Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Field Trip #1: Art & Identity- The Museum of Modern Art

DUE: 10/02

For our first field trip, we will be visiting the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). The MoMA is one of the world’s premier institutions for exhibiting Modern and Contemporary Art. They boast an impressive permanent collection, as well as rotating list of special exhibitions.

For your first field trip reaction, you will consider the topic of identity in art. Art making is a personal endeavor that communicates the experiences of the artist. The best kind of art has the ability to transcend an artist’s individual experience, and communicate to the experiences of a broader audience. An artwork can relate to the identity of an individual (the artist, or his/her subject), it can relate to a specific cultural identity (nationality, ethnicity, gender, special interest group, etc…), and it most certainly relates to the identity of the time during which it was created (historical). At the museum, we will concentrate on the exhibition “Contemporary Galleries: 1980-Now,” but you can find work from anywhere in the museum. 

For your writing you will need to discuss three works of art. One work should embody the idea of individual identity, on work should embody the idea of cultural identity, and one work should embody the identity of a historical time or place. Here are some questions to consider in your writing: How does each work of art embody its classification of identity (personal, cultural or historical)? How do these notions of identity differ between the works of art that you chose? In what ways do they overlap?

Your finished writing needs to be at least 350 words. It should have an introduction, three body paragraphs and a conclusion. Post the writing on your Blogger page under the title, “Art and Identity: The Museum of Modern Art”, and label the post “Field Trip 1”.

At the end of your post, cite the three artworks that you chose in the following format. This information is generally available on the wall near the artwork:

Artist’ s Full Name
“ Title of Work” written in quotations*
Year Completed
 *When referencing the work in the body of your writing, also be sure to write the titles in quotations.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Project #2: Narrative Digital Collage

Due: 9-25 (before the start of class) 

A visual narrative is a work of art that tells a story. Narratives can consist of anything from simple, visual motifs (elements that repeat) to complex systems of signs and symbols. For this project, you will use photo editing software to create a narrative digital collage. This collage will pay special attention to the visual element of space.

The general theme of this project is “That Reminds Me of the Time When…” I would like this collage to tell a narrative about yourself. The narrative can illustrate a real event from your life, or it can be a pure fantasy. You may use images of yourself and familiar people & places, or you may find images of other people & places as stand-ins. One of the only parameters is that I don’t want you to include text in your collage. Instead of placing the word “Happy” in the center of your project, for example, try to make a scene that conveys a visual sense of happiness. Because this collage explores how things visually appear in space, you will use the principles of overlap, diminishing size and vertical placement. Consult the diagram “Cues to spatial depth” for ways to establish this illusion.

To make this digital collage, you will need to utilize the professional photo editing program Adobe Photoshop. Photoshop is available for you to use on any Mac computer on campus (including those in our classroom, the library and the B-333 computer lab). I have filmed a brief tutorial about using Adobe Photoshop for this project. The tutorial is available to watch in the Project #1 folder under the Assignments tab.

You will need to create an 800 x 600 pixel Photoshop PSD file (as outlined in the tutorial), and save it as (your) lastname_firstname_collage. I want to see at least 10 separate layers in your collage. This includes the background, extra landscape elements, individual figures, etc… You will use the Lasso tool to cut-out images that need to be cut-out, and you will use the Edit->Transform functions to resize the scale of images that need to be resized. Save the file often to ensure that nothing gets lost.

To submit, convert your document into a .jpg file (as outlined in the tutorial), and save the .jpg as (your) lastname_firstname_collage. You will then create a new post on your blog entitled “Narrative Digital Collage”. Upload the .jpg image to this new post and write a brief paragraph describing the scene that you have created. Label the post “Digital collage” along with any other relevant labels.

-Access to a computer with Adobe Photoshop
-Digital image files
-Flash drive for saving files

Photoshop tutorial:

"Clues to Spatial Depth" diagram:

Student work examples:

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Good Art/Bad Art Post

DUE: 9/18

For your first blog post, you will consider the topic “Good Art vs. Bad Art.” To begin, watch the video below.

One of the greatest qualities of art is that everybody is entitled to their own opinions. We are all individuals who come from unique backgrounds and experiences. So, why should we agree on what makes one thing “good” and another thing “bad”? For this prompt, tell us your opinion about what makes good art good and bad art bad. There are no wrong opinions. All that I require is that you present a thoughtful analysis of why you appreciate a certain type of art and not another.

The writing should be at least two paragraphs in length. One paragraph devoted to good art, one paragraph devoted to bad art. After your writing, upload two works of art that best describe your two viewpoints. Google Images is a great search engine for finding work:http://images.google.com

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a searchable image database:http://www.metmuseum.org/works_of_art/collection_database/
And so does the Museum of Modern Art: http://moma.org/explore/collection/index

If you still have a hard time finding examples to talk about, feel free to use works of art that I discuss in the lecture videos (just be sure to describe them in your own words!). To upload your images, follow the instructions in the “Adding Images and Links to Your Blog Posts” document.

Before you publish your post, write "good art bad art" into the labels field.


Hello, and welcome to the class blog for this Fall I 2013 hybrid-online section of Introduction to Art! You will each create and maintain your own Blogger sites. I will link your individual blogs to this class site in order to view your work. It's going to be a great semester!
-Prof. Richter