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Special Topics Courses

Previously Offered Special Topics Courses

ARTS 279 Sec 01: Parking Lot Project
Taught by Professor of Studio Art Erling Sjovold

The Parking Lot Project transforms a University of Richmond parking lot into a yearlong, collaborative artwork, driven by students from diverse disciplines enrolled in a course through the Department of Art and Art History. The spring section will be cross-listed with the Department of Geography and the Environment. Additional spaces will be transformed by select students, faculty, and staff from across the University. Individual parking spaces are excavated to be green spaces alongside functional spaces, disrupting the parking lot’s identity. Students redevelop the spaces as sites for independent research and public art, while considering questions about sustainability, land use, and landscape on their own terms – as artists, scholars, and citizens. The public is invited to engage with the project and students through presentations and critiques.

ARTS 279 - Alternative Digital Printing
Taught by Visiting Professor of Art, Tom Condon.

This course is intended for students who have a basic knowledge of photography and its materials and an interest in use of the lens based image as part of a broad vocabulary of image-making processes. We will explore alternative techniques and materials along with contemporary digital technology in search of discovering new applications for our digital image collections.  Projects will include various approaches to direct printing and image transfers onto materials such as wood, metal, glass, plastics, fabric as well as traditional fine art papers.  The course work will be designed to extend the physical and visual potential of the digital image while providing more room for the artists hand in the finished work.

ARTS 279 - Mural Painting
Taught by Visiting Professor of Art, Heide Trepanier.

Did you know that mural painting is the oldest form of visual communication? From Chauvet Cave in southern France (30,000 BC.) to the contemporary works of Banksy, murals have been used to communicate our devout beliefs, encourage political uprisings, and to make us laugh at cultural folly.This course is a studio course that teaches the fundamentals of site-specific mural work, including mural painting and other artwork that utilizes its environment. From fresco to encaustic to tempera and spray paint, students will be pursuing materials relevant to a time period of their own choosing. By doing research that will culminate in two works of smaller, yet similar styles, the students will learn techniques and content of mural painting.In addition to presentations on types of mural work, students will be introduced to art restorers, muralists and street artists to deepen their experience and understanding of the topic.

ART 279/ARTS 279 - Japanese Ceramics
Co-Taught by Professor of Art History, Stephen Addiss, and Part Time Instructor of Art, Scott Meredith

Japanese ceramics have a long history as an important form of art that in recent decades has also strongly influenced potters in America and Europe.  This unique co-taught class combines the study of Japanese works historically with the creative act of making ceramics influenced by these historical techniques and styles. The course will consist of slide talks and discussions of Japanese ceramics both historical and contemporary, and work in the ceramics studio.

ARTS 279 - Special Topics: Fine Art Animation
Taught by Visiting Instructor of Art, Sandro Del Rosario

Come discover the beauty of experimental animation! This studio art course will feature in-depth hands-on exploration of styles, techniques and materials used by artists filmmakers who have established their personal vision in the field of ever-evolving fine art animation.  The course highlights the inner ties and interdisciplinary connections between experimental animation and teh visual arts taught in the Studio Art program at the University of Richmond, in particular: drawing, printmaking, painting, photography, sculpture and mixed media. Screenings of film and videos will alternate with practical demonstration of animation techniques, equipment and software currently used to shoot frame by frame.

ARTS 375 - Interdisciplinary Seminar: Video Projections and Installations
Taught by Visiting Instructor of Art, Sandro Del Rosario

The spirit of this course is exploratory: students are encouraged to try new stylistic, conceptual, and technical approaches to creating installation work that incorporates audio/video.  The class will work with moving images, film and photography using projectors to explore their impact on indoor and outdoor space, on sculptural and architectural elements, on different materials and surfaces. Students will experiment individually or in groups, and bring seeds of performance into projected images in response to particular concepts and ideas. 

ARTS 279 - Special Topics: Monotype
Team Taught by Professor Tanja Softić and Professor Erling Sjovold

Hands-on exploration of monotype, a painterly print. Through studio practice, critiques, and exhibition visits, students will learn how to make prints in this versatile and experimental medium. Taught by a printmaker and a painter, the course will bring together the practices of painting, printmaking, photography and collage.  A perfect course for both novice and experienced art student. 

ARTS 279 or PHIL 280 - Land Art and Landscape: Aesthetics, Design, Practice
Team taught by philosophy professor Gary Shapiro and art professor Erling Sjovold

This co-taught course combined aesthetic theory and artistic practice in its exploration of traditional and contemporary landscape and land art. This class studied relevant major developments in painting, landscape architecture, and earthworks. It considered aesthetic concepts such as the beautiful, the sublime, and the picturesque in their relation to these arts. Studio work in drawing, painting, and design was informed by readings of theorists of aesthetics and design, including F.L. Olmsted (designer of New York’s Central Park) and Robert Smithson, a “postmodern” 20th century American earthworks artist. Students were engaged in developing and executing designs.

ARTS 279 - Graphic Novels and Comics
PT instructor of printmaking Andy Kozlowski

This class explored comic books and graphic novels as ways in which to communicate narrative over a sequence of pages. The focus of this class was on the current DIY (do-it-yourself) aesthetic found in contemporary hand-made comics and zines. Using simple reproduction methods, including photocopiers, laser printers, online printing and screenprinting combined with hand drawn and hand composed layouts, students created editions of handcrafted books. The immediacy of the process and the openness of the medium allowed for the students to produce traditionally inexpensive hand-made books. Ideas concerning methods of distribution and communication formed a backdrop to a larger discussion about art production in an increasingly digital age.