Animation Animation is encountered by most in the western hemisphere from an early age and many never grow to understand the inherent challenges within. This course will help students explore animation in various forms and stages. Students will learn about these forms in concept and practice, beginning with archaic variations, such as phenakistoscopes and zoetropes, and moving through cut-out animation and cell animation.
Film History: Crime Crime and criminals have been a part of cinema almost from the conception of the narrative film. In this course, we will look over the history of crime in film and explore various subgenres that have arisen over the years. Students will evaluate US crime films from 1906 through the end of the 20th century. During this period they will merely scratch the surface of one of Hollywood’s favorite topics and understand that it is not simply an American vice. They will look at violence, seedy behavior, production codes, and audience reception of the films covered in this class.
Watercolor: Projects & Proposals Watercolor (or also known as aquarelle) dates back in history longer than Gouache and Poster Paint (often incorrectly called tempera). All three consist of pigments suspended in water-soluble elements. Watercolor and gouache have finer pigments and can come in both tube and pans while poster paints, with more coarse pigments, often comes in jars (true tempera uses egg yolks as a binder). Poster paint is thicker and paint to water ratio is higher compared to the other two. This class will focus on the basic techniques needed to execute a watercolor painting. Students will be required to follow instructions carefully for the first few projects and to be responsible for preparing their paper, proper care and cleaning their equipment and professionally presenting their Proposals: matted and placed in a portfolio (or framed). Students will be required to complete four of five Projects (matting Project #4 is required), four out of five Proposals and seven out of nine Art History Presentations to receive credit for this class. In order to complete a Project a student must have attended an entire class demonstration and have minimum of five hours of studio painting time logged. In order to complete a Proposal the painting must be exhibition-ready by the due date. Classes will be largely self-directed during studio hours on Monday and Friday, and the first hour of Wednesday’s class will be devoted to art history. The remainder of art period on Wednesday will be preparation studio time, where students can stretch paper, matt paintings or prepare sketches for future Proposals.
Film History: European Films of WWII This semester in Film History, the students will examine the impact of war on film. The First World War devastated Europe’s studios; the Second would change Europe’s place in cinema for generations to come. Students will explore not only the devastation to the industry, but also how filmmakers changed course and gave new ways to make movies, utilizing their medium to both create and to offer critique.
Film Production Film Production concentrates on student vision and desire to create filmic material. We use student-generated and existing pieces to spark lectures and discussions on the knowledge needed to create works. The student will gain an immense amount of hands-on learning, as well as theory, to better shape their understanding of how cinema is made. At the end of the semester, students should be able to display a competency with equipment as well as an understanding of positions, genres, motifs, and the running of a shoot.
Objects in Motion How did they do that? In this class we will initially explore contemporary puppetry and object theater, and attempt to design and engineer objects and kinetic sculptures that have been inspired from our research. Students will then find/make and animate objects in a variety of ways that creates meaning over a duration of time. Nuance suggested by movement, ambiance created by light and sound, and the juxtaposition of objects/images will be used to create a visual rhythm, express an idea, or tell a story. By selecting and composing each moment, even the most mundane event can be transformed into a memorable experience. There are four research based presentations required for credit in this class. Students must also complete four objects capable of motion- present them in motion and finally- they must be performed before an audience. Students must also maintain a sketchbook which demonstrates thinking about articulating motion. A notebook is also recommended for class notes, definition of terms, and research on contemporary puppet theater groups.
Writing Comics In Writing Comics students will take on the roles of writing, penciling, inking and lettering serial visual narratives, otherwise known as comics. Lectures on character design, world building, scripting, perspective, narrative, flow and the interaction of words and images will help students engage the unique aesthetic and formal qualities of the medium and apply them in their own work. With a focus on analog craftsmanship and micro-publishing, this class emphasizes group creativity, experimentation and economy of means over individual virtuosity. Working primarily in collaborative teams, students will produce five or more comics throughout the semester.
Courses Prior to Fall 2017:
Animation Animation is encountered by most in the western hemisphere from childhood, and yet many of us never understand the inherent challenges of the medium. This course will help students explore animation in various forms and stages. Students will learn about these forms in concept and practice, beginning with archaic variations, such as phenakistoscopes and zoetropes, moving through cut-out animation, cell animation and climaxing with computer generated animation.
Advanced Photography In Advanced Photography students will develop a distinct body of portfolio quality work and investigate specific aesthetic, social, and historical concerns as they relate to their photographic practice. Students will participate in close readings of peer work, complete a single critical paper regarding an established photographer, and engage in open dialogues on assigned readings.
Beginning Photography Beginning Photography will allow students to explore the craft of digital camera work through the construction of composition. They will be expected to understand the basic functions of the camera and be able to apply them to their work. They should also be able to understand compositional elements so as to better think of the process involved in taking photographs. This course will require students to participate in group critiques using the acquired knowledge stated above.
Black and White Photography Black and White Photography is a one-year course. However, the second semester is not mandatory to receive credit for the first semester. This class has two components: an introduction to the history of photography from the 1830s to present day, and the darkroom laboratory. We will demonstrate and study the photographic principle through the construction and use of a pinhole camera. We will learn how to develop film and paper in order to produce an exhibit at the end of the year. Students will learn how to read a photograph as an art medium. A series of critique sessions will prepare the students to conceive and edit a portfolio.
College Portfolio It is necessary for students interested in applying to an art school to have a portfolio. Students in this class will prepare a physical portfolio with some 15-20 examples of their original artwork in a variety of medias (drawing, watercolor, oil painting, print) along with a few class exercises that show success and failure. For many students, they will also need to prepare a digital portfolio on Tumblr for time-based media (animation, film, puppetry) sculpture, exhibitions, installations and large-scale work. The class will focus on art school assignments such as still life painting and drawing, matting and presenting, and discussing the art school experience. The class will visit 1 or 2 colleges in the spring semester for a portfolio review.
