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ART 4AR3 Adv Resrch/Presentatn Strateg (C01)

Academic Year: Fall 2018

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. Logan MacDonald


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 417

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23675


Office Hours: Meetings can be made by appointment

Course Objectives:

  • To complete a self-directed body of artwork informed by rigorous research, creative engagement, and exploration of materials and presentation
  • To collaborate as part of a cohort: insuring effective, democratic processes to coordinate the graduating group exhibition and all other measures that support this activity.
  • To be given opportunity for intensive enhancement and exploration of material investigations
    (tools, process and skills)
  • To Research and connect your work within the context of contemporary art practices and theory
  • To demonstrate the communication of ideas that support your work through critical analysis, observational skills, and the presentation of ideas and work
  • To deepen your knowledge of contemporary and historical artists and the ideas related to specific material and visual exploration


ART 4AR3 Advance Research & Presentation Strategy is a studio production course where students will develop a critical discourse through rigorous research and creative engagement.  Students will be expected to further develop their artistic interests through an ongoing research approach, which will be enhanced by readings, mentorship, peer-to-peer discussion, and presentation analysis.  Students can expect to enhance their verbal and written skills, with being challenged to connect and situate their research and studio approach in relation to a larger contemporary art context, as well as within their own artistic trajectory. This course requires students to contextualize their research, material applications, and decision-making processes. Moreover, the structure of the course students will be further enhanced by dynamic presentations held during class-time to expand on nascent issues in the arts, in addition to visiting artist or curator guest lectures, all of which are intended to broaden and challenge student understandings of advance research and presentation as disciplinary.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:


Students are responsible for determining the studio materials needs for their own self-directed art practices.

There are not lab fees associated with this course. Students are expected to supply their own materials, at their discretion as needed, for self-directed artistic development.

Student will be collaboratively directing the logistics of their final graduate presentation. It will fall on students to co-ordinate fundraising initiatives

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, scissors, 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 the studios.

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

Method of Assessment:




  • Catalogue: Due Dec 6
  • Exhibition Logistics (on-going)
  • Final Logs


  • Artist Proposal (Draft 1) Due: Sept 21 (5%)
  • Artist Statement (Draft 2) Due: Oct 11 (10%)
  • Artist Statement (Final Draft) Due: Nov 15 (10%)


  • Locate an actual call for proposals: exhibition, workshop, residency, or internship application you wish to apply for
  • Create the necessary documents to requested for the application process

Detailed descriptions for each project and assignments can be found on Avenue 2 Learn, and will be extensively introduced during class time.

All requested work will be handed in physically to the instructor on the due date, unless stipulated otherwise.

Students will have received 10% of their mark before the 9th of November.


To obtain high marks for participation students will need to adhere to all the following:

Attendance is required. Critiques need to be presented on schedule – and course work needs to be completed by the deadline dates outlined in the schedule.  

I require student to attend every class, be punctual, and come prepared. Participation includes attending class with the required materials needed to execute obligation, and are able to perform course work tasks as planned.

I require students to be pay attention, actively engage and participate with in-class-discussions, presentations. Critiques in this course are considered examinations, your attendance and participation are required. No critiques will be held outside of class time.

Students should not be disruptive and should be courteous: I’d prefer you did not fuss with your phones or electronic devices, stay for the duration of class time, and do not have non-course related conversations during presentations or during in-class discussion.

Most projects require you to do a minimum of 8 hours of work outside of class per week. Please respect that studio facilities are not to be used when another class is in session.

To obtain high marks for participation students will need adhere to all the following:
Actively engaged in course related discussion

Actively engage in all the professional logistics designated to 4th year student development (this included: catalogue preparation, visiting artist logistics, exhibition planning, and other collaborative cohort initiatives).

Student are expected to attend every class, be punctual, and come prepared. Lack of participation can affect your performance in the course, in terms of mark deductions on your overall grade, which can occur due to lateness, overtly disruptive behavior, missing critiques, missing classes without notice, and unprepared presentations. Late arrivals to class of more than 15 minutes will result in a full letter deduction from their overall grade for each day offended. Each student is responsible in following the course schedule to be prepared for the expectations of each classes.

I require students to be pay attention, actively engage and participate with in-class-discussions, presentations, demonstrations, and within group activities. Students should not be disruptive and should be courteous: I’d prefer you did not fuss with your phones or electronic devices, stay for the duration of class time, and do not have non-course related conversations during presentations/demonstrations or in-class discussions.

Most projects require you to do a minimum of 8 hours of work outside of class per week. Please respect that studio facilities are not to be used when another class is in session.

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.

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Students who fail to meet project due dates or miss exams risk facing the following penalties:

All late papers, projects, and end of term assignment will be subject to penalization of 5% per day marks being docked off the final awarded grade, with no submission accepted after 7 days. Failure to not submit a project 7 days after the deadline will then result in a 0% grade awarded for the particular project or assignment.

