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ART 2IS3 Independent Studio Methods

Academic Year: Winter 2016

Term: Winter

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. Sally McKay


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 417

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23675

Office Hours: Wednesdays 11:00-12:00, TSH 417

Course Objectives:

This course focuses on self-directed studio strategies responding to concepts and questions generated by the student. Students will integrate intellectual curiosity, beliefs, values and individual experience with ongoing research to guide studio production. Through class discussion, presentations and critique, students will be supported in taking risks to develop ambitious studio projects that integrate self-directed research and aesthetic investigation.

Because this course fosters independent exploration of media and materials, it is the students’ responsibility to come to class prepared with the materials they need to complete their work.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

A lab/studio fee of $25.00 for this course must be paid in the SOTA office as soon as possible. Full payment of all studio fees will provide you with an access card to the studios as well as expendable materials needed for your course and general studio facilities. The studio fee has been kept to the minimum for this course because students will be chosing their own media on an individual basis. Students are expected to supply all the materials they need to realize their independent projects for the course.

Method of Assessment:

Participation (15%)

Class discussions & critiques: This course has a particular focus on empowering individuals to take risks in their independent art practice. For this reason, it is of utmost importance that everyone participate fully by attending all classes and remaining welcoming and open to points of view that differ from our own. The atmosphere of the classroom should be characterized by courtesy and mutual respect. Participating in group critiques is an important part of providing constructive feedback for your peers. Active questioning and differences of opinion, respectfully expressed in a spirit of collaboration and mutual exchange, contribute to a positive and supportive group dynamic. Missing classes, coming late, leaving early or failing to contribute positively to class discussion will impact your grade.


In-Class Exercises: Short exercises will be conducted in class throughout the course. These exercises are designed to encourage independent thinking and the development of creative strategies in the studio. Students will occasionally be assigned simple homework tasks in preparation for class exercise the following week. These exercises are mandatory and must be completed during the class in which they are assigned. Students should come to every class with pens and/or pencils and blank paper (or sketchbooks/notebooks) of their choice.


Sketchbook (15%) Due in class on March 30

(Briefly evaluated by instructor for feedback during class on January 27)

Detailed guidelines will be posted on Avenue to Learn


Assemblage Project (25%) Due Feb. 3 (Critiques on Feb. 3 and Feb.10)

Detailed guidelines will be posted on Avenue to Learn


Genre/Movement Presentation (15%) Due Feb. 24 (presentations on Feb. 24 and March 2)

Detailed guidelines will be posted on Avenue to Learn


Independent Project Proposal (5%) Due in class on Feb. 24

Detailed guidelines will be posted on Avenue to Learn


Independent Project (25%) Due March 30 (Critiques on March 30 and April 6)

Detailed guidelines will be posted on Avenue to Learn

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

It is the responsibility of each student to attend all classes and exams and meet the requirements of submission for coursework. Missed assignments and exams will automatically be assigned a grade of 0. A penalty of one full letter grade will be imposed for every academic day assignments are late.

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:

No readings are assigned for this course. Students will be conducting independent research.

Other Course Information:

Working in the studio:

All students must familiarize themselves with the Studio Art Safety Manual for

Students. Be aware of the rules and regulations for studio and equipment usage. Any questions regarding these issues should be directed towards Studio Technologists Michael Syms or Collin Lyons, or the course Instructor.

You are required to wear your steel-toed boots in all of the studios and workshops. Failure to do so will result in the removal of your studio access and privileges.

Appointments must be made with the studio technologist in regards to consulting and/ or executing specific projects requiring the use of woodshop, metal and ceramics facilities. Please ensure appointments and arrangements are made well in advance of deadlines and critiques.

Studios are accessible through access cards and are open from 7am -10pm, seven days a week. Students are not permitted to work in the studios alone. Please arrange to work in the studio with a peer when working after hours.

Guests (people not enrolled in studio art courses) are not permitted in the studios unless proper permission and documentation is provided.

There is no food or drink permitted in the studios. Please do not bring any chemicals or other materials into the drawing studio without the permission of the studio technologist or instructor.


Support Services: The University provides a variety of support services to help students manage their many demands. Reference librarians can provide invaluable research assistance. The Student Accessibility Services Centre (SAS) provides assistance with personal as well as academic matters. MUSC B107 and

Academic and writing skills support is offered by the Student Success Centre located in Gilmour Hall, room 110. For more information on the Student Success Centre please call (905) 525-9140 [ext. 24254], email or visit