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ART 1MI3 Matl Investigation & Concepts

Academic Year: Winter 2018

Term: Winter

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. Laura Marotta



Phone: 905-525-9140 x

Office Hours: Tuesday 11:30 – 12:30 or by appointment

Course Objectives:

  • To have students develop a sensitivity to the forming of materials and their application.
  • To broaden the definition of material studies for the student and open up the possibilities of how certain materials can be formed and manipulated.
  • To reflect on the use of everyday materials in contemporary art and the meaning they may provoke.
  • To expand the student’s vocabulary as they articulate their ideas and choices in group discussion, brainstorming activities and critique. Students will learn to contribute positively to the studio dynamic and will have the opportunity to speak constructively and respectively of their peers work.
  • Students will also gain the experience of undertaking independent research to support project ideas.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Materials for executing projects will be guided by the nature of each project outline, and are the responsibility of the students except for materials supplied by the department via studio fee.

A studio/lab fee of $100.00 will be devoted to the materials that are procured in volume to save money, and/or are materials that are inaccessible to students.

Method of Assessment:


Marking rubrics are attached to each assignment and are reviewed in class when work is assigned.

**Students in this course will receive a midterm grade of at least 10% by March 16, 2018.




Technical Exercise 1: Polymers, Word Play


January 16

Project 1: Polymers, Colour Monotype


January 23

Technical Exercise 2: Encaustic, Technique and Texture


January 30

Project 2: Encaustic, Signs of the Times


February 13

Technical Exercise 3: Fiber, Paper Model


March 6

Project 3: Fiber, Original Copies


March 13

Project 4: Independent Project


April 3







Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

All work must be completed by its due date and presented at the critique.

Criteria for marking will be established in the introductory lecture to each of the projects. All work will be graded following the critique day and marks will be distributed to students within two weeks following each critique.

Each project will receive a letter/number grade following submission. If work is not submitted at the time of the scheduled critique, a mark of 0 will be assigned. If work is submitted to the instructor within one week of deadline, work will be marked and automatically reduced one full letter grade (i.e., B+ would become C+).


The participation/development grade reflects a combination of the following: thoughtful contributions to discussions and critiques; full attendance and arriving to class on time; cooperation and assistance during presentations/critiques; demonstrated growth over the course of the semester. Failing to demonstrate engagement and contribute positively to the group dynamic will impact your grade.


You must attend and participate in all critiques. Critiques allow you to discuss the issues associated with choice of material, presentation, and differences in perception; aspects of art theory, art vocabulary and contemporary art history will be introduced. Critiques also provide an opportunity for you to ask questions and for you to learn how to talk about both the technical and conceptual aspects of your work and the work of others.

HOWEVER, in cases of extended illness or other exceptional circumstances, please notify me ASAP and we will consider special arrangements.

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.