Any missed deadline will not be rescheduled to accommodate students, unless they alert the professor in advance and are able to supply a MSAF. In cases where a MSAF has been submitted, late assignments will be extended, but will not be discussed in a group sessions. Missed critiques will under no circumstances be rescheduled – if students wish to swap critique dates they must manage that between themselves and alert the instructor prior to 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:


Schedule of activities:



Sept 6

IN CLASS:  Introduction, syllabus overview & exhibition discussions
Elect groups for 4th year committees
Summa Catalog groups- division of labour/ groups, deadlines, etc.
+ Meet & Greet
HOMEWORK: Required Reading 1

Sept 13

IN CLASS: Required Reading 1 Class Discussion + Artist/exhibition highlight +
Artist Statement/Manifesto Overview Examples
DUE: Assigned roles and strategic plan
HOMEWORK: Artist Statement Draft & Required Reading Report 1

Sept 20

IN CLASS: 1:1 Studio Visit (creative process) + Work Period
DUE: Artist Statements Draft + Required Reading Report 1 Due
+ Ursula Johnson Performance @ 11 – 3 McMaster Art Gallery
HOMEWORK: Find an opportunity, edit a peers Artist Statement

Sept 27

IN CLASS/DUE: Opportunity Presentations + Project Proposal Overviews/Examples + Students work in pairs to discuss edits, strengths, revisions – etc. + Work Period

Oct 4

IN CLASS: Strategic Planning session meeting/updates
Artist/exhibition highlight by instructor + Work Period
HOMEWORK: Artist Statement Draft 2 + Required Reading 2 + Critique Planning

Oct 11

Recess No Class

Oct 18

IN CLASS: Individual critiques + discussion Required reading 2 class
DUE: Artist Statement Draft 2 Due
HOMEWORK: Required Reading Report 2 Due

Oct 25

IN CLASS:  Socrates Panel Discussion @ 10am
DUE: Required Reading Report 2 Due
HOMEWORK: Proposal Presentation

Nov 1

IN CLASS/DUE: Proposal Presentation
+ 1:1 Studio Visits + Work Period

Nov 8

IN CLASS:  Artist/exhibition highlight + Group Studio Visits
HOMEWORK: Artist Statement Final Draft Due.

Nov 15

IN CLASS: Strategic Planning session meeting/updates
DUE: Artist Statement Final Draft Due
HOMEWORK: Read Required Reading 3

Nov 22

IN CLASS: Artist/exhibition highlight + Required Reading 3
HOMEWORK: Finish Catalogue

Nov 29

Last Class – 4th Year Gala & Catalogue Due
Required Reading Report 3 Due


The schedule and online location of required readings for each lecture will be posted on Avenue to Learn throughout the course. It is your responsibility to check avenue on a regular basis for updates and communication from me.

This course offers students opportunity to engage in self-directed research to develop their projects. While students will obtain focused mentorship that will include suggested readings – it is strongly encouraged that each student pursues rigorous research to contextualize their project ideas. 

Moreover, students are expected to attend extracurricular activities pertaining to contemporary art, which include various artist talks and lectures we are privileged to offer throughout the school year. Additional resource students are expected to access are exhibitions and other art centers in our community, such as the Art Gallery of Hamilton, the McMaster Gallery and James St. North. It is recommended that each student keeps informed on current cultural events within the local community, in addition to the artistic culture in our surrounding areas, as well as internationally. This constant awareness will help deepen your engagement of course work.



Reading Class 1 – Sept 16
“Art by Indigenous artist, or art about Indigenous issues” Richard Hill. Canadian Art. 2016.

Reading Class 2 – Oct 18

"Art Museums and the Ritual of Citizenship." Duncan, Carol.

Civilizing Rituals: Inside Public Art Museums. Routledge, 1995. 88-103. Print.


Reading Class 3 – Nov 2

“Racial Imaginary: Where Writers go Wrong in Imagining the Lives of Others” Rankine, Claudia; Loffrerda, Beth.  The Racial Imaginary, 2014.

Other Course Information:

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 of the student to check their McMaster email and course websites weekly during the term and to note any changes.

A course calendar is located on Avenue. Please refer to this calendar for dates and deadlines. Changes to the course schedule may happen at the discretion of the instructor. You will be notified of any changes to the course schedule and on Avenue.

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, Studio Technologist for the Studio Arts 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 privileges.

Appointments must be made with the studio technologist 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.

While a university environment is one where freedom of speech is highly valued, students must adhere to provisions of the Human Rights Act, 2010 and discrimination is prohibited on the following grounds: race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, social origin, creed, religion, age, disability, disfigurement, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, family status, source of income and political opinion. Comments or action based on an individual’s association or relationship whether actual or presumed, with an individual or class of individuals identified above is also prohibited.

The atmosphere of the studio should be characterized by courtesy and mutual respect. Participating in team assignments and group activity is an important part of this course work. 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. Please be mindful of tone and consider respectful engagnment when quesitoning difference.

  1. 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.

Emergency Response
University line: ext. 88
905 522-4135; or 905 525-9140, ext. 24281

Student Walk Home Attendant Team (SWHAT)
Ext 27500
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday: 7 pm – 1 am
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday: 7 pm – 2 am

Support Services
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