USM Art Department

Course Descriptions

Art History

ARH prefix designates an art history course. 100-level art history courses begin to develop skills that students will need to pursue study in the discipline. Students will learn strategies for interpreting visual art and for understanding and writing formal academic prose.

ARH 110 Visual Environment
This course focuses on understanding, designing, and interpreting the visual environment through analysis of visual forms, hands-on exercises, and in-depth investigation of works in their cultural context. The course covers the power of images, the role of illusion, and the interpretation of visual forms in daily life. Students will learn how to analyze effective uses of color, shapes, and spatial relationships in examples such as street signs, fine art, meeting spaces, city planning, bar graphs, and photographs. Cr 3.

ARH 111 Art History: Prehistoric through Medieval
Examination and discussion of the painting, sculpture, and architecture from prehistoric cultures to the late Middle Ages. The course emphasizes the relationship of the visual arts to social, political, religious, and cultural trends, and introduces students to various methods of art-historical interpretation. Prerequisite: ENG 100 or equivalent. Preference given candidates for matriculation in the Department of Art, or those with permission of the instructor. Cr 3.

ARH 112 Art History: Renaissance to the Present
Examination and discussion of the painting, sculpture, and architecture from the Renaissance to the present. The course emphasizes the relationship of the visual arts to social, political, religious, and cultural trends and introduces students to various methods of art-historical interpretation. Prerequisite: ENG 100 or equivalent. Preference given to candidates for matriculation in the Department of Art, or those with permission of the instructor. Cr 3.

Upper-level art history courses further develop students' skills of art historical analysis. Students will continue to work on formal academic prose and complete at least 15 total pages of written work during the semester. Students will also learn research sources and methods; become familiar with varied art historical writings from period documents, articles, and scholarly books; tackle the issue of interpretation; and learn about recent approaches to the field. Whenever possible, students will study original art works.

ARH 310 Art History: Cross-Cultural Perspectives
The course covers global issues in art history. Major topic areas include a) how art conveys cultural values and biases, b) why foreign styles are adopted, c) why different values produce different forms. Prerequisite: ENG 100 or equivalent. Cr 3.

ARH 311 Gender Identity and Modern Art
This course examines the construction of gender and sexuality in Western visual arts from the late eighteenth century to the present. Students will analyze both the art and art criticism of the period, focusing on the work of female, feminist, and gay artists. Cr 3.

ARH 312 Art as Social Action
This course will study art as social action and the artist's social roles and responsibilities. The primary focus will be on modern and contemporary art and related theoretical issues that address the role of art in society. Prerequisites: Successful completion of an upper-level art history course with a grade of C or better. Cr 3.  (Satisfies the EISRC Core requirement. Core Prerequisites:  any three of Creative Expression, Cultural Interpretation, Science Exploration, Social-cultural Analysis.)

ARH 318 History of Photography
This course studies photography from its invention in the 19th century to the present day. It considers photography from historical, theoretical, social, and artistic perspectives. Prerequisite: ARH 112 or permission of the instructor. Cr 3.

ARH 321 Classical Art
A survey of ancient art and architecture with special emphasis on the key monuments of Greek and Roman art and their influence on later artistic periods. This course is equivalent to CLA 321. Prerequisite: ARH 111. Cr 3.

ARH 322 Medieval Art
A survey of the various medieval styles from the Early Christian through the Gothic period with a special section on Islamic art. The relationship of culture to art will be examined for architecture, painting, and sculpture. Prerequisite: ARH 111. Cr 3.

ARH 323 Renaissance Art
An examination of the art and architecture of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries both north and south of the Alps. Emphasis will be given to the cultural traditions, historical events and theoretical foundations that contributed to the development of Renaissance art. Prerequisite: ARH 112. Cr 3.

ARH 325 American Art
Survey of North American painting, sculpture, and architecture from the sixteenth century to 1940. The art will be examined in the context of aesthetic and cultural ideals, historical events, and multiculturalism. Field trips to local museums and architectural sites. No prerequisite. Cr 3.

ARH 326 Nineteenth-Century European Art
Examination and discussion of European painting, sculpture, and architecture from neoclassicism through post-impressionism (1790-1900). The course will focus on the relationship between the visual arts and the political, social, and aesthetic revolutions of the century. Prerequisite: ARH 112 or permission of the instructor. Cr 3.

