ART 4AS6 ADV STUDIO PROD & CRITIQUE
Academic Year: Fall/Winter 2014/2015
Instructor: Prof. John Ford
Office: Togo Salmon Hall 429A
Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23931
Office Hours: JOHN: Thursday 9:30 â€“ 10:20 and 4:30 â€“ 5:30, TSH 429a or T32, JUDY: Thursday 10:30 â€“ 12:30, TSH 430
- Course Objectives
- Textbooks, Materials & Fees
- Method of Assessment
- Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties
- Additional Policies and Statements
- Topics and Readings
- Other Course Information
This advanced course combines self-directed studio production with critical discourse, under the guidance of a
team of studio faculty. Open critique sessions attended by faculty, students, alumni, and community guests
provide feedback. A written thesis is required connected to a cohesive body of work.
Four hours; two terms
Prerequisite(s): ART 3GS3 and registration in Level IV, Honours Studio Art program
Antirequisite(s): ART 4C06 or ART 4E12
1. Rotating critique sessions (see calendar for deadlines) must be attended each and every week in order to:
• present your proposal orally
• present your ongoing self-directed work to receive regular feedback from faculty and peers
• participate in feedback sessions for your peers so that you can articulate your ideas and
perceptions and grow in your artistic acumen throughout the year
2. Logbook will be divided into three clear sections as follows:
• Visiting Artists (a minimum of 8 visiting artist talks, events, or gallery visits per term)
• Active Research (preliminary idea development, sketches, resources and inspiration)
• Critique Notes and Reflection (evidence of attendance at all critiques and a summary of recorded comments)
• Logbook due November 20, 2014 for Term 1, March 19, 2015 for Term 2)
3. Final Thesis (due March 26) is a 2000-word summative paper referencing influences, concepts,
context, and critical reflection that are linked to your initial proposal. This paper should provide visual
documentation of all work presented at critique and include images of any significant influences you
cite. Electronic submissions may only be submitted through Dropbox on Avenue to Learn, where they
will be dated when received. You may also submit standard paper, or a one-of-a-kind alternative
format, by the end of class on March 26.
4. Summa Exhibition is a showcase of achievements held in the McMaster Museum of Art in April,
2015. Curator TBA.
Textbooks, Materials & Fees:
Self-determined student research, i.e. books, catalog, online
Log book in order to take notes at visiting artist lectures, record and provide evidence of your research, record notes and reflections of your work and the work of your peers during critique.
Method of Assessment:
MIDYEAR MARK = 45% (40% proposal & presentation, critique presentation/participation + 5% log)
SECOND-TERM MARK = 55% (40% critique presentation/participation + 5% log + 10% thesis)
FINAL MARK = 45% midyear mark + 55% second-term mark
The following scale of percent equivalences is used for calculating final grades:
A+ = 90–100; A = 85–89; A- = 80–84; B+ = 77–79; B = 73–76; B- = 70–72;
C+ = 67–69; C = 63–66; C- = 60-–62; D+ = 57–59; D = 53–56; D- = 50–52; F = 0–49
OUTSTANDING (A+ = 90–100; A = 85–89; A- = 80–84)
Work assessed at the A level consistently exceeds expectations and exhibits the following:
Deep critical engagement
Complex, ambitious, and prolific production
Meets deadlines with time for reflection before presentation
Advanced technical proficiency and risk taking
Comprehensively researched responses linked to focused goals, personal interests, and artistic vision
Independent and self-directed approaches
Highly professional presentations
Engagement with all aspects of the course (requires promptness and stellar attendance)
GOOD (B+ = 77–79; B = 73–76; B- = 70–72)
Work assessed at the B level consistently meets expectations and exhibits the following:
Good grasp of concepts
Evidence of developing critical skills
Technically sound demonstrating sensitivity to materials and their connection to ideas
Evolving research skills and good understanding of personal goals and interests
Some independence, self-motivation, and risk-taking evident
Engaged with most aspects of the course
ADEQUATE (C+ = 67–69; C = 63–66; C- = 60–62)
Work assessed at the C level fails to meet some expectations and exhibits some or all the following:
Inconsistent grasp of concepts
Little evidence of critical skills
Work is regularly late or presented in an undeveloped state
Struggling with technical skills, and conservative approach to exploration and risk
Requires regular assistance to understand assignments
Unsatisfactory presentation (unprepared, late)
Minimal engagement with course (poor attendance, few contributions evident)
MARGINAL (D+ = 57–59; D = 53–56; D- = 50–52)
Work assessed at the D level consistently falls short of expectations and exhibits some or all of the following:
Significant struggle with concepts and objectives
No evidence of critical skills
Simplistic technical approach with little sensitivity to materials
Arbitrary or no research evidence
Unacceptable presentation (inappropriate or wastes the time of the group)
Unsatisfactory engagement with course
UNACCEPTABLE (F = 0–49)
Work assessed at the F level fails to meet enough of the course requirements to obtain credit. Studio Art is a
hands-on learning experience. Students who miss more than 3 classes or 25% of the course risk a failing
grade due to the impact of this percentage on their ability to demonstrate abilities during in-class activities.
Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:
McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)
This is a self-reporting tool for undergraduate students to report absences DUE TO MINOR MEDICAL SITUATIONS that last up to 5 days and provides the ability to request accommodation for any missed academic work. Please note, this tool cannot be used during any final examination period. You may submit a maximum of 1 Academic Work Missed request per term. It is YOUR responsibility to follow up with your Instructor immediately (NORMALLY WITHIN TWO WORKING DAYS) regarding the nature of the accommodation. If you are absent for reasons other than medical reasons, for more than 5 days, or exceed 1 request per term, you MUST visit your Associate Dean's Office/Faculty Office). You may be required to provide supporting documentation. This form should be filled out immediately when you are about to return to class after your absence.
Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:
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 www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity
The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:
- Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
- Improper collaboration in group work.
- 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 mcmaster.ca/msaf/. 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 email@example.com. 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 be suggested by faculty, visiting artists, and peers in response to student work in critique, and student comments
Other Course Information:
The success of studio courses is dependent on the active engagement of all participants. Learning is
accelerated in a hands-on environment where work and ideas can be discussed as they evolve, and
challenges and successes can be shared.
Important health and safety information and safe operating procedures are communicated during class time.
You must receive this information to work independently in the studio, and you may not operate any equipment
or use any process that you have not received safety training for.
Class discussions and critiques empower individuals to take risks in their art practice and learn from each
other. It is of utmost importance that all students participate fully by attending all classes and remaining
welcoming and open to divergent points of view.
The atmosphere of the studio 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. It is your responsibility to contribute positively in this shared space and
come to class prepared, on time, and ready to contribute to the activities of the day. Attendance at Visiting
Artist talks represents a component of this category. Evidence of participation must be in the log/sketchbook.
Advice for Success
Learn to embrace the “Three R’s” necessary to be an artist:
During your time in Studio Art, McMaster University, your faculty will strongly encourage you to:
• Be self-possessed (develops over time by being prepared to perform when called upon)
• Be self-confident (grows as a result of accepting and overcoming challenges)
• Be self-reliant (learn by example and encouragement of faculty, then take initiative to self-realize)
• In a healthy and constructive way, compete with yourself, your peers, and the best art ever made
• Develop a strong work ethic, and practise as if your life depended on it (it may, and probably does)
• Develop ambitions that go beyond the ordinary — do not hesitate to be extraordinary
• Aspire to the loftiest goals you can imagine, and let imagination and hard work take you there
• Be curious, understanding that knowledge must be sought, and in art, experienced
• Be highly self-motivated, and learn to accept knowledge you weren’t expecting
• Learn to embrace fear and uncertainty as your closest allies for personal and professional growth
• Grow in awareness, wisdom, maturity (artistic and human)
• Leave here thinking about things in different ways than you did when you began
• Make a difference for yourself and other when you leave here
Office hours are intended to provide additional assistance. You are welcome to visit often to discuss course
projects or seek assistance on difficulties you may be experiencing. It is always better to deal with an issue
while there is still time remaining in the term to seek solutions. Office hours are not a replacement class for
those opting to miss class time without valid excuse. Office hours will not provide feedback sessions if you
miss a critique deadline. It is important that you learn to manage your time. Of course, extenuating
circumstances may sometimes occur, and requests for accommodation should be discussed with the
We are happy to review drafts of any documents the week prior to submission. This may be done either
electronically or during office hours.
Late Assignments, Extensions, and Accommodations
Projects that are not presented by the student during their scheduled critique or on the deadline day will result
in an automatic 0. In cases where a MSAF has been submitted, late assignments will be graded but not
discussed at an alternative critique session. No assignment will be accepted beyond one week past the
deadline without communication from the Dean of Humanities’ office.
Extensions or other accommodations will be determined by the instructor(s) and will only be considered if
supported by appropriate documentation. Absences of less than 5 days may be reported using the McMaster
Student Absence Form (MSAF) at http://www.mcmaster.ca/msaf/. If you are unable to use the MSAF, you
should document the absence with your faculty office. In all cases, it is your responsibility to follow up with the
instructor immediately to see if an extension or other accommodation will be granted, and what form it will
take. There are no automatic extensions or accommodations.
NO WORK WILL BE ACCEPTED BEYOND THE LAST DAY OF CLASSES.
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
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 may 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
2. Improper collaboration in group work
3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations
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 the 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.
Avenue to Learn
In this course we will be using Avenue to Learn. Students should be aware that, when they access the
electronic components of this course, private information such as first and last names, user names for the
McMaster e-mail accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all other students in the same
course. The available information is dependent on the technology used. Continuation in this course will be
deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure, please
discuss this with the course instructor.
Modifications to Course Outline
The instructor and university reserve the right to modify elements of the course during the term. The university
may change the dates and deadlines for any or all courses in extreme circumstances. If either type of
modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with
explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. It is the responsibility students to check their
McMaster email and Avenue to Learn weekly during the term and to note any changes.
Due to the construction and renovation of the art studios, 4th-year students are exempt from paying studio
fees. Tuition covers instruction, technical and administrative support, equipment, tools, facilities/utility costs,
models, visiting artists, and resources such as McMaster Museum, Library, and Anatomy Lab.
STUDIO FACILITY, CONDUCT, HEALTH AND SAFETY
Working in the Studios
All new studio art students are required to complete an online WHMIS test to access all studio equipment and
facility. This test must be completed within the first 4 weeks of the fall semester. 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 to Michael Syms, Studio
Technologist for the Studio Art program, 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
Appointments must be made with the Studio Technologist in regards to consulting and/or executing specific
projects requiring the use of wood shop, metal, or 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 7 am to 10 pm, 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
Guests (people not enrolled in studio art courses) are not permitted in the studios unless proper permission
and documentation are provided.
There is no food or drink permitted in the studios. Please do not bring any chemicals or other materials into the
studio without the permission of the Studio Technologist or instructor.
If a student should have an accident in any of the studios, the incident (no matter how minor) must be reported
to a faculty member, or the Studio Technologist within 24 hours. If no faculty or technician is 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 medical professionals make
the necessary assessments.
University line: ext 88
905 522-4135; or 905 525-9140, ext 24281
Student Walk Home Attendant Team (SWHAT)
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday: 7 pm – 1 am
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday: 7 pm – 2 am