Course Information

Course:  VISA 375 “Artists in Society”
Dates:  September 5th – December 1st – Finale Party December 4th (tentative)
Class Schedule:  Monday’s from 10-12pm
Location:  Binnings Studio 102
Instructor:  Christine D’Onofrio
Email:  christine.donofrio@ubc.ca
Office Hours:  Tuesday’s from 2:30-4:30pm or by appointment in Somerset 206


Calendar Description

Exploring artistic practice through community-engaged partnerships and critical study.  Intended for 3rd year VISA and ARTH students.  Prerequisite:  At least 9 credits of 200-level VISA and/or ARTH courses.


Course Content

This course extends art history, critical theory and production knowledge into practice by involving students in the greater artistic community. This is both an opportunity for you to gain awareness of the many roles of the artist in contemporary society, and a chance to apply that knowledge.

Along with developing your artistic, writing and exhibition practice, you will also be expanding your understanding of how artistic practice influences – and is influenced by – the structures of professionalization and institutionalization. In turn, this will inform how you articulate your personal position within that framework – or chosen lack thereof. Community engagement projects will be paired with rigorous academic study, ensuring this hands-on experience is framed by research. This allows you to investigate the influence of art and culture when conveyed through a specific context, and the ways in which context can alter agency. This will allow discussion and debate surrounding issues inherent with artistic creation, execution and exhibition – and the role/responsibility of the artist and/or art and culture producer. You will apply this knowledge in real-world situations, and bring these situations back to the classroom as the whole class reflects upon their experiences of the artists’ role in society.


Topics

Alongside your experiences, the major topics covered in this class are:

  • The Role of the Art/Artist – Week 2
  • Galleries and Gallery Systems, Art Events and Fairs – Week 3
  • The Artist’s Studio – Week 4 & Week 8
  • Art & Activism – Week 6 & Week 7
  • The Artist’s Labour – Week 9

Readings

Reading text will be available in pdf form or as a link online through Connect, or through UBC Library Reserves. You must use your CWL to get access to those that are not on public web sites.


Online Course Components

A course blog is activated for this class, for you to access information and contribute.  It is located here:  http://blogs.ubc.ca/visa375/  You will find assignment descriptions, announcements and events, community based experiential learning project information, a schedule with due dates, readings knowledge sharing of community experiences with the class, links and extended resources. Please check at least once a week.

Grades, CWL accessible readings, journals and other private material for the course will be available on Connect.  Please use your CWL to sign in to http://elearning.ubc.ca/connect 


Breakdown

Coursework is broken down in two sections, the first being in-class academic reading, writing, activities and projects, the second being the CBEL component and related activities and assignments.

Community Engaged Learning Component (CBEL)

The CBEL component will consist not only of the hours towards the project that you will accomplish with your institutional partner, but projects, journals and in-class presentations that will accompany the experience.  You will set a plan towards how to approach the first meeting with your partner, followed by a plan as to how you will approach the project.  This will be accompanied by academic, professional and personal goal-setting, pre and post reflection journals, and in-class conversations.  You will be expected deliver a presentation on your institution in class at various stages, sometimes in more formal settings, other times as group work.  You will engage in peer/self and supervisor reviews, and examine critically, your growth process and engagement.  The CBEL component will also include a final project summary detailing your experience, and a creative response to present on the final class get-together.  Throughout the course and throughout your experience we will be revisiting, on many occasions, ways to define the artists’ role in society.

The CBEL component will consist not only of the hours towards the project that you will accomplish with your institutional partner, but projects, journals and in-class presentations that will accompany the experience.  You will set a plan towards how to approach the first meeting with your partner, followed by a plan as to how you will approach the project.  This will be accompanied by academic, professional and personal goal-setting, pre and post reflection journals, and in-class conversations.  You will be expected deliver a presentation on your institution in class at various stages, sometimes in more formal settings, other times as group work.  You will engage in peer/self and supervisor reviews, and examine critically, your growth process and engagement.  The CBEL component will also include a final project summary detailing your experience, and a creative response to present on the final class get-together.  Throughout the course and throughout your experience we will be revisiting, on many occasions, ways to define the artists’ role in society.

