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ART 3GS3 GuidedStudioPractice

Academic Year: Winter 2017

Term: Winter

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. John Ford


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 429A

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23931

Office Hours: Thursday noon to 1:00 p.m. and by appointment

Course Objectives:

Art 3GS3 is designed to assist students in producing a body of independent studio work building on the foundation of research and production explored in ART 3TS3. Students in this course will synthesize individual research interests, investigations, applied media practices as well as conceptual, spatial and visual processes into a body of work.

Critiques and individual consultation will support students in the presentation, critical thought processes and discussion of their work. They will be encouraged to seek out and value diverse perspectives in feedback. The course involves active participation with visiting artists, lectures, workshops, critiques and a consistent commitment to studio engagement resulting in a body of studio work.

The course focuses on self-directed research and practice culminating in work for presentation at regularly scheduled critique sessions. In order to succeed in this studio course students must develop an intensive exploration of research and making.  This means broad experimentation, and integrated exploration of processes, material and concept.

Attendance at in-class visiting artist sessions is mandatory and attendance at any lecture hosted by a number of creative institutions, museums and galleries are strongly encouraged. Attendance beyond the minimum requirements is important as it supports and accelerates learning and progress in the program as well as supports and infuses energy into our larger creative community in Hamilton. This course fosters the relationship between students and their larger creative community so that they directly become aware of their resource, context and place within this community.

By the end of this course students will:

  • Have a basic awareness and understanding of how to develop their artistic practice based on individual research interests, critical processes, experimentation and exploration
  • Develop a body of work that synthesizes the visual, technical and conceptual facets of the students’ creative practice.
  • Have consistently experienced thinking and talking about their work formally and informally through discussion, presentation and critiques.
  • Be able to think about their artistic practice in a broader context beyond the classroom/ McMaster studios

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

As such, no textbooks are required for this course.

A studio material fee of $25.00 must be paid to the School of the Arts office in TSH 414 within the first two weeks of classes. This fee enables SOTA to supply some of the basic communal materials in a cost effective and convenient manner to our students as well as covers the costs of studio expendables such as paint, spackle and associated materials for your exhibitions and critique spaces. These materials are available to you to facilitate your work for presentation and critique.

While we attempt to cover most basics students will be required to augment this list by purchasing certain items according to individual choices pertinent to the resolution of particular assignments.

You are required to have your own safety gear for the duration of your program. In the event you are not prepared for class or work in the studio, communal steel toe foot ware is available for students and located in the lobby area of the TSH studios. They are available on a first come first serve basis and can be used during your class. They may not be taken from they studios. 

Method of Assessment:

80% of assessment for this course will be body of work presented at end of term.  Of this 80%, one-half of assessment will be conducted on each of the days two groups of students present their work in critique format.  Those dates are as follows:

Group 1, Critique 1 - Work due at beginning of class on January 26th, 2017

Group 2, Critique 1 - Work due at beginning of class on February 2nd, 2017

Group 1, Critique 2 - Work due at beginning of class on March 23rd, 2017

Group 2, Critique 2 - Work due at beginning of class on March 30th, 2017

Each assignment has its own array of assessment criteria, and student performance will be evaluated in terms of:

  • Technical proficiency: how you demonstrate a command of technical skills to communicate visually
  • Conceptual development and focus: how you generate, put together and employ ideas/concepts which can be demonstrated through research and planning
  • Synthesis/presentation: how you bring all your skills together, how you choose to communicate your ideas/concepts and how you present and/or reflect these ideas. Synthesis also includes how you refine, resolve and choose to present your ideas/concept through visual language
  • Work ethic/ personal investment: how effectively you engage and work in your studio practice, using course content as a method of learning as well as a point of departure for creative exploration (includes experimentation and problem solving)

20% of final grade will be based on course participation

  • Professionalism in studio environment, critiques. Positive investment and engagement with studio community and peers
  • Sketch/log book with entries that include: visiting artist lectures, critique notes on each student critique

Sketch/ log books, due at beginning of class Apr. 6th, 2017


Students in this course will have received 10% of their grade in this course by March 10, 2017.

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:


Assignments are designed as frameworks for creative investigation, and will incorporate the techniques and content learned and discussed in class. Students are encouraged to personalize, explore, and expand on the expressive and communicative potential of these skills.

A penalty of 5% per day will be deducted from assignments submitted late, or those not presented in the required format. You must make arrangements to submit late assignments with the instructor. 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.

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:

As such, no readings are required but maybe recommended on occasion by instructor.