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ART 4AR3 Adv Resrch/Presentatn Strateg

Academic Year: Fall 2017

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. Carmela Laganse


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 430

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23926

Office Hours: Tues. 1:30-3:00

Course Objectives:

This course further explores and focuses on research strategies relevant to the student’s creative practice. Students will engage in various independent/ group research projects, presentations, written assignments and discussion to develop understanding and communicate ideas that are entangled between their practice and their larger historical and contemporary contexts and communities.

Through integrating technical, conceptual and critical practice, students will develop strategies and approaches to communicate their research and ideas as well as thoughtfully propose questions that generate discussion, idea and exchange. Coursework will include lectures, exercises presentation and discussion complemented by technical instruction for publication of their work.

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

  • Various research approaches and strategies that can be applied to a variety of disciplines
  • Ability to effectively and prfoessionally research individually and in groups
  • Clear articulation of artistic practice and motivation through sources and ability to position themselves within their historical and contemporary contexts
  • Ability to engage conversation ideas through presentation and discussion
  • Ability to develop and present conceptual framework through integrating individual ideas, sources and research
  • Effective presentation of work through visual documentation, text (proficientcy in software image processing through catalogue production)

Students will be expected to:

  • Take notes on content in class and visiting artist’s lectures
  • Make a serious and thoughtful effort in applying various ideas and approaches introduced in class demonstrated through projects, assignments and personal investigations
  • Will be expected to think critically and respond to the issues and content presented in class
  • Will be expected to consistently and professionally invest, engage and contribute positively to the overall studio environment/community

Due to the group collaboration in this course, perfect attendance is expected. Missed class will be reflected in your evaluation and missed demonstrations cannot be repeated. Every class will include valuable information requiring you to keep notes on demonstrations and lectures

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

There are no lab fees for this course, however you may need to buy your own materials to execute projects and assignments.

Other tools and/ or materials you may need for class:

  • Steel toe boots/shoes
  • Sketchbook/file folder for idea generation, notes etc.
  • USB flash drive or external hard drive for research or image collection
  • Basic studio tool box that should include: various drawing tools (pencils, graphite etc.)Tape, sissors, blades, exacto knives

*  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.

Consult your instructor for more detailed information as to what will be required.

Method of Assessment:

Detailed descriptions of assignments and projects are indicated in the project outlines which are available on Avenue to Learn. A midterm grade will be provided on Oct. 19 and will be based on work to that date.

30%     Group based projects/ assignments/ presentations

  • Group work- Catalogue: DUE Dec.7
  • Group work- Visiting Artist discussion/presentations: Sept. 14, Oct. 26, Nov. 2, Nov.9

55%     Individual research projects/ presentations

  • Project 1a and b- Mind Map and Artist Statement: DUE Oct. 5
  • Project 1c- IDEA presentation: DUE Nov.2,9,16,23

15%     Participation- in class

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)


You will be expected to fully engage in all studio activity. This means arriving on time, and actively participating through the duration of the class. Participation requires the student’s attention and joining in discussion to provide constructive criticism for your peers. The success of the class is largely dependent on each student’s engagement with the course work, each other and our studio community.

 You will be expected to fully engage in all studio activity. This means arriving on time, and actively participating through the duration of the class. Participation requires the student’s attention, peer- to- peer knowledge sharing and engagement in discussion. It is important that we are welcoming and open to points of view that are different from our own. The success of the class is largely dependent on each student’s engagement with the course work, each other and our studio community. You are expected to interact with each other collegially and with respect, mindful of how you will contribute to each other’s learning experience in a positive and challenging way. Your respectful conduct in our studio classes extends into social media sites that refer to any activity, peers, work or discussion in our studios. You are expected to arrive to class on time and fully prepared. Failing to contribute positively to the group dynamic will impact your grade.

The instructor will determine the student’s grade by evaluating projects, which should be indicative of the student’s creative sensibility (visually, technically and conceptually), investment and a willingness to explore, innovate and problem solve. Students will be evaluated on the degree of rigor to which efforts have been made to personalize, explore, and expand on the expressive and communicative potential of these skills. The instructor will take into consideration the students’ active participation in the discussion and critique sessions, their commitment to the collective project and their willingness to exceed the basic requirements of the course.

Students are expected to use Avenue to Learn to find information including: Project Outlines, deadline changes, general announcements, technical information etc. It is the student’s responsibility to check the A2L course site for this information.

Although a certain amount of time will be allotted for in-class project work, students will also be required to spend a minimum of 5 hours/week developing techniques and strategies introduced in the course, conducting independent research, completing assigned projects, and preparing for discussions and presentations.