ARH 327 Modern Art
Examination of modern art and artistic movements from the end of the nineteenth century to World War II. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the history and theories of modern art in social and cultural context. Prerequisite: ARH 112. Cr 3.

ARH 328 Contemporary Art
Examination of developments in the visual arts from World War II to the present. Prerequisite: ARH 112. Cr 3.

ARH 329 Asian Art
A survey of some major styles in Asian art (India, China, Japan). The course emphasizes the cultural and religious factors that influenced the art. Cr 3.

ARH 410 Seminar in Art History
This course is a requirement for students concentrating in art history. Designed for the advanced student, the course probes different methodological and theoretical approaches to the study and interpretation of the visual arts. Students will examine the writings of pioneers in the field, long-standing art historical methods, and the "new" art history. This course is also a research seminar. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Cr 3.  (Satisfies Capstone requirement.)

ARH 411 Philosophy of Art
Examination of the aesthetic theories of philosophers, artists, writers, and critics that form the basis for understanding the fine arts. Readings and discussion of texts from ancient to modern times. Prerequisite: senior art majors and permission of the instructor. Cr 3.

ARH 412 Topics in Art History
A seminar on a selected topic in art history that will be the focus of in-depth research and discussion. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Cr 3.

ARH 418 Independent Study in Art History
An opportunity for the student who has demonstrated competence in a specific area of study to work independently with scheduled tutoring from a faculty member of the student's choice. Prerequisites: permission of instructor and Art Department chair. Cr 1-6.

Studio Art

ART 141 Surface, Space, Time (2D)
Provides an introduction to the fundamentals of 2-D design and color theory through a series of exercises and applied problems in visual organization.  Prerequisite: EYE or concurrent. Cr 3.

ART 142 Surface, Space, Time (3D)
Provides an introduction to the fundamentals of 3-D design through a series of projects, demonstrations and discussions. Cr 3.

ART 151 Fundamentals of Perceptual Drawing
Introduction to basic skills and approaches to perceptual drawing.  This course develops students' visual awareness and understanding of the range of drawing materials and techniques.  Students will develop responses to the visual environment employing varied stylistic and technical approaches.  Excercises include still life, figure study, portrait, and landscape. Prerequisite: EYE or concurrent. Cr 3.

ART 221 Digital Art and Design I
An introduction to the computer as a medium for creative expression and communication.  Students will create and process (fixed-frame) digital images and will become familiar with fundamental animation processes.  The course will provide an overview of elements, principles and theories of art and visual design as related to digital media.  Prerequisite: ART 141; ART 142; ART 151; ARH 111; ARH 112 or permission of the instructor. Cr 3.

ART 222 Digital Art and Design II
An introduction to time-based art in a working studio environment.  The class moves from basic principles of 2-D design to animation, interactivity and other priciples of time-based art.  The course will provide an overview of elements, principles and theories of art and visual design as related to digital media. Prerequisite: ART 141; ART 142; ART 151; ARH 111; ARH 112 or permission of the instructor. Cr 3.

ART 231 Introduction to Ceramics I
An introduction to methods and processes of clay forming, including historical context, modeling, press molding, hand-building, and the potter's wheel. Emphasis on form and texture, with aspects of glaze composition and firing procedures. Prerequisite: ART 141; ART 142; ART 151; ARH 111; ARH 112 or permission of the instructor. Cr 3.

ART 232 Introduction to Ceramics II
This course focuses on the exploration of materials and ceramic processes.  The emphasis is on creating sculptural forms with aspects of glaze composition and firing procedures.  Students will engage in glaze and clay formulation and loading and firing kilns.  Prerequisite: ART 141; ART 142; ART 151; ARH 111; ARH 112 or permission of the instructor. Cr 3.

ART 241 Introduction to The Visual Book
This course will use the visual artist's book as a medium for personal expression. Students will incorporate 2D and 3D skills to create a collection of unique books. A variety of traditional and nontraditional books, arts, and techniques will be used to develop both form and content. Prerequisite: art foundation or permission of instructor. Cr 3.

