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ART 1UI3 Making Art&Understand. Images (C01)

Academic Year: Winter 2019

Term: Winter

Day/Evening: E

Instructor: Prof. Logan MacDonald


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 417

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23675


Office Hours: by appointment

Course Objectives:

  • To creatively explore the creation of art through the hands-on manipulation of materials
  • To cultivate critical thinking and creative innovation related to the creation of images
  • To learn the fundamentals of mark-making, composition and form
  • To gain exposure to contemporary and historical artists and ideas
  • Build on the communication of ideas that support visual culture and image creation: Critical analysis, presentation of work, and engaging in discussions & creative activities


1UI3 Making Art & Understanding Images
 is a lecture and studio hybrid course designed to introduce important concepts related to artistic production and fundamentals of understanding images. During class time students can expect learn from an array of thematic lectures, alongside independent and group focused working periods. Lectures will be supported by required readings that will expose students to nascent issues that shape contemporary art today. With this course students will gain hands-on experience with artistic creation through the challenges of in-class assignments and dynamic creative projects. Each project and in-class assignment will be designed with suggested materials and conceptual prompts that will be thematically linked to seminar content, which will also build creative knowledge on the fundamentals of visual culture and artistic creation. Creative projects will be introduced with a presentation that may include a demonstration of materials to offer students an example as to how they may approach materials and conceptual prompts. Students will be encouraged to deepen their knowledge and interests within the thematic and critical framework of the course, which will be supported by mentorship, engaging in peer-to-peer class discussion, group activities, critical analysis and creative self-expression.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

The schedule and online location of required readings for each lecture will be detailed on Avenue to Learn.

The following required materials can be purchased at Curry’s art & supply store (located at 610 King Street West, Hamilton). Student are expected to attend every class with the following materials:

  • Canson XL Mixed Media Pad 9” x 12” (60 sheets) – product #: C702242
  • Black felt tip pen (size .5, 1, or 2): Kakura Pigma Micron Pen or Staedtler
  • Graphite pencil Kit (HB to 4B)
  • Pencil Sharpener
  • Steadtler or kneading eraser
  • Drawing charcoal
  • A ruler (inches / cm / mm)
  • Tape (small roll of painters, masking, or clear)
  • Scissors
  • Indian Ink
  • Acrylic Paint (Black and White, and 2 colours of choice)
  • A small paint brush (preferably round tip)
  • Glue Stick and/or Elmers Glue
  • Additional materials at student’s discretion for each Creative Project
  • Use of a camera for documentation of work (cell phone cameras are ideal) – if you do not have access to a camera please notify me and I’ll arrange access for you.
  • Post-it notes
  • Elastic bands

Possible other materials:

  • Color pencils
  • Markers
  • Colored pens
  • Old Magazines and/or printed matter for collage

There are no additional studio fees associated with this course.

Method of Assessment:

20% FINAL PAPER: Due Mar 25


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

Student's are gaurenteed to be given a mid-term mark of 20% of their overall grade by Mar 11th, 2019.

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

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

Assignments and projects need to be handed in on time.

Student are expected to attend every class, be punctual, and come prepared. Lack of participation can effect your performance in the course, in terms of mark deductions on your overall grade, which can occur due to lateness, overtly disruptive behavour, or missing classes without notice. Late arrivals to class of more than 15 minutes will result in a full letter deduction from their overall grade for each day offended. Students who attending class unprepared without required materials to execute in-class assignements will be considered absent. Each students is responsible in following their course schedules to be prepared for 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 5 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.


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:
Conceptual Rigour
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
Meets deadlines
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
Satisfactory presentation
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
Missed deadlines
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

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:

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

All late papers, projects, and end of term assignments 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 quiz 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. Providing an MSAF will defer an assignment deadline date, - please note that I will not reweight other assignments.


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:


Jan 7: Introductions - Syllabus Review, Art History in Seconds, & Speed Drawing

Jan 14: Appropriation versus Cultural Appropriation

Jan 21:  Canadian Art - Indigenous Past, Present and Futures

Jan 28: Framing Nature & Engaging Environments

Feb 4: Representation vs Non-Representation

Feb 11:Feminism & Addressing the Gaze

Feb 18: Break

Feb 25:  Photo-finish (realism, conceptualism and more)

Mar 4: Material Culture

Mar 11: Tricks of the Trade

Mar 18: The Message is in the Medium

Mar 25: The Moving Image

Apr 1: The Interactive Image

Apr 8: Last class


Other Course Information:

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.

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.         

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

Curry's Art Supply Store
610 King St. West, Hamilton
Tel: 905-529-7700
Store Hours:
Mon - Fri 10am - 8pm
Sat 10am - 6pm
Sun 12 - 5pm

Course Changes:
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.