Students taking this course will be expected to arrive on-time at the start of each class, and be sufficiently prepared to work on projects and participate in class activities for the duration of the scheduled class. Each unexcused absence without proper medical documentation will be reflected in the evaluation.

The use of cellphones, text messaging, and/or social media sites during class time will not be tolerated.

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 indicated in project description (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:


To book AV equipment online through Humanities Media and Computing:


Week/Day/ Date

COURSE SCHEDULE: 4AR3 Adv. Research/Presentation Strategies  (Subject to Change)


Week 1

Sept. 7

  • Intro to course, syllabus review, projects and group work
  • Booking appointments and equipment
  • Construct small groups for projects as well as 4th year committees
  • Summa Catalog groups- division of labour/ groups, deadlines etc.
  • Group A- Agata Derda due next week

Week 2

  • Sept. 14
  • In class exercise: 8:30-10:15
  • Group A- Agata Derda discussion/ presentation

Week 3

Sept. 21

  • In class exercise continued
  • Intro to Project One: a) Creative Mapping, b) artist statement, c)IDEA presentation
  • In class work and consult

Week 4

Sept. 28

  • Lecture/discussion: Talking about your work and practice: artist talks, presentations of papers, demonstrations
  • IDEA- videos, class discussion

Week 5

Oct. 5

  • Projects 1a and 1b due today for presentation
  • Lecture/ Demo/ Discussion: Images of your work, technical aspects of digital documentation (lighting, video etc.)
  • Committee updates

Week 6

Oct. 12

  • Midterm Break

Week 7

Oct. 19

  • Midterm progress grade submitted to students
  • Visit to McMaster Museum
  • Q and A with guest curator: TBD

Week 8

Oct. 26

  • Group B, Troy Coulterman: discussion/presentation
  • Consultation/studio visit, work period
  • Committee updates

Week 9


  • Group C, Natalie Jachrya: discussion/presentation
  • Consultation/studio visit, work period
  • Committee updates

Week 10


  • IDEA presentations/ discussion (3)
  • Group C, Grace Sippy: discussion/presentation

Week 11


  • Images and text submitted for SUMMA catalogue
  • IDEA presentations/ discussion (6)

Week 12


  • Images and text finalized for SUMMA catalogue
  • IDEA presentations/ discussion (5)

Week 13


  • IDEA presentations/ discussion (4)

Week 14


  • Digital draft/layout submitted for SUMMA catalogue
  • Class discussion













































Visiting Artist schedule for Fall 2017:




Aug. 28-Sept. 22


Exhibition of Agata Derda’s new work

Thurs., Sept. 14, 11:30-12:20

TSH 114

Agata Derda, artist lecture

Thursday September 14th, 6 – 8 pm


McMaster Museum

Fall Opening Reception


Thursday September 28th, 12:30 – 1:20 pm


McMaster Museum

Simon Glass: Artist’s Talk


Wednesday October 4th, 12:30 – 1:20 pm


McMaster Museum

Mark Cheetham: Curator’s Talk

Getting Some Distance on Likening


Tuesday October 24th, 12:30 – 1:20 pm


McMaster Museum

Ihor Holubizky: Curator’s Talk

A Cultivating Journey: The Herman H. Levy Legacy


Thurs. Oct. 26, 11:30-12:20

TSH 114

Troy Coulterman, artist talk

Thurs. Nov. 2, 11:30-12:20

TSH 114

Natalie Jachrya, artist talk


Thurs. Nov.9, 11:30-12:20

TSH 114

Grace Sippy, artist talk

Thursday November 23rd, 6 – 8 pm


McMaster Museum

Tobi Bruce & Ihor Holubizky: Curating & Collecting

A Cultivating Journey: The Herman H. Levy Legacy








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 Michael Syms or Agata Derda, Studio Technologists for the Studio Arts program or the course Instructor. You are required to wear your steel-toed boots in all of the studios.

Appointments must be made with the studio technologist, through the online booking system, 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. To book an appointment, go to this site:

You must input your mcmaster ID and password (same as avenue) to access the system.

Studios are accessible through access cards and are open from 7am -11pm, 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 studios with out the permission of the studio technologist or instructor.

Incident reports:

 If a student should have an accident in any of the studio, the incident, (no matter how minor) must be reported to a faculty member, or the studio technologist within 24 hours. If there is no faculty or technician available, and immediate attention is needed please call 88 for all emergencies. Do not hesitate to call 88 in any circumstance, please do not make medical judgments for yourself or others, let a medical professional make the assessment.