Course Calendar Outline for Spring 2001

Art 3365: Approaches to Criticism in the Visual Arts



__________Week 1__________Aesthetic Values
Jan. 11
Course orientation: Art Criticism in the Comics
(1) Introduction to Personal Aesthetic Frameworks & Art Traditions
Concepts: Diverse modes of visual communication
Aesthetic criteria: Expressionism, Formalism, Imitationalism (Realism), Instrumentalism, & Other

1. Select 2 objects to bring to class on 1/16--one that you consider art and one that you do not consider art. Do not show objects to classmates.

2. Buy reading packet and text. Bring a notebook with pockets, the reading packet, and the Barrett text to each class begining 1/16.

3. Complete questionnaire for 1/16. Your answers will be used throughout the course.
__________Week 2__________You as an Art Critic at Work
Jan. 16
Aesthetics: Assumptions about Art & Artist
(1) Art/not activity & intro to the Intervisual Process Model. Discuss major theories (debates) on the nature of art. (Use reading packet Section I & Barrett, ch. 2)

(2) Participate in & then debrief an "art attitude & aesthetic theory" survey.
Concepts: Theory & Art Criticism
Aesthetic Debates: What is art? When is it art?
What visual phenonmena do you respond to, take-for-granted, or ignore?
1. Bring reading packet & Barrett text to class.

2. Today (1/16) bring 2 objects to class--one that you consider art and one that you do not consider art. Do not show objects to classmates.
3. For 1/16 read Barrett, ch. 2, (pages 29-62).
4. Bring questionnaire (due 1/16).
5. See Internet Beauty/Aesthetic Assignment web page - due 1/23 (There will be in-class time to do it on 1/18, bring a zip disk.)
6. Send an email to me by 1/25
Jan. 18 
symbols for 5 art criticism modelsArt Criticism & Multivocality
(1) Multivocality Part I: Self-Selected Processes for Interpreting Images
(2) Internet Beauty searches (due 1/23)
Concepts: 5 different art criticism models
1. Bring a zip disk on 1/18.
3. For 1/18 read Barrett, chapter 3 (pages 63-86) to help you describe the art in the multivocal activity in-class on 1/18 referring to its subject, medium, & form.
__________Week 3__________Visual Vocabularies
Jan. 23
(1) Visual Vocabularies overview & game (use reading packet, Section II) [Videos: Tangible Spirits & Five African Art Facts]
(2) Discuss reading, "Western Art and Other Cultures: Encountering Differences" (Diepeveen/Van Laar, chapter 2)
(2) Aesthetics & Beauty (Exhibit your Internet search results)
(1) Elements and principles of art based in European traditions
(2) Conceptual differences in visual vocabulary when discussing non-European traditions of art or computer art.
1. Internet Beauty search (due 1/23).
2. For 1/23 read Diepeveen/Van Laar Chapter 2 (pages 34-63)
2. Select a chart comprised of visual vocabulary from Tuesday's (1/23) visual vocabulary game. Plan & create a painting based on the selected chart (due 1/30).

Jan. 25
environmental art by Karen Keifer-Boyd, 2000(1) Art & the Environment
(2) Ecoatonement video (Lynne Hull, artist)
(3) Outsider Art (outside the conventions of Western art). Discuss Diepeveen/Van Laar, chapter 3.
(1) Ecofeminism & Aesthetics of Place
(2) Outsider/Autobiographical art, Naive art, Folk art, Hiddenstream--in Western culture
1. Prior to 1/25 check out the courses' Ecofeminist Web site, connecting links, & eco questions which will guide the discussion on 1/25.
2. For 1/25 read Diepeveen/Van Laar, chapter 3 (pages 64-92)
__________Week 4__________Formation of Art Attitudes, Mindsets, & Categorization Systems
Jan. 30
gender symbols(1) Present & exhibit visual vocabulary paintings and charts.
(2) Formation of Art Attitudes, Obstacles to Perception, & Gendered Interpretations
Concepts: Socially & self constructed categories
1. Bring visual vocabulary paintings & charts.
2. Use reading packet, Section III in-class on 1/30.

2. Bring chair categories & best chair selection for activity on 1/30.
Feb. 1
Imitationalism (style of objective accuracy) & Still-Life paintings as "objects of significance" (17-20th c. still-life symbolism)
Concepts: Imitationalism; iconography; contextualizing art, the viewer, and the maker; and recognizing specific contexts to interpret & evaluate art.



    Imitationalist Art


by Kenna (Kiser ) Bush, 1997


Note: Visiting artists, Paul Scaridiz & Jennifer Lapham opening in the Landmark Arts main gallery is 2/2 at 6p.m. The lecture will be 2/1, 6 p.m. at the Tech Museum. The art teacher workshop with the artists will be 2/3, 9a.m.-2 p.m.
1. Use reading packet, Section IV in-class on 2/1.
2. Gather still-life items, drawing tools, & paper for class on 2/6.
3. For 2/1 read Barrett, ch. 1 (pages 1-28). This chapter will serve as a foundation to the assignment "select an art critic" which will be introduced on 2/22.
__________Week 5__________ Imitationalism & Iconography
Feb. 6
Studio: Draw still-life (in the style of objective accuracy - Imitationalism)
Bring drawing supplies & 3 objects. Bring a spotlight if possible on 2/6.
Feb. 8

formalist artworkInterpreting symbols (Critique & display Imitationalist paintings)



Intro to Formalism (style of Formal Order)


Formalist Art by Clea Verven, 1996

Due 2/8-Imitationalist drawing, label, & self-critique
__________Week 6__________Formalism
  Feb. 13 Studio: Formalist painting.
Bring supplies for formalist art.
  Feb. 15

expressionist crayon etching by Matt StillwellCritique & display Formalist paintings



Intro to Expressionism (style of personal expressiveness and originality)


Expressionist Art by Matt Stillwell, 1996

Due 2/15--Formalist painting, label, & self-critique

__________Week 7__________Expressionism
Feb. 20 Work on studio Expressionism project (due 2/27)
1. Bring supplies for expressionism project.
Feb. 22
Comparing Historical & Critical Approaches to Interpreting Visual Art (use rdg. pkt. Section V)

Discuss Barrett, chapter 4, pages 87-120 on Interpreting Art.