ART 249 2-D and 3-D Figure Study
A studio course in the study of the human figure, including drawing, modeling, and readings in artistic anatomy, supplemented by historical study of figurative art. (Offered summer only.) Prerequisite: art foundation or permission of instructor. Cr 3.

ART 251 Drawing: Media and Strategies
Course explores various drawing processes combining media, color and colored grounds and supports, to expand students' conceptual image-making skills.  Emphasis will be placed on the role of subject matter and imagery through projects and through examination of historical and contemporary art.  Prerequisite: ART 141; ART 142; ART 151; ARH 111; ARH 112 or permission of the instructor. Cr 3.

ART 252 Drawing The Figure
Course focuses on the study and depiction of the human figure. Students will be encouraged to understand and develop their own personal abilities.  Extensive use models will place emphasis on observation. Prerequisite: ART 141; ART 142; ART 151; ARH 111; ARH 112 or permission of the instructor. Cr 3.

ART 259 Landscape Drawing
Course concentrates on drawing the landscape at various Maine locations. Assigned problems will focus on aspects of the following: pictorial composition and design, analysis of landscape forms and structures, and methods for creating the illusion of outdoor light and space. A variety of both wet and dry media will be used. The course will include frequent critiques, illustrated talks using original works as well as reproductions of historical artists, and museum visits. (Offered summer only.) Prerequisite: ART 141; ART 142; ART 151; ARH 111; ARH 112 or permission of instructor. Cr 3.

ART 261 Painting:  Water-based Media
An introduction to the basics of water-based media. Students will gain a working knowledge of the materials and techniques of painting, its various supports, grounds and pigments. Work is primarily from observation and will include still life, figure and landscape. Studies will focus on physical properties of color and color mixing, principles and concepts of spatial organization, and pictorial form. Prerequisite: ART 141; ART 142; ART 151; ARH 111; ARH 112 or permission of instructor.  Cr 3.

ART 262 Painting: Introduction to Mixed Media
Course will provide an introduction to multi-media in two and three dimensions.  Projects will consist of collage, painted constructions, shaped canvases, assemblages and installations.  Emphasis will be placed on imagination and experimentation with these non-traditional formats.  ART 141; ART 142; ART 151; ARH 111; ARH 112 or permission of instructor.  Cr 3.

ART 269 Landscape Painting
This course focuses on the natural world through painting enplein air in southern Maine locales. Each day will include an illustrated lecture and critique in addition to intensive work from nature. (Offered summer only.) Prerequisite: ART 141; ART 142; ART 151; ARH 111; ARH 112 or permission of instructor. Cr 3.

ART 271 Introduction to Photography I
An introduction to traditional analog black-and-white photography.  Students will learn camera operation, the principles of film exposure, developing and printing in the darkroom.  These technical skills will be taught in conjunction with an introduction to the historical, stylistic, and visual communication characteristics of photography.  Through specific assignments and creative experimental projects students will be encouraged to develop and expand their understanding of technical and aesthetic possibilities of photography.  A 35mm manual camera is required.  Prerequisite: ART 141; ART 142; ART 151; ARH 111; ARH 112 or permission of instructor. Cr 3.

ART 272 Introduction to Photography II
This course will broaden and refine students' practice in black and white analog photography, aesthetic decision making language, contemporary strategies, and critical analysis of fine art photography.  Students will work with medium and large format cameras and learn studio lighting, advanced exposure techniques, advanced black and white printing controls, film scanning, experimental and non-silver photographic processes, including cyanotype.  Students will create an online presence of their images.  Prerequisite:  ART 271.  Cr 3.

ART 281 Introduction to Printmaking: Intaglio and Relief
This course introduces intaglio and relief printmaking techniques. The class includes traditional dry and wet processes for intaglio such as drypoint, engraving, etching, and aquatint. It also addresses color printing methods for linoleum and woodcut. Prerequisite: ART 141; ART 142; ART 151; ARH 111; ARH 112 or permission of instructor. Cr 3.

ART 282 Introduction to Printmaking: Lithography and Screen Printing
This course introduces planographic methods of printing. Students will explore traditional lithography on stone as well as direct hand methods and photomechanical methods for screen printing. Prerequisite: ART 141; ART 142; ART 151; ARH 111; ARH 112 or permission of instructor. Cr 3.