CBEL Component Breakdown:

P/F            Orientation Meeting with Partner   (this is Pass/Fail of the entire component)
6%            Project Organization/Plan (in pairs if working on same project)
7%            Poster Presentation of Institute Partner (in pairs) and blog post
5%            Pre-Reflection (goal setting)
8%            In-class Activities
9%            Post-Reflection
22%          Engaged Learning, sum of placement – synopsis
8%            Creative Response
65%         Total Weight of Final Mark

Course Work

The other half of the course will accompany your CBEL experience with topic-based discussions on the many facets of the role of the artist in society. This will include readings, writing, reflection activities, a screening, studio and other artist visits.  Your experience will not solely illustrate the readings and terms learned in class, but act as an extension to how they are complicated by your interests, strategies of representation, process, medium, and situation. You will also contribute to the community with writing projects, such as an exhibition review and/or artist interview, and you will also extend this to place yourself by researching and writing a personal artist statement.  The “Overall Artistic Growth” category contributes to recognizing the many obstacles you may face and overcome through the duration of the course, that are essential to your growth as an artist.  What this can also mean is that what is commonly referred to as a ‘blunder’ – which are in fact necessary learning opportunities. I (as the Instructor) see these moments as an integral challenge that you can choose to pursue and overcome. Participation, reading discussion activity, studio visits, and other independent contributions by attending artist talks, openings, and other events, will be acknowledged for class credit as they are integral to your personal growth and experience of your space as an artist, resulting in success in this course.

The Total Course Breakdown is as follows:

65%          CBEL Project (please see above)
20%          Reading Discussions & Topic Work (4% x 5)
10%          Studio Visits & Art Events Report
5%            Overall Growth
100%       TOTAL


Participation

Participation is expected during and outside of class time. Participation considers the activity of the student during reflection, presentation and conversations, reading discussions, respectful attitude towards other in the class, active engagement in the class work, reflective and thoughtful mindfulness, individual progress and response to challenges put forth by the instructor.


Late Assignments

All assignments are due within the first ten minutes of start of class or it will be considered late.  Certain assignments will be accepted up to four business days after the due date with a letter grade deduction for each day, unless I have granted an extension. This means that an A+ work handed in 3 days late will be downgraded to a B+.   You may also hand work in my mailbox in Lasserre 403, but be sure to have an official date stamped on it or it will be dated the date it is picked up.  Furthermore, not participating in class activities related to assignments is detrimental to your grade as well as your own personal growth and education.  As this class is quite dependent on community partners, please consult with me if you need an extension for whatever reason if your partnership is off-schedule in any way, I am here to help!


Absences

If you must miss a class, I suggest you speak with me in advance, or ask someone in the class what you have missed. It is your responsibility to keep up to date with what happens in class if you are not there.  Students with more than 3 unexcused absences are subject to a 3% deduction of their final grade per absence thereafter.  Being more than an hour late is considered an absence.  In general, this class is intensive and it is not wise to miss it at all.  There is not an on-line replacement for the lectures or discussions or the whole experience.  If you do not have work completed or miss a critique class, you will not get a class critique.  If there are emergency or extenuating circumstances, please go to student services with a doctor’s note to officially document the situation, please go to Academic Advising with this, it is a useful place the University has set up to deal with special circumstances.  Do not be afraid to use it at any capacity, from stress management, to special medical cases etc. http://www.arts.ubc.ca/students/student-support.html


Academic Freedom

Art making is a complex and often controversial practice that covers a range of topics from various perspectives. The classroom is a place for the open discussion of ideas and issues. The points of view expressed by the instructor represent a professional perspective on art historical or contemporary issues. If at any time you wish to discuss an issue, please feel free to contact me.


Academic Honesty & Conduct

All UBC students are expected to behave as honest and responsible members of an academic community. Breach of those expectations or failure to follow the appropriate policies, principles, rules, and guidelines of the University with respect to academic honesty may result in disciplinary action.  It is the student’s obligation to inform himself or herself of the applicable standards for academic honesty, and information can be found in the Academic Calendar under “Academic Honesty and Standards” and “Academic Misconduct” as well as the “Student Code of Conduct”


Class Preparedness

For every class you are expected to have required reading or projects completed, and are ready to participate in discussions.  If you require additional audio/visual equipment for a presentation or project in class, please notify me through email at least 3 business days before the class so that I can reserve the equipment.


Talks + Events Announcements

There are many wonderful talks and events set up for your extended education at University of British Columbia and in the community that are a part of the class as well.  I will be listing weekly events on the Announcements board on this blog as recommendations to attend.


Campus and Safety

If you have any questions or issues in your studio, on campus, in facilities or the classroom, please contact Nick at nick.smolinski@ubc.ca. Please practice UBC’s Working Alone Policy and Procedures, information:  riskmanagement.ubc.ca/health-safety/working-alone and use Safewalk 604-822-5355 if you are walking alone at night.  If there is an emergency, please contact campus security at 604-822-2222, or for Fire, Ambulance, Police and Hazardous Materials Response, call 911.