Critiquing Cinema In this course students will be expected to look at film critically while exploring genre, industry, and other contextualizing concepts. This should allow students to understand cinema more objectively, and give them a base from which to watch, research and discuss film academically. Films range from The Apartment to 8 1/2.
Curator Class Curator class will immerse students in the pragmatic, aesthetic and social concerns of exhibiting and archiving plastic works. While learning how to appropriately handle, exhibit and store artwork, students will also be fully involved in Liminal Gallery’s functioning as a cultural space. Students can expect a small amount of reading, note taking and homework assignments, but primarily will be graded on their involvement in gallery processes and their role as social ambassadors for the work, the space, and the institution at large.
Drawing Large A shift in scale can drastically change a student’s experience of the drawing process. Drawing at this scale becomes more about body movement than hand or arm control. In this course, students are introduced to the techniques of “scaling up” drawings essential for large-scale mural work. Students also learn to use materials suitable for drawing large scale works, such as graphite crayons, stick charcoal, powered graphite and chalk.
Film Genre: Animated Films
Film History: Comedies This course will examine over 100 years of comedy in film. From the silent film era to the end of the twentieth century, the student will observe specific genre motifs, plot devices and other structural elements and consider the evolution of comedy in film. Students will learn to differentiate the specific genres within comedy and how to use that within their critique. They will also spend a good deal of time considering the roles of the comedic actor, director and producer and how that plays into a specific film’s understanding and effect on the genre.
Film History: The ’60s This semester in Film History, we will be focusing on how the U.S. film industry came to be and how it took a big hit in the sixties. Using Robert Sklar’s Movie-made America, students will consider the power of the industry and how it has shaped certain films, and in turn how technology and theory progressed the business of film. They will also examine the impact that the industry had on the larger culture and how television began to erode this influence. In all, students will walk away with the ebbs and flows of the business of cinema through the slight demise of Hollywood’s reign.
Film Production: Animation
History of European Cinema This year’s Film History course will provide a one-year introduction to 20th Century Film History as it took place in Europe. We will progress roughly by decade, looking at the cinema through singular exemplars from different countries. Emphasis will be placed primarily, but not exclusively, on masterworks such as La grande illusion, Der blaue engel, 8 1/2, Les quatre cents coups, and Dom za vesanje. Discussions will center both on the elements of filmic craft and historical context, including divergent national modes of production. Assessment will necessarily depend on each student’s goals and prior experience, and will depend upon research, writing, and especially presentation and class participation. A final exam will be given at each term’s end.
Introduction to Painting
Music Theory This course provides an overview of Western music theory. Through close tutorial, students will master the basics of harmony and composition. The majority of students will be musicians, but musicianship is not required; this class is meant to augment performative instruction.
Observational Painting This class instructs students in the techniques and theory of observational painting. We will begin with honing basic drawing skills, moving on to pastels, watercolors, oils and finally, time permitting, egg tempera and encaustic. As students learn to observe value, color, light and form, we will also explore the differing challenges of these long-established media. Group and one-on-one critiques will foster an understanding of representation as a means of expression in two-dimensional image-making.
Print Making Printmaking is a semester-long class that introduces students to both silkscreen and relief printing techniques. Utilizing class demonstrations, historical lectures and workshop instruction, students will learn the technical concepts and skills required of the medium, its art-historical tradition, and the social and conceptual utility of this process-heavy medium. By semesters end students will create four or more editions of printed work.
Reproducing Media Printmaking and Photography Printmaking is a semester long class that introduces students to both silkscreen and relief printing techniques. Utilizing class demos, historical lectures and workshop instruction, students will learn the technical concepts and skills required of the medium, its art-historical tradition, and the social and conceptual utility of this process-heavy medium. By semester’s end, students will create four or more editions of printed work.
Puppet Making and Puppeturgy Puppetry is a powerful form of expression that is being rediscovered in theater, live art and visual art and over the past decade has increasingly taken center stage in festivals and mainstream productions. This two semester interdisciplinary arts course combines 2D and 3D studio art, traditional crafts, creative writing and object-based theater as seen through a dramaturgical lens. Students will be encouraged to explore their own creativity in developing objects, characters and scenarios throughout the course and will be expected to present their work publically at least twice each semester. Students will also be expected to research historical and international puppetry forms and to complete a research project on contemporary performance practices in object based theater.
Sculpture and 3D Design Students will explore sculptural form through hands-on studio projects as well as instructor-led demonstrations, lectures, and studio guidance. Building skills are emphasized along with critical observation and discussion. Throughout the building process students will learn important problem solving skills as well as creative idea development.
Still Life Painting Students interested in taking this advanced studio class must demonstrate a familiarity with the paint medium and the application of oil for this class. This class teaches color mixing and color matching, blocking in shapes, and compositional variations. Everyday objects are used as references, and students are encouraged to attempt a realistic rendition of the object, but accuracy is not the primary objective. This course also guides the student through the process of planning, under painting, layering and glazing to completing a canvas.
Studio Protocol This class is a foundational introduction to the guidelines and procedures to be used in studio arts classes. The term “protocol” in the case of this class refers more to the development of a plan to carry out a project rather than a formal and strict set of rules. Throughout this year long course, students will compile their own guidelines and proper procedures to aid them in the uses of a variety of artistic techniques. Students will be graded based on the frequency and reliability in which they complete projects in a safe and orderly manner.