ART 291 Sculpture: Additive and Subtractive Processes
An introduction to fundamental processes of sculptural expression employing additive and subtractive processes. These will include observational modeling, aggregate forming and casting, basic mold-making and carving and studio safety. Students will become acquainted with contemporary and historical approaches through ongoing studio work, process centered projects, demonstrations, critiques, individual and group discussions, and readings.  ART 141; ART 142; ART 151; ARH 111; ARH 112 or permission of instructor.  Cr 3.

ART 292 Sculpture: Altered and Constructed Processes
An introduction to fundamental processes of sculptural expression employing altered object and construction forms. Topics and processes will include basic wood and metal fabrication techniques, acquired objects and site based works, and studio safety. Students will become acquainted with contemporary and historical approaches through ongoing studio work, process centered projects, demonstrations, critiques, individual and group discussions, and readings. Prerequisite: ART 141; ART 142; ART 151; ARH 111; ARH 112 or by permission. Cr. 3.

ART 312 Topics in Studio Art
A course on selected topics in studio arts.  May be repeated for credit when topics vary.  Prerequisite:  Two ART 200 level courses or permission of instructor.  Cr. 3

ART 321 Exploring Time-Based Art and Design
This course uses digital media to explore creative concepts, tools and processes in time-based art and design.  The focus will be on broadening the concept of digital media through experimentation with interactivity and installation. Prerequisite: ART 221 and 222 or permission of instructor. Cr 3.

ART 332 Intermediate Ceramics
Students combine several methods of forming clay in one work and explore the complex use of nature and design. Students engage in historical research and presentation, develop continuity in personal practice and explore alternative firing methods. Prerequisite: ART 231 and 232 or permission of instructor. Cr 3.

ART 341 The Visual Book II: Historical Influences on Contemporary Artists' Books
With attention to content and design, students will create a group of Artist's Books with specific historical references inspired by research into particular cultures and contemporary art movements. The Special Collections of USM Libraries and other local university and college libraries will be important course resources. ART 241 or permission of the instructor. Cr. 3.

ART 342 Book Arts at Stone House
This course begins with a series of workshops during a seven-day session at Stone House. Students will study skills and techniques that give them insights into design, history and aesthetics specific to Book Arts. Each student creates an artist's book for a September exhibition at the USM Glickman Family Library. ART 241 or permission of the instructor. This course may be taken multiple times as the workshop changes each summer. Cr. 3.

ART 343 New Media Book Arts
This is a digital imaging and book arts course. Students will design and self-publish limited edition artist's books using digital technologies. The focus of the course will be content driven book design using the computer to create and process images. Note: This course counts as an intermediate digital art requirement. ART 221 or ART 241, or permission of the instructor. Cr. 3. 

ART 352 Experimental Drawing
Course explores an expanded notion of drawing that engages issues of time, space, process and emerging media.  Students will study contemporary developments and applications of drawing in areas outside of traditional drawing. Prerequisite ART 251 and 252 or permission of instructor. Cr 3.

ART 361 Intermediate Painting: The Figure
Course focuses on figure study in oil and water-based media. Students are encouraged to develop personal interpretations. Emphasis is on exploring paint and techniques in the western tradition. Frequent sessions working from the model. Prerequisite: ART 261 and ART 262 or permission of instructor. Cr 3. 

ART 372 Digital Photography
This class will give students a thorough understanding of the digital workflow, from capture to process to print.  Students will be introduced to the principles of color photography, color theory and color management.  Students will work extensively in image processing techniques and methods while working on their own original projects.  Prerequisites: ART 271 and ART 272 or permission of instructor. Cr 3.

ART 382 Experimental Printmaking
This course introduces methods of printmaking that are experimental, photographic, and digital in nature. Students will learn contemporary approaches to topics such as photogravure and duotones, non-toxic photomechanical methods, and experimental traditional and non-traditional means of generating prints and multiples. Prerequisites: ART 281 and ART 282, or ART 221, or permission of instructor. Cr 3.

ART 391 Topics in Sculpture
Students will develop a deepening sculptural capacity through projects/readings/discussions and presentation around specific sculptural approaches to issues in contemporary art and society.  These will be semester long projects that engage subject matter, content, design and technique.  Prerequisite: ART 291 and ART 292 or permission of instructor. Cr 3.

