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, Spring 2016.

VART 1101  (c, VPA)   Drawing I  

James Mullen; Mary Hart.
Every Semester. Fall 2019. Enrollment limit: 18.
  

An introduction to drawing, with an emphasis on the development of perceptual, organizational, and critical abilities. Studio projects entail objective observation and analysis of still-life, landscape, and figurative subjects; exploration of the abstract formal organization of graphic expression; and the development of a critical vocabulary of visual principles. Lectures and group critiques augment studio projects in various drawing media.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2019, Fall 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2015.

VART 1201  (c, VPA)   Printmaking I  

Carrie Scanga.
Every Semester. Fall 2019. Enrollment limit: 14.
  

How do we design images that visually express what we want to communicate? This question is at the heart of the printmaking discipline, which originated in the book and news printing industries and was later adopted as a tool by visual artists. Offers an exploration of image making through traditional and digital craft. Basic printmaking strategies and materials are introduced, such as ink, pressure, stencils, and multiples. Practices fine art print processes (digital, relief, and intaglio) using contemporary formats such as zines, stenciling, found objects, and collaboration. Exposure to historical and contemporary examples of printmaking through library special collections and museum visits, trips to local print shops and artists’ studios, demonstrations, visiting artist projects, and critiques supplement learning in the printmaking studio. Prior experience with other methods of image making, such as drawing or photography, is not required.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2019, Fall 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2015.

VART 1301  (c, VPA)   Painting I  

Mark Wethli.
Every Semester. Fall 2019. Enrollment limit: 18.
  

An introduction to painting, with an emphasis on the development of perceptual, organizational, and critical abilities. 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 development of a critical vocabulary of painting concepts. Lectures and group critiques augment studio projects in painting media.

Prerequisites: VART 1101.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2019, Fall 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2015.

VART 1401  (c, VPA)   Photography I  

Christine Elfman.
Every Semester. Fall 2019. Enrollment limit: 18.
  

Photographic visualization and composition as consequences of fundamental techniques of black-and-white still photography. Class discussions and demonstrations, examination of masterworks, and field and laboratory work in 35mm format. Students are encouraged to provide their own 35mm film manually adjustable cameras, but the department has cameras for loan if necessary.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2019, Fall 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2015.

VART 1601  (c, VPA)   Sculpture I  

Jackie Brown.
Every Semester. Fall 2019. 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 2019, Fall 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015.

VART 1701  (c, VPA)   Digital Media I  

Non-Standard Rotation. 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: Fall 2018, Fall 2017, Fall 2016, Fall 2015.

VART 2101  (c, VPA)   Drawing II  

Every Spring. 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 2019, Spring 2018, Spring 2017, Spring 2016.

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 or VART 1101 or VART 1401.

Previous terms offered: 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, Spring 2016.

VART 2301  (c, VPA)   Painting II  

Mark Wethli.
Non-Standard Rotation. Fall 2019. 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 2017, Fall 2015.

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, Fall 2015.

VART 2402  (c, VPA)   Photography and Color  

Christine Elfman.
Non-Standard Rotation. Fall 2019. 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 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, Spring 2016.

VART 2405  (c)   Photo Seminar  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 18.  

An extension of principles and techniques developed in Visual Arts1401, with increased emphasis on independent projects. Seminar discussion and critiques, and field and laboratory work. Participants must provide their own non-automatic 35mm camera.

Prerequisites: VART 1401.

Previous terms offered: Spring 2018.

VART 2601  (c, VPA)   Sculpture II  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 18.  

A continuation of principles introduced in Visual Arts 1601, with particular emphasis on independent projects.

Prerequisites: VART 1601.

Previous terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2016.

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 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, Spring 2016.

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)   Bio Art: Creative Inquiry at the Intersection of Art and Science  

Non-Standard Rotation. Enrollment limit: 18.  

Guided Independent Studio Practice. Bio Art is an international movement that gained traction in the 1990s and continues to push the boundaries of both art and science. The termencompasses a wide range of artworks generated using the materials, tools, techniques, and iconography of the life sciences. Introduces varied approaches to Bio Art, including artworks cultivated in a lab atmosphere, works developed with emerging technology, and works that use more traditional fine art media. Views several works that raise ethical questions with regard to advances in science and technology and discusses the potential role that Bio Art may play in facilitating cross-cultural dialogue. Students actively explore content through hands-on projects in two and three dimensions, primarily using fine art materials but with the possibility of integrating nontoxic organic matter. Through assigned reading, group discussion, studio projects, and critique, considers the value of cross-pollination between these disciplines, and students have the opportunity to develop a self-directed final project in response to course content.

Prerequisites: VART 1100 - 2969.

Previous terms offered: 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  

Non-Standard Rotation. 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  

James Mullen.
Non-Standard Rotation. Fall 2019. Enrollment limit: 18.
  

Guided Independent Studio Practice. An exploration of the role of time in the visual arts. Through class assignments and independent projects, examines how artists can invoke and transform time. Attention given to historical and contemporary precedents. Seminar discussions, field trips, and class critiques. Not open to students who have credit for Visual Arts 2801.

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

Previous terms offered: Fall 2018, Fall 2017, Fall 2015.

VART 3801  (c)   Narrative Structures  

Carrie Scanga.
Non-Standard Rotation. Fall 2019. Enrollment limit: 18.
  

Guided Independent Studio Practice. 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 in the course.

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

Previous terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2015.

VART 3902  (c)   Advanced Studio  

Every Spring. 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 2019, Spring 2018, Spring 2017, Spring 2016.