-majors sustain their art making beyond graduation.

Prerequisites: Two of: VART 1100 - 2969 and VART 1100 - 2969.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2019, Fall 2018, Fall 2017.

VART 3801  (c)   Narrative Structures  

Mary Hart.
Non-Standard Rotation. Fall 2020. Enrollment limit: 18.
  

This advanced studio course guides students in the development of their creative practice, emphasizing class dialogue and providing support for working at home in a wide variety of media. The course explores narrative content, forms, processes, meanings, and approaches in the visual arts, especially in the context of contemporary practice, through interdisciplinary media, as determined jointly by faculty and students.

Prerequisites: Two of: VART 1100 - 2969 and VART 1100 - 2969.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2019, Fall 2017.

VART 3902  (c)   Advanced Studio  

Hilary Irons.
Every Spring. Spring 2021. Enrollment limit: 18.
  

Guided Independent Studio Practice. Concentrates on strengthening critical and formal skills as students start developing an individual body of work. Includes periodic reviews by members of the department and culminates with a group exhibition at the conclusion of the semester.

Prerequisites: VART 3000 or higher.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2020, Spring 2019, Spring 2018, Spring 2017.