ART 400 Internship in the Visual Arts
The purpose of the internship is to allow students to work in an area that pertains to the visual arts and is related to their own activities and career intentions. Possibilities for internships include, but are not limited to, galleries, arts-related businesses, museums, practicing artists, scholars, nonprofit organizations, and cultural institutions. Pass-fail only. Prerequisite: Junior status or above and permission of the Art Department Chair. Cr 1-6.

ART 401 Senior Seminar in Studio Art
Designed for BFA graduating senior students, this course will provide a cross-disciplinary critique of the student's project and will culminate in a senior exhibition. Questions regarding current theoretical practices and strategies will be examined through readings, slides, and visiting artist lectures in order to provide a basis for understanding the student's artistic choices. Prerequisite: senior status/BFA degree students. Cr 3. (Satisfies Capstone requirement.)

ART 407 Advanced Problems in Art
An opportunity for the student to do advanced work in the discipline of his/her choice, culminating in a related project. Prerequisites: permission of instructor and Art Department Chair. Cr 1 to 6.

ART 408 Independent Study in Art
An opportunity for the student who has demonstrated competence in a specific area of study to work independently with scheduled tutoring from a faculty member of the student's choice. Prerequisites: permission of instructor and Art Department Chair. Cr 1 to 6.

ART 412 Topics in Studio Art
A course on a selected topic in the studio arts. To be offered at least once each year. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Cr 3.

ART 420 Advanced Studio in Digital Art I
Students will work with the instructor to develop a digital art project based upon their interests and goals as a digital artist. Aesthetic, theoretical, and historical issues related to digital art and electronic media will be discussed. Prerequisites: ART 221 and at least one 300-level digital art course. Cr 3.

ART 421 Advanced Studio in Digital Art II
Students will further refine the skills acquired in Advanced Studio in Digital Art I. A semester-long capstone experience will be designed and completed by each student. Course may be repeated twice for credit. Prerequisite: ART 420. Cr 3.

ART 431 Advanced Ceramics I
Students work in series, research and present information on a ceramic artist, and perform tests and experiments in forming clay, firing kilns, and glazing. Students are expected to fire all kilns, mix glazes, and keep accurate records of their development. Prerequisite: ART 331. Cr 3.

ART 432 Advanced Ceramics II
Students focus on the evolution of earlier studies into a series of work that may be used for the senior exhibition. Students research and present information about a ceramic artist, load and fire all kilns, mix glazes, and are encouraged to enter competitions and arrange a portfolio. Course may be repeated twice for credit. Prerequisite: ART 432. Cr 3.

ART 441 Advanced Studio in Book Arts
This course creates an opportunity for in depth study and personal exploration with the Artist's Book. Every student will create a collection of Artist's Books while simultaneously gaining a confidence with and a strong aesthetic for the medium. ART 341, 342, 343 or permission of the instructor. Cr. 3.

ART 451 Advanced Drawing I
Course focuses on drawing in series and developing a conceptual approach to a long-term drawing project. Students will expand their technical skills and individual creative vision in relation to historical and contemporary artistic examples. Prerequisite: ART 352. Cr 3.

ART 452 Advanced Drawing II
Advanced students will develop and refine a final drawing project either in series or a process-oriented approach culmination in an integrated body of work either for senior exhibition or publication. Course may be repeated twice for credit. Prerequisites: ART 141, ART 142, ART 151, ARH 111, ARH 112 or permission of the instructor. Cr 3.

ART 461 Advanced Painting I
This course for advanced painting students will stimulate individual vision through series and thematic projects devoted to expanding expressive, conceptual and technical abilities. Students will study historical and contemporary artists as an adjunct to enlarging their own creative interests and awareness. Prerequisite: ART 361. Cr 3.

ART 462 Advanced Painting II
Continued investigation of the painting process to express personal themes in the context of a senior thesis exhibition. Emphasis is on individual concepts and personal expression. The thesis project will be developed within a dedicated workspace with individual critiques by joint faculty and visiting critics. A writing component will accompany the final preparation of the thesis. Course may be repeated twice for credit. Prerequisite: ART 461. Cr 3.

