UC Berkeley Art Practice
Department of Art Practice at UC Berkeley

Upper Division Undergraduate Courses

Upper Division Courses


Art 100: Collaborative Innovation

This course is about working together to imagine and create new futures. It is about recognizing that to have real impact on the “wicked problems” of the world we must understand, appreciate and then leverage multiple disciplines. It is about taking a hands-on studio-based approach to practice and to learn techniques that will make you a successful collaborative innovator in the future. In this project-based class, you will apply a wide variety of methods to frame and solve problems. Those methods will be drawn from critical thinking, systems thinking, and creative problem-solving fields, as well as from the art practice, business, theater and dance performance studies disciplines represented by the faculty. You will apply what you learn in teams, with teaming guidance, to learn what makes collaboration successful.


Art 102: Deconstructing the Image Plane

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. 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: Art: 10, 12, and 14 or equivalents.


Art 103: Painting Projects

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.

Prerequisites: Art: 10, 12, and 14 or equivalents.


Art 117: Research, Methods and Materials of Drawing

Advanced drawing and composition, color and black-and-white, primarily on paper. Art 117 or 118 is required of all art majors. Lectures and demonstrations introduce students to techniques and varied applications.


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: Intaglio Print Studio

Instructor: Randy Hussong

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.

Course may be repeated for credit. Six hours of instructional studio and three hours of open studio per week. An opportunity to discover what an artist can do with an etching press and a familiarity with such processes as etching, drypoint, aquatint, color, and monotype printing. The difference in the ways that these mediums enhance and condition your ideas will be made clear through individual and group critiques.

Prerequisites 12, 13, 14, or equivalents.
Open to upper division art majors or by consent of instructor.


Art 123: Silkscreen Studio

Instructor: Randy Hussong


Course may be repeated for credit. Six hours of instructional studio and three hours of open studio per week. In the course of making screenprints, you will be encouraged to find an esthetic direction of your own. Your instructor will also help you develop skill in using both stone and metal plates.

Prerequisites: Art 12, 13, 14 or equivalents.


Art 130: Approaches to Sculpture: Concept and Construction

This course is geared toward constructing objects, forms, and particular structures to reveal concept. This class will have more advanced instruction in fabrications, emphasizing the use of wood and metal shops. Architectural considerations, physical experience of space, and innovative sculptural practices will be explored. Lectures and demonstrations introduce students to techniques and varied applications.


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


ART 137: Ceramic Sculpture Studio

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 160A: Designing and Activating Public Space

Students will research, design and collaboratively help convert the Wurster South Courtyard into a multi-use space for video screenings, performance, and social practice projects. Students will explore the history of public and communal spaces; speak with local artists and other professionals in the areas of urban design, landscaping and programming public art spaces. Students will design and construct different components of the space, and will curate an onsite pop up exhibition/event as a final project.


Art 160: Radical Wearables and Avant-garde Garments

How have contemporary artists used textiles, garments, and “fashion-like” sculptures to create artworks that challenge issues of gender, identity, and use? Far from being neutral territory, artist-produced props and wearables often incorporate aesthetic experimentation in order critique existing power structures and highlight alternatives. This hands-on studio course will focus on the production of experimental costumes, garments, and fashion in the context of contemporary art and critical ideas. This is not a traditional “fashion” class. We will pull from the fields of contemporary art, craft, fashion, theater and design to examine how “radical wearables” can work with politics, humor, and play to temporarily create a space for envisioning new possibilities for how we construct our identities. Topics include: craftivism, historical examples of fashion being deployed as protest, agitprop theater, and the effect of capitalism and mass production on the handmade. Students will design and fabricate several projects, stage photoshoots, and produce a final live performance event showcasing their radical wearables. Prerequisites: Upper division undergraduate Art Major, graduate student, or by permission of the instructor. No prior sewing skills necessary, but helpful.


Art 163: Social Practice Studio

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: Foundations of 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 Studio

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.


Music By Pink Floyd. Video by Alexa Alyeshmerni, Kayi Li, Minghuan Wang. For educational purposes only. All video from archive.org

Art 174: Political Aesthetics of Music Video

Instructor: Greg Niemeyer

Six hours of studio per week. This advanced studio course is designed for students who have mastered basic skills and concepts involved in digital video production and are interested in further investigating critical, theoretical, and creative research topics in digital video production. Also listed as Film and Media C187.

Prerequisites: Art 173 or Film 100, 185 with a grade of A- or better and consent of instructor


Art 178: Game Design Studio

Instructor: Greg Niemeyer

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 180: Advanced Digital Photography

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 182: Artists as Writers

Instructor: Anne Walsh

Topics of concern to the instructor, usually related to current research, which may fall outside of the normal curriculum or be of more restricted content than regular studio courses. An opportunity to investigate topics and mediums on an ad hoc basis when there is a compelling reason to do so, providing there is no other course that deals with these concerns. Primarily intended for advanced undergraduates and graduates in Art Practice but open to others. For special topics and enrollment see listings outside of 345 Kroeber.

Prerequisites: Consent of instructor.


Art 184: Junior Seminar: Meaning and Making

Spring 2019 Critique

Spring 2019 Critique

This immersive studio/seminar class focuses on contemporary models of art making, exposing students to current issues in the art world, and fostering interdisciplinary models of thinking and making. Through field trips to museums, galleries, and alternative art spaces, as well as studio visits with local contemporary artists, students will be able to situate their own projects within the larger sphere of contemporary art. Language and writing skills around artist statements, critical readings, and the critique process will be emphasized to understand how research methods give meaning in a studio practice. Presentation of a final studio project asks students to examine their place within a contemporary art dialogue.


ART 185: Senior Projects

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.


Art 190: Critical Practices: People, Places, Participation (also listed as NWMEDIA 190-003)

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.