Concepts: Chinese Taoist painting, synchronistic "field thinking" /cyclical thinking, Arpilleras. Does understanding the context of creation help or hinder engagement with art?

1. For 2/22 read Barrett, chapter 4, pages 87-120 on Interpreting Art.

2. We'll use rdg. pkt. Section V on 2/22.

3. Begin "Select an Art Critic" assignment (see course Web site link for details) - due on 3/6.

__________Week 8__________Effects of Context & Different Criteria on Interpretations
Feb. 27
Critique & display Expressionist art
Context activity (use rdg. pkt. Section VI)
Deconstructing art by Matt Stillwell
Deconstructing Art by Matt Stillwell, 1996
1. Due 2/27--Expressionist painting & self-critique
2. We'll use rdg. pkt. Section VI on 2/27.
March 1
Intro to Postmodernism & Multivocal Art Criticism
Interpreting & Judging Art
1. Present interpretations on 3/1 from context activity on 2/27.
2. For 3/1 read Barrett, chapter 5, pages 121-154 on Judging Art.
__________Week 9__________Censorship, Controversial Art, & Politics of Representation
March 6
Students present self-selected art critic.
Video: Dammed in the USA
Discussion on censorship & art
1. Due 3/6-art critic presentations & handout.
March 8
Video: Art Herstory by Hermine Freed (excerpt 15 min.)
Discuss "Art Museums: Organizers of Culture" (Diepeveen/Van Laar, Chapter 1.

1. For 3/8 read Diepeveen/Van Laar, Chapter 1 (pages 1-33)

2. Select partner and sign-up for either 4/19 or 4/24 performance by 4/3/01

__________Week 10__________SPRING BREAK (March 10-18) (NAEA conference in NYC, 3/14-18)
 __________Week 11__________Virtual Museums
March 20

Art Criticism: Political, Cultural, Environmental, and Economic Ramifications (see rdg. pkt. Section VII)

Discussion: Politics of Display & Representation
Video: Guerillas in Our Midst (35 min.)

For 3/20 read Section VII in the readng packet.
March 22
Virtual Museum Visits & Internet Dialogue
Using The Palace Software Future Akin's virtual museum
Virtual Museum "Room" by Future Akins, 1997

Internet Travel to Museums to Collect Images
Digitally Scan Images from books or slides
PhotoShop Images for our class Internet Virtual Museum


1. Scan or Internet capture an image as your identity to portray in the virtual museum--due 4/3.

2. Create a "room" and write a "hotspot" for our virtual museum --due 4/3.

__________Week 12__________Virtual Museums continued
March 27
PhotoShop Tools Applied to Your Virtual Museum "Room." Continue Individual "Rooms" for the class Virtual Museum
March 29
Work on rooms (512 width x 384 height pixels saved as Indexed GIF at 236 colors), hotspots (text emailed to me), doors (draw on print out) & props (44x44 pixels and place in satchel)
Explore Finster & Miro as Hypermedia Interpretations
In-class select on 3/29 of an artwork for individual and linked interpretations within
__________Week 13__________Hypermedia Connections of Your Interpretations, Criteria, & Beliefs
April 3 Complete PhotoShop "Rooms," hotspots, props, and hyperstudio interpretations due by 6 p.m. on 4/3.
1. Rooms, hotspots, props, due by 6 p.m. on 4/3.
2. HyperStudio card of your interpretation due by 6 p.m. on 4/3.
April 5

Politics of Display & Representation Dialogue

(Uou may invite friends to join us from around the world. Have them email me at to get the password to enter our site from 3-5 p.m. Central time on 4/5 to dialogue with us. Students from Yuan Ze University in Taiwan and Penn State University in PA will join us.)

__________Week 14__________Film & Video Games
April 10 Hypermedia "String Connections"
Power of Images (print media)
Bring reading packet. We'll use Section VII (ch. 10) on 4/10
April 12

Critiquing Film & Video Games

Video: Game Over: Gender, Race, and Video Games
Video: Mickey Mouse Monopoly: Disney, Childhood and Corporate Power

Read Barrett, ch. 6, pages 155-177, to help you prepare for the written and performative aspects of the role-play assignment.
__________Week 15__________Student Performances
April 17

Tactile Aesthetics & Criticism

students engaged in tactile art criticism

April 19

Two guests presenters (Rae Atira-Soncea & _________) on arts organization, art activism, and artists with alter-abilities (3-4:30p.m.)

& Student Performances (4:30-5:50p.m.)

Present at the time and date you signed up for (either 4/19 or 4/24)
__________Week 16__________Multivocality
April 24

Student Performances







Thomas Castro as Salvadore Dali, 1997

April 26

Multivocality Part II & Hypermedia Interpretations

Visual Course Reflection (discuss Diepeveen/Van Laar, chapter 4)

1. For 4/26 read Diepeveen/Van Laar, chapter 4 (pages 93-121)
__________Week 17__________Final
May 7
FINAL ESSAY EXAM -- 4:30-7:00 p.m.
Topics to review:
Ecofeminism & Aesthetics of Place
Theories of Art - major debates
Obstacles to Perception & Censorship
Politics of Display & Representation Virtual Museums
Strategies and Emphases in Different Critical Approaches