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ART 4AR3 Adv Resrch/Presentatn Strateg

Academic Year: Fall 2016

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. Chris Myhr


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 328

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23930


Office Hours: Tuesdays 10:30-12:30

Course Objectives:

Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to demonstrate:

  • Breadth/refinement of research strategies relevant to artistic direction
  • Ability to effectively conduct independent/group research projects
  • Proficiency in writing about their work and conducting verbal presentations
  • In-depth understanding as to the motivations and historical/contemporary positioning of current practices
  • Informed understanding as to the ways in which their work might engage with larger audiences both within and beyond the art community
  • Ability to develop conceptual frameworks with greater sophistication, and depth
  • Effective audio/visual documentation strategies
  • Proficiency in software for image processing and the design of portfolios and/or exhibition catalogues

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

16GB or 32GB Class 10 media card (recommended)
Any required/supplementary readings will be posted on A2L in PDF format

There is no studio fee required for ART4AR3.

Method of Assessment:

This course refines and focuses research strategies relevant to the student’s artistic direction. Students will engage in a series of independent/group research projects and presentations, written assignments and discussions/debates aimed at developing a more in-depth understanding as to the motivations and historical/contemporary positioning of their current practices, as well as the ways in which their work might engage with larger audiences both within and beyond the art community. 

Students will learn strategies, modes of thinking, and language appropriate for articulating the technical/conceptual/critical frameworks which underpin their creative endeavours. In-class lectures, discussions and presentations will be complemented by technical instruction on audio/visual documentation strategies, as well as image processing for publication and online portfolios.

Detailed descriptions of all assignments will be uploaded to Avenue to Learn. Depending on the nature of the assignment, work will be submitted to an Avenue to Learn Drop Box folder, and/or delivered to the instructor during class time. The breakdown is as follows:

  • 35% Mid-term Research Portfolio (Due Oct 10 - Graded prior to Nov 4)
  • 35% Final Research Portfolio and Map Presentation (Due Nov 24)
  • 15% Map of Research/Creative Territory presentation (Due Nov 24)
  • 15% Professionalism and Participation

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

A penalty of 5% per day will be deducted from assignments submitted late, or those not presented in the required format. Assignments will not be accepted after seven days without official documentation (see the MSAF section for details), and will receive a grade of zero. Studio work will be considered late and incomplete if not accompanied by required written work (i.e. project proposals, etc). Late studio and/or written work will not receive the benefit of detailed verbal/written feedback from the instructor or other members of the class. Extensions for late work, or accommodations for missed tests or tutorials, will be granted only upon the recommendation of a student's home faculty: please take such requests directly to your home faculty's office. 

Recommendations/appeals for extensions will not be accepted on or after project due dates, and must be received no later than 48 hours before the deadline.

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:

The outline below is for orientation purposes only, and is subject to change. Please consult the full and definitive syllabus posted on Avenue to Learn for any potential updates.

Semester Schedule (Subject to Change):

Sept 8    
Course outline
HMC orientation
Introduce Mid-term Research Portfolio and assignments
Writing about your work: Artist statements
Digital image fundamentals

Sept 15
Visiting Artist Introduction: Marlene Crates (Sept 15, 2016 speaker)
Reading 1 discussion
Talking about your work: Artist talks and verbal proposals
Demo: Using a DSLR for documentation

Sept 22
Visiting Artist Introduction: Amanda McCavour (Jan 19, 2017 speaker)
Reading 2 discussion
Artist statement (V1) exchange
Demo: Studio/Portrait lighting
Portrait/Documentation session

Sept 29
Artist statement (V2) exchange
Demo: Image processing in Adobe Photoshop
Demo: Publication work in Adobe InDesign (Lyons Media Centre)

Oct 6
Artist statement (V3) exchange
Artist statement (V4) exercise
Visiting Artist Introduction: Julia Kjelgaard (Feb 15, 2017 speaker)
Introduce Map/Final Research Portfolio and assignments
Demo: Art-Specific research methods (Mills Library Staff)
Demo: Museum database searches
Outline SUMMA catalogue deadlines/requirements
Assign SUMMA committees
Sign up for Instructor Studio Visits (Week 7-9)
Work/Research Session

Oct 13
Mid-term Recess
Mid-term Research Portfolio due (Monday October 10)

Oct 20
Map of Research/Creative Territory sketches due
Visiting Artist Introduction: Clint Neufeld (Oct 20, 2016 speaker)
Instructor Studio Visits (Round 1)
Work/Research Session
SUMMA committee progress updates
Museum Curatorial Project selections and images due (end of class)

Oct 27
Visiting Artist Introduction: Peter Flemming (Mar 2, 2017 speaker)
Instructor Studio Visits (Round 2)
Work/Research Session
SUMMA committee progress updates

Nov 3
Visiting Artist Introduction: Sam Shasahabi (Nov 3, 2016 speaker)
Instructor Studio Visits (Round 3)
Work/Research Session
SUMMA committee progress updates

Nov 10
Semi-Finalize SUMMA catalogue materials
Museum Curatorial Project presentations (Round 1)
Research trip to McMaster Museum (Curatorial project viewings)

Nov 17
Finalize SUMMA catalogue materials
Museum Curatorial Project presentations (Round 2)
Research trip to McMaster Museum (Curatorial project viewings)

Nov 24
Final Research Portfolio due
Map of Research/Creative Territory presentations (Round 1)

Dec 1
Map of Research/Creative Territory presentations (Round 2)
Course consolidation

Other Course Information:

If you require special accommodation for learning or have any special needs please let me know of them as soon as possible in order that arrangements can be made. Students with disabilities are encouraged to register with the Centre for Student Development.
The detailed and definitive version of the syllabus will be posted on Avenue to Learn. Students are responsible for consulting this document for the most up-to-date information on scheduled activities, rubrics, etc.