ART 471 Advanced Photography I
Students will develop a photographic project that emphasizes their interests and goals as visual artists. Individual and group critiques will explore and evaluate students' strategies and choices in respect to intention, investigation, discovery, judgment, and final production of imagery. Readings, lectures, and presentations will further inform student decisions and directions. Prerequisite: ART 372 or permission of instructor. Cr 3.

ART 472 Advanced Photography II
Students will further refine the skills acquired in the first semester of advanced photography A semester-long project will be designed and completed by each student. Course may be repeated twice for credit. Prerequisite: ART 471. Cr 3.

ART 481 Advanced Printmaking I
This class is intended for students who are proficient in two or more methods of printmaking (relief, intaglio, lithography, screenprinting, or experimental methods). Students will refine their technical skills while pursuing in-depth investigation of subject matter and imagery. Knowledge and practice of image-making as both an aesthetic and conceptual activity will be addressed. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor, or two courses from ART 281, ART 282 and ART 382. Cr 3.

ART 482 Advanced Printmaking II
This class is for the student who can work proficiently in two or more methods of printmaking. Students are expected to develop their imagery based on well-conceived ideas, which can be successfully expressed in one or more printing techniques. Experimentation with new techniques is encouraged, as is an exploration of combining several methods of printmaking effectively in one print. Students develop and pursue independent portfolio projects. Course may be repeated twice for credit. Prerequisite: ART 481. Cr 3.

ART 491/492 Advanced Sculpture
Continuation of Intermediate Sculpture with emphasis on the pursuit of personal imagery. Course may be repeated twice for credit. Prerequisites: ART 391. Cr 3/3.

ART Independent Study Term
An opportunity for the student who has demonstrated competence and exceptional independence in a specific area of study to work with scheduled supervision from a faculty member of the student's choice. Prerequisites: permission of the Department of Art and the dean of the College. Cr 12-15.

Art Education

AED 221 Practicum in Art Education
An introduction to art education theories and processes through readings, writings, discussion and observation.  The examination of the relationship between art-making and learning is relevant to prospective art and classroom teachers. All AED students (k - 12 certification and community arts) are recommended to successfully complete a minimum of 2 semesters of art lab prior to their capstone.  Art lab should be taken concurrently with AED 221.  Prerequisites: sophomore standing or above and ART 141, ART 142, ART 151, ARH 111, and ARH 112. Cr 3.

AED 321 Principles and Procedures in Art Education
History and philosophy of art education, theories of child art, relationship of goals to art education strategies, development of a workable set of beliefs about art education through readings, writings, discussion, observation. All AED students (k - 12) certification and community arts) are recommended to successfully complete a minimum of 2 semesters of Art lab prior to their capstone.  Art lab should be taken concurrently with AED 321. Intended for the art education major. Prerequisites: ART 141; ART 142; ART 151; ARH 111; ARH 112. Recommended: AED 221.  Cr 3.

AED 407 Advanced Problems in Art Education
An opportunity for the student to do advanced work in art education related problems. A total of 6 credits may be taken. Prerequisites: completion of the sequence of courses in the related discipline and permission of the instructor and Art Department Chair. Cr 1 to 6.

AED 421 Seminar in Art Education
This seminar examines art curriculum design and evaluation. Critical issues in art education for the emerging art education professional today are explored through discussion, writings, and readings. This course is to be taken while student-teaching. Recommended: Two semesters minimum of 2 credits) of Art lab, AED 321. Cr 3. (Satisfies Capstone requirement)

AED 428 Independent Study in Art Education
An opportunity for the student who has demonstrated competence in a specific area of study to work independently, with scheduled tutoring from a faculty member of the student's choice. Prerequisites: permission of the instructor and Art Department Chair. Cr 1 to 6.

EDU 324 Student Teaching
The student teaching year consists of two semesters. During the fall semester, students are in an elementary school half-time for eight weeks and in a secondary school half-time for the remaining eight weeks. During the spring semester, experiences are in the same schools, full-time, for eight weeks each. Students are under direct supervision of supervising teachers and a University supervisor. Cr 12.

Artist Damir Porobic captures memories

Transforming Image

“Memory Prints” is on display at PhoPa Gallery in Portland through January 24

Opening Reception: Sunday, December 14 from 2-4 pm

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