Lower Division Courses

Art 8 A: Introduction to Visual Thinking/Design

Art 8 : Introduction to Visual Thinking

This course will explore how we observe and interpret our visual world. We will examine material from a wide range of sources, focusing on the social, political, and cultural connections, as well as the conceptual base and formal properties that comprise a particular visual/sensory experience. Two ongoing concerns will be the exploration of how art and life intersect, and how our perceptions of what constitute the “high” and “low” in collective culture establish our beliefs about art. The course requires the completion of three projects that stress the visual, intellectual and intuitive aspects of art making.

Art 12 : The Language of Drawing

Six hours of instructional studio and three hours of open studio per week. A study of drawing as a tool for articulating what the eyes, hand, and mind discover and investigate when coordinated. Some sessions will be devoted to drawing the human figure.


Art 13 : The Language of Painting

***Please note that there are TWO sections of this course***

Art 13 is an entry-level painting course designed to familiarize students with the materials, technical approaches, and processes of painting. Through a series of exercises, assignments, and visual presentations, we will investigate color interaction, contextual relationships, conceptual and compositional strategies, and the relationship between (subject, content, meaning) and process. Twentieth century painting history and theory will be referenced throughout our time together.

Consistent attendance is an important factor for this class to be a success. There will be a roster sheet for you to sign each day when you arrive. More than two absences will affect your final grade by one half. Two more absences will drop you another half.

Art 14 : The Language of Sculpture – Mixed Media

This course is the study of the interaction between physical form and space. We will focus on building a strong conceptual foundation while developing the practical studio skills needed to translate your ideas into three dimensions. Shop practices will include hand, machine, and computer-aided fabrications. Field trips and illustrated talks will help acquaint students with the ideas sculptors have explored through history and in contemporary sculptural practices.

Art 15 : The Language of Sculpture: Ceramics

This class will investigate the potential of ceramics as sculpture.  Both traditional and experimental approaches to ceramics will be explored as a way to develop our technical skills and expand our conceptual approaches.  Field trips and illustrated talks will examine the ideas that have engaged ceramic sculptors in many traditions and the processes that they have used to expand them. Lectures and demonstrations introduce students to techniques and varied applications.

Art 16 : Introduction to Printmaking – Relief and Intaglio

This course examines and explores various print disciplines. Students study and create traditional forms of fine art printmaking including woodcut, lithography, intaglio, and screenprinting as well as newer approaches which include transfer and digital printmaking. This course is a prerequisite for upper division print courses. Lectures and demonstrations introduce students to techniques and varied applications.

Art 17 : Beginning Printmaking – Lithography and Screen Printing

Non-traditional projects in printmaking. Lectures and demonstrations introduce students to techniques and varied applications.

Art 21 : Beginning Digital Photo

This is a basic foundation class for digital photography with hands-on instruction in the use of digital cameras and online image dissemination. Topics include image capture, composition, image syntax, image analysis, image manipulation, meta-text production, and image sequencing for visual narratives. We also study image dissemination through online networks-social networks, blogs, news, storage, search, and print services.

Art W 23 AC: Cyber Cultures

Description: This course establishes internet citizenship as the process of forming online communities through participation. The course itself seeks to establish a community of learners, innovators, and explorers who engage with 23 principles of internet culture through missions. The missions include topics aggregation, networking, identity, amplification, and subversion. Students work in small groups with about five members and complete learning missions through research and creative assignments using photography, writing, video, and user interaction design.

(F,SP) Niemeyer

Upper Division Courses

Art 102 : Approaches to Painting

Often artists respond to limitations, whether self-imposed or life-imposed by lack of time, space or budget. But limitations are not always restrictions. Finding creative responses to limitations or boundaries can lead to unsuspected solutions. Many painters use specific limitations that propel their work into unexpected territories through their process, their materials or by finding ways of working that manifest as a result of an environmental or other constraint.

During this course, students will achieve the maximum impact within limited means. Through in-class and more in-depth projects, limitation exercises, and technical painting workshops, students will explore strategies that involve process, collaboration and project-based painting using limitation as a source of propulsion in their work. Emphasis will be placed on focusing one’s practice, as well as honing the skills needed to realize projects.

Students will study artists who utilize specialized processes, boundaries and strategies to guide and develop their work. The class will be supplemented by field trips and readings.

