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ART 3TS3 Touchstone:Studio Research

Academic Year: Fall 2015

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. Briana Palmer


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 429A

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23155

Office Hours: wed 11:30 1: 30 pm

Course Objectives:

Course Description

Art 3TS3 is designed to assist students in understanding research strategies that will fuel independent studio production. The course will support students in identifying their individual interests and personal strengths and help them to assemble an individual bank of resources, and work through preliminary ideas towards more resolved and complex production. Readings and reflection exercises are designed to develop the critical skills necessary to evaluate achievements and adjust and refine the research trajectory accordingly. Students will generate personal goals and fulfill them through the production of studio-based work that is shared with peers in critique sessions. 


Demonstrate knowledge of materials and techniques acquired through the duration of this course

Demonstrate independent study and creative thinking through development of ideas and materials.                                                                                                                                

Demonstrate a willingness to explore new techniques/processes and undertake challenges in order to expand personal boundaries and creative outcomes.

Demonstrate research practices both historical and contemporary, which inform the artwork(s) from various sources, such as: the museum collections, galleries, sketchbook, library, and journals.

Participation in-class discussions and critiques.


Resolution/completion of project(s): the development of work(s) through explorations of materials and ideas express through drawing, plans and/or the reworking of the works in progress, full development of ideas and investigation.

Innovation/creativity: the work must exhibit an exploration of visual language through the visual imagery as well as the concepts that are expressed in the work(s).

Conceptual Knowledge:  an understanding of the imagery and why it was created. This has to be more that I just like it. Why?

Technical skill: students must demonstrate the ability to execute works that they have learned through technical demonstrations in other classes as well as this course.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Studio Fees

The studio fee of  25.00 provides students with the basic materials necessary for this class. Materials will be given to each student at the beginning of term.  Students must pay the SOTA office before receiving the drawing materials. Please note the studio fees only covers the basics and is an introduction to the materials so students can sample various materials/ mediums. The school is able to purchase the supplies in bulk, which reduces the cost.  Students should be aware that these supplies do not cover all cost and materials and it is the responsibility of the student to replenish if needed, and come to prepared with paper and drawing media.  If materials have been given and  lost  they will not be replaced.  You may also choose to add to your drawing materials with your own choices of paper wet/dry media.

Method of Assessment:


Course Components 


September 17th -  5%

Please hand in a hard copy end of class 5:20pm

An annotated list of websites, library publications, Museum/gallery holdings that relate to your studio practice (minimum 10 entries).

Visual documentation of people, places or things that inspire or influence your work (minimum 10 entries represented by thumb nail sized images with a short description of their significance to you).


INITIAL STUDIO INVESTIGATIONS             Sept 17th                                                15%

A series of work (minimum 3) in any media that explores your interests. These should be works that allow you to develop ideas at a fairly fast pace so that you can present a range of investigations at your first critique.

Remember these are initial experiments to test out potential directions. More sustained and resolved works will grow out of these initial explorations. The more you present at this opportunity, the more feedback you