Visual Arts Course Descriptions

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Number sequencing next to course name means the following: first digit designates the number of lecture hours for the course; the second digit designates the number of lab, clinic or practicum hours; and the third digit designates the credit hours for the course.

Courses will be offered at Smokestack Center on North State Street in Concord.

VRTS 101C Introduction to Drawing 2-4-4
Students in this course will gain the basic skills and insights necessary to create drawings that are both accurate and expressive. Explorations of line, value and form will engage the eye and the hand as well as the heart. Students will gain confidence in their own vision and their ability to draw what they see.

VRTS 102C Introduction to the Visual Arts 3-0-3
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the languages, concepts, and practices of art through visual and art historical perspectives. Students will be engaged in discussion about the elements of art, such as content, composition, style, method and materials. Students will also be introduced to all of the visual art practices, including drawing and painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, conceptual and installation art, video art, earthworks, and performance art, as well as craft and graphic design.

VRTS 103C Two-Dimensional Design 2-3-3
This course is designed to provide students with a solid foundation in two-dimensional design and color theory. Students will learn the basic elements needed to form visual patterns and proceed to explore a variety of approaches relating to visual organization and pictorial composition. A section of the course will be dedicated to the fundamentals of color theory, its function and application.

VRTS 104C Three-Dimensional Design 2-3-3
This is a foundation course introducing the student to the technical and conceptual elements for the organization and development of three-dimensional structures. Beginning projects will address the basic elements needed to explore a variety of approaches relating to form and space, then move to more complex issues involving the relationships between form and function.

VRTS 111C Survey of Western Art History I 3-0-3
This course examines the history of western civilization through the study of objects created by people from various western cultures - from the cave paintings of the pre-historic era to the great cathedrals of Europe during the 12th and 13th centuries. Students will study the artifacts, architecture, painting and sculpture that inform understanding of a culture's way of life, beliefs, and priorities. In turn, students will gain a deeper understanding of today's culture and society. Students will also develop the basic skills and vocabulary necessary to critique a work of art.

VRTS 112C Survey of Western Art History II 3-0-3
This course examines the history of painting sculpture and architecture created by Western Europeans from the early 14th century through the 19th century (and beyond if time permits). These works of art will be studied as a way to understand the way of life, beliefs and priorities of these societies, as well as contemporary culture. Students will also continue to develop the basic skills and vocabulary necessary to critique a work of art.

VRTS 115C History of Modern Art 3-0-3
This course examines the origins and development of Modern Art from the French Revolution in 1789 to the outbreak of World War II in 1939. Late 20th Century Art, including Postmodernism, and trends in Contemporary Art are introduced. Emphasis is placed on two-dimensional art, sculpture and architecture, and the creative processes employed by modern artists. Students explore individual works of art within their cultural and historical context.

VRTS 120C Introduction to Oil Painting 2-4-4
An introduction to the basic techniques of oil painting, concentrating on the principles of color and light. Using a variety of subject matter, students will explore the problems of pictorial composition, color theory, oil-related mediums and techniques.

VRTS 121C Introduction to Watercolor 2-4-4
This course introduces the student to the basic watercolor techniques and use of materials. It is a sequential program of study, applying the elements and principles of Two-Dimensional design to the watercolor discipline. Students will study still life, landscape, and the human form. Reference will be made to past and contemporary masters of the watercolor medium. (Prerequisite: VRTS 101C with a grade of “C” or higher)

Special topics courses listed under VRTS 125C Introduction to the Traditional Arts
Courses under this heading allow students to work with established artists to develop skills using tools and methods used to create functional artwork throughout history.

VRTS 125AC Woodworking in the Hand Tool Tradition 2-4-4
This course will focus on the skills and insights necessary to find beautifully functional spoons in the tree and to extract them by techniques traditional to the New England farm shed. Students must attend all of the first six classes, after which no more than two absences will be allowed without penalty.

VRTS 126V Introduction to Printmaking 2-4-4
This course introduces the student to the basic printmaking intaglio and relief techniques and use of materials. It is a sequential program of study, applying the elements and principles of two-dimensional design to the printmaking discipline. The course is designed to give the student in-depth experimentation in creating single and multi-plate prints while encouraging creative ideas and content. Technical areas addressed include color registration, edition printing, presentation and image development, ink and paper selection. Reference will be made to past and contemporary masters of the printmaking medium (Prerequisite: VRTS 101C with a grade of “C” or higher)

VRTS 130C Introduction to Photography 2-4-4
This introductory photography course is designed to familiarize students with basic film photography and beginner darkroom techniques.  Students are instructed in the use and care of a 35mm manual film camera, film developing and darkroom printing techniques. Assignments are designed to cover a variety of shooting situations and the expectation is that students will apply the elements of composition, capture expressive content and demonstrate proficient technical ability in the making of photographs. Students should expect to provide their own 35mm film camera with full manual controls.