Course may be repeated for credit. Six hours of instructional studio and three hours open studio per week. Inquiry into concepts of order, process, and content as related to human experience. While faculty contact with students is highly individualized, the course involves group critiques and lectures as well as assigned field trips. Prerequisites 10, 12, and 14 or equivalents.

Art 103 : Advanced Approaches to Painting

This is an advanced studio and lecture class for art majors, to advance their practice through practical research into the varied processes and methods of contemporary painting. Students will expand their skills and develop a dedicated practice through self generated projects and critical engagement. In-class critiques and open discussion will reinforce and challenge the students as a vital part of their technical, conceptual, and professional development.

Art 118 : Contemporary Perspectives of Figure Drawing

The primary focus of this course is to advance fundamental technical skills in the process of figure drawing, to gain understanding of human anatomy, and to acquire a personal visual language of drawing from life. Through close observation of the human form the student will develop ways of seeing that go beyond regular visual perception. The student will also expand the skills necessary for figure drawing executed in variety of dry and wet media, together with diverse methodologies of traditional and contemporary figure drawing.

Course may be repeated for credit. Six hours of instructional studio and three hours of open studio per week. Advanced drawing and composition, color and black-and-white, primarily on paper. Art 117 or 118 is required of all art majors.

Prerequisites: 12, 13, and 14 or equivalents.

Art 119 : Global Perspectives in Contemporary Art

This course is designed to explore a range of contemporary art movements around the globe, through a closer look at their central ideas, artists, and artworks, as well as the preconditions and broader social context in which the work is being produced. Topics covered will range from the emergence of localized avant-garde movements in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America to the implicit globalism of the international biennial circuit.

Art 120 : Advanced Projects: Print Intaglio

Six hours of lecture and three hours of studio per week. The process of Intaglio will be explored in a variety of image producing techniques. Hand drawn, photographic, and digitally manipulated images are combined to produce multiple works of limited edition fine art prints. Image content and development is examined through drawings, studies, slide lectures, group critiques, and direct assistance. Each student is required to attend all class periods and participate in group discussions and critique. It is the responsibility of the student to maintain a portfolio of all works executed during the semester and to turn in all assignments on time. The grade is determined by attendance, completion of projects and participation in critiques. Personal improvement will also be taken into account.

Prerequisites: Open to upper division art majors or by consent of instructor.
Credit option: Course may be repeated for credit.

Art 133 : Approaches to Sculpture: Meaning in Material

In this class the student will consider sculptural issues of (and beyond) the object itself, notions of “site specific,” and of whether an object is distinct from its environment or is part of it. We will also question issues of space, placement, installation, context, and public interaction. Students will engage with a variety of sites, both on and off campus, with drawings and written proposals being an integral part of all projects. Lectures and demonstrations will introduce students to techniques and varied applications.

Prerequisites: 8, 12, and 14, or equivalents.

Art 137 : Advanced Projects in Ceramic Sculpture

Course may be repeated for credit. Six hours of instructional studio and three hours of open studio per week. Students who are experienced in clay may enroll in this course to continue developing their ideas and their technical command of ceramic materials and processes.

Prerequisites: 12, 13, 14, 132 or equivalents.

Art 160 : Ancient Pigments and Contemporary Drawing Practices

This is an advanced studio drawing course that compares and contrasts traditional Asian and European pigments, surfaces, and images with contemporary strategies, sources, and methods.  Students will use various traditional hand-made pigments, binders, papers, and drawing materials to explore cultural developments and representations of space, time, and objects. A major course outcome is to create hybrid, diverse content that combines contemporary images and narratives with traditional historic sources. The course provides lectures, demonstrations and studio research methodologies.

Art 163 : Social Practice

Six hours of lecture and two hours of discussion per week. Social Practice broadly refers to work produced through various forms of direct engagement with a site, social system or collaborator. Interdisciplinary in nature, such work often takes the form of guerilla interventions, performance, institutional critique, community based public art and political activity, all sharing the premise that art created in the public sphere can help alter public perception and work toward social transformation.

Art 171 : Beginning Digital Video

Nine hours of studio per week. Course may be repeated with consent of instructor. This course will cover a range of digital media and practices, with a view towards exploring current and future possibilities for photography. Inclusive of multiple approaches to scale, execution, and technique, the course enables students to examine and push the limits of photographic practices. This course will help students advance their digital shooting and Photoshop skills from a beginning to a more advanced level, and will cover the workflow of digital photography: camera usage, scanning, image editing, management, and printing.


