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ART 4AR3 Adv Resrch/Presentatn Strateg

Academic Year: Fall 2015

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. Chris Myhr


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 328

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23930


Office Hours: Wednesdays 12:30-1:30 (or by appointment)

Course Objectives:

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

  • Breadth/refinement of research strategies relevant to their artistic direction
  • ability to effectively conduct independent/group research projects
  • Proficiency in writing about their work and conducting verbal presentations
  • In-depth understanding as to the motivations and historical/contemporary positioning of their current practices
  • Informed understanding as to the ways in which their work might engage with larger audiences both within and beyond the art community
  • Ability to develop conceptual frameworks with greater sophistication, depth, and Effective audio/visual documentation strategies
  • Proficiency in software for image processing and the design of portfolios and/or exhibition catalogues

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Any required/supplementary readings will be posted on A2L in PDF format.

Method of Assessment:

Detailed descriptions of all assignments will be uploaded to Avenue to Learn. Depending on the nature of the assignment, work will be submitted to an Avenue to Learn Drop Box folder, and/or delivered to the instructor during class time. The breakdown is as follows:

Map of Research/Creative Territory presentation 20% (Due Oct 1)
New Additions to Map of Research/Creative Territory presentation 20% (Due Nov 26)
Mid-term Research Portfolio 10% (Due Oct 12)
Final Research Portfolio 20% (Due Dec 10)
Professionalism and Participation 30%


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:

All readings and supplementary material will be available on Avenue to Learn in PDF format. The following schedule and list of topics/readings is subject to change.

Sept 10    
Instructor introduction
Discussion: Art and artists
Talking about your work: Artist talks and verbal proposals
Brain storming session: Characteristics of effective/ineffective talks
Assign “Map of Research/Creative Territory”
Assign Reading 1
Assign discussion questions (Week 2)
Digital image fundamentals
HMC orientation
Work/research session

Sept 17
Discussion: Art and language
Assign Reading 2
Assign discussion questions (Week 3)
Writing about your work: Artist statements 
Brain storming session: Essentials, characteristics, and language for effective statements
Demo: Using a DSLR for documentation
Work/research session

Sept 24
Pair feedback session: Artist statement (V1) exchange
Discussion: Art and research
Demo: Studio/Portrait lighting
Portrait session
Work/research session

Oct 1
Pair feedback session: Artist statement (V2) exchange
Map of Research/Creative Territory presentations (Round 1)
Digital imaging fundamentals
Demo: Image processing in Photoshop
Work/research session

Oct 8
Pair feedback session: Artist statement (V3) exchange
Map of Research/Creative Territory presentations (Round 2)
Tutorial: Art journal article searches (Library staff)
Assign panel discussion groups and topics (Week 6-9)
Sign up for Instructor Studio Visits (Week 8-10)
Outline Mid-term Research Portfolio requirements
Work on Mid-term Research Portfolio

Oct 15
Mid-term Recess

Oct 22    
Artist statement (V4) due
Vote on title for SUMMA show
Special Topic Panel Discussion 1
Tutorial: Collections research
Essentials of typography and design (time permitting)
Work/research session

Oct 29    
Special Topic Panel Discussion 2
Demo: In Design
Assign Peer Interviews
Work/research session

Nov 5
Vote on cover for SUMMA show
Special Topic Panel Discussion 3
Peer Interviews
Instructor Studio Visits (Round 1)
Work/research session

Nov 12    
Special Topic Panel Discussions 4
Demo: Exhibition mock-ups
Instructor Studio Visits (Round 2)
Work/research session

Nov 19
Demo: Online portfolios
Instructor Studio Visits (Round 3) 
Work/research session

Nov 26    
New Additions to Map of Research/Creative Territory presentations (Round 1)
Work/research session

Dec 3    
New Additions to Map of Research/Creative Territory presentations (Round 2)
Course consolidation
Outline Final Research Portfolio requirements
Work on Final Research Portfolio