VRTS 133C Introduction to Figural Sculpture 2-4-4
This course is an introduction to basic human figural sculpture, designed to develop the student's understanding of the anatomical structures of the human figure, gestural forms, constructive methods, and then applying this knowledge to create unique character and figural sculptures in traditional sculpting media, such as wire, wax, plaster, and clay. The emphasis in imagery will be: direct live model observations, translating 2-D sources into form, developing hand-eye coordination, technical discipline, and evolving a personal expressive use of materials, technique, and subject matter. All projects are designed to combine related technical, visual, and historical components.  (VRTS 101C or VRTS 104C with a grade of “C” or higher)

VRTS 135C Introduction to Ceramics 2-4-4
This introduction to ceramics will focus on studio work leading to the completion of five projects. Students will learn the basics of handbuilding, the potter's wheel, kiln firing, glazing, and surface embellishment. Class time will be made up of instructor's demonstrations, group critiques, and individual studio work. Projects will stress the sculptural potential of clay with a visit into the aesthetic merit of functional vessel making. A research project, introducing students to the work of historical clay artists, will provide inspiration and direction. A $50 ceramic studio fee will be assessed for all students taking VRTS 135C.

VRTS 140C Digital Photography 3-0-3
This course addresses digital camera operation, a variety of file types, digital photo editing and printing procedures. Digital camera capabilities will be learned through a series of project-based assignments, lectures, demonstrations, and critiques. Formal emphasis is placed on the creative use of camera controls, composition, exposure, digital imaging software (including Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop®) and an awareness of critical issues in contemporary photography. Scanning and printing techniques will also be included. Students are required to provide their own digital camera and media cards for storing image files. The camera must be capable of full manual control and capturing RAW files. Although all work can be accomplished on campus computers, a laptop computer suitable for viewing/editing images and Adobe Photoshop software will facilitate additional work outside of the scheduled lab time (but is not required).

VRTS 193C Introduction to Photoshop 3-0-3
This course is structured to introduce students to the powerful tools of Photoshop for manipulating digital images, photomontage and page layout applications. The course topics cover Photoshop tools, photo corrections, working with selections, and layer basics. The use of masks and channels, typographic design, and vector drawing techniques are also covered. In addition, assignments will include advanced compositing, basic video editing, digital painting and working with 3D images/text. Textbook and portable media storage device required. (Prerequisite: working knowledge of Microsoft Windows environment)

VRTS 195C Introduction to Illustrator CC 3-0-3
This course is structured to introduce students to the powerful tools of Adobe Illustrator (Ai) for manipulating images, building multimedia online graphics, and creating page layout applications. Students learn skills and techniques for editing images and creating effective digital graphics for a variety of online and print applications. The course topics cover Illustrator tools, layers, typography, digital painting, symbols/shapes, brushes, and graphic styles/effects. (Prerequisite: Working knowledge of Microsoft Windows environment)

VRTS 201C Drawing II 2-4-4
This advanced drawing class builds upon the aesthetic, technical, and conceptual foundation established in VRTS 101C (Introduction to Drawing). This observational drawing course will develop greater technical facility with materials and explore methods for translating and interpreting one's environment onto a drawing. As conceptual options and skill with materials increase, drawing will become a stronger outlet for personal and creative expression. Students will expand their understanding and use of color and work more extensively from the human figure. The historical foundation of drawing will be explored, as well as contemporary and historical trends. (Prerequisite: VRTS 101C)

VRTS 210C Life Drawing 2-4-4
This advanced drawing class builds upon the aesthetic, technical, and conceptual foundation established in Introduction to Drawing (VRTS 101C) with an emphasis on the human form. The student will aim to develop a knowledge of and a sensitivity to the structure, anatomy, and expressive qualities of the human form in a variety of ways including line, place, value, mass, and shape. Composition will be a consideration at all times. (Prerequisite: VRTS 101C with a grade of “C” or higher)

VRTS 220C Painting II 2-4-4
This course involves further development of skills and concepts covered in FA 120 (Introduction to Oil Painting) while emphasizing individual expression within the parameters of structured studio projects. This course is intended to advance the student's understanding of visual organization and design through the development of a personal painting vocabulary. (Prerequisite: VRTS 120C)

VRTS 230C Photography II 2-4-4
This course is designed to help the student who has basic darkroom and exposure/development skills further her/his understanding of the principles and techniques of black and white photography. Assignments will focus on both technical and aesthetic concerns.  Class topics include still life composition, the use of fiber paper, toning, studio lighting, portraiture, street photography, photojournalism, medium format film and low light photography.  In-class critiques provide feedback on students' work. Students should expect to provide their own 35mm film camera with full manual controls, and be able to independently operate studio lighting equipment. (Prerequisite: VRTS 130C with a grade of “C” or higher)

VRTS 235C Ceramics II 2-4-4
In this second level of ceramics, students will be asked to develop a body of artwork that reflects a growing understanding of building techniques and surface treatment. The development of personal direction and an individual artistic voice will be stressed. Projects will be concept driven, expecting students to be able to visually and verbally demonstrate the intent of the work. Focused time on the potter's wheel will open up a new creative tool, and begin a dialogue on design and function. Students will have the opportunity to explore work and techniques of contemporary clay artists. (Prerequisite: VRTS 135C with a grade of “C” or higher)

VRTS 290C Visual Arts Capstone Practicum 1-0-1
A capstone experience in which students will create an independent body of work and demonstrate their ability, present it in a professional manner, document the artwork photographically, curate their exhibition, and write their Artist Statement. The work from the Capstone Exhibition will also be included in the student's Program Exit Portfolio. The student will select a member of the Visual Arts faculty to oversee the student's capstone progress through weekly scheduled critiques, demonstrations, and discussions. Emphasis will be on the marriage of conceptual content with technical competence in the selected mediums. (Prerequisite: Successful completion of 52 credit hours in the Visual Arts degree program and permission of the Department Head of the Visual Arts program)

31 College Drive
Concord, NH 03301
(603) 230-4011