Art 173 : Electro-Crafting

Six hours of lecture and three hours of studio per week. Course may be repeated for credit.
This is a studio class designed to introduce artists to the medium of sound. Students will learn the basic skills necessary to work with audio, including microphones, digital recording, editing and processing, speaker and installation design, and circuit-bending. In addition, students will learn about the history of sound art and the ways in which visual art and experimental sound practice inform and expand upon each other.

Art 178 : Game Design Methods

Two hours of lecture and four hours of studio per week. This course offers an introduction to game design and game studies. Game studies has five core elements: the study of games as transmitters of culture, the study of play and interactivity, the study of games as symbolic systems; the study of games as artifacts; and methods for creating games. We will study these core elements through play, play tests, play analysis, and comparative studies. Our reading list includes classic game studies theory and texts which support game design methods. After weekly writing and design exercises, our coursework will culminate in the design and evaluation of an original code-based game with a tangible interface.


Art 185 : Senior Projects, sections 001/002

***Please note that there are TWO sections of this class, K185/001 AND K185/002**

Three hours of lecture and three hours of studio critique per week. This course provides students with a foundation for understanding their work within a cross-disciplinary critical context. Through class and individual critique, readings, guest artists, and field trips, students will explore the practical and conceptual components of their own media and practice within a broader discussion of artistic production. In addition to this focused attention on the critique process, the class with address the ongoing needs of supporting one’s work within a community of artists, arts professionals, and arts organizations. Each student will work towards developing the most effective tools for communicating their work to these broader audiences using strategies that are appropriate/effective for their ideas, media, and audience.

Prerequisites: Senior level students only.

Graduate Courses

Art NWMEDIA 201 : BCNM: Questioning New Media (NWMEDIA 201, 3 units)

Questioning New Media is a hybrid studio/lecture course that explores issues and practices in contemporary new media culture. Students will research, present and make creative works that critically examine new media. The course will focus on the issues addressed in select campus lectures, local art exhibitions, and course readings. In class, students will enhance their skills in “questioning” new media: how to think critically about advanced topics, how to look at new media art work with a discerning eye, and how to transform their “questions” into an engaging creative work of art or performance.

Students will attend campus lectures, art shows and events, in addition to doing selected readings. There will be a final presentation/performance night open to the public. This course is open to graduate students from any department and upper- level undergraduates (upon instructor approval). This course fulfills one of the core course requirements for the Designated Emphasis in New Media.

Art 218 : Theory and Critique

Course may be repeated for credit. Hours to be arranged. ALL GRADUATE COURSES MUST BE TAKEN FOR A LETTER GRADE.

Admission to the M.F.A. program. M.F.A. candidates, special study – M.F.A. Committee members as well as other faculty.

Art BCNM 290 : Post-Secular: Religion, Ritual, and Performance

Please see UC Berkeley course catalog for details on this course.

Art NWMEDIA 290 : BCNM: Critical Practices: People, Places, Participation (NWMEDIA 290-003, 4 units)

A hands-on, studio design course where students work at the intersection of technological innovation and socially engaged art. Students will integrate a suite of digital fabrication tools with social design methods to create work that engages in cultural critique. Working with innovative technologies and radical, new art practices, this course will explore: hybrid art forms, critical design for community engagement, interventions in public spaces, tactical media and disobedient objects. These new making strategies will reframe our notions of people, places and participation.

Art 294 : Graduate Seminar: Theory and Criticism

Course may be repeated for credit. Six hours of instructional studio and three hours open studio per week. Weekly meetings will provide a forum for the discussion of issues related to assigned readings in the fields of esthetics, theory and art criticism. ALL GRADUATE COURSES MUST BE TAKEN FOR A LETTER GRADE.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

Art 301 : The Teaching of Art: Practice

The 301 Pedagogy Seminar is a preparation for GSI’s and is aligned directly with the teaching of Art 8: Introduction to Visual Thinking. Within our pre-semester pedagogy meetings, each graduate student develops a syllabus with emphasis on teaching philosophy, course content, approach to grading, attendance policy, and critique approach and style. Graduate students develop lesson plans and relational formal exercises for each of the course’s three main projects. Instructors receive the Art 8 Pedagogy manual, which contains twenty years of GSI’s syllabi and other helpful information. During our weekly semester pedagogy meetings, the graduate students and I discuss the pertinent issues of their current classroom dynamics.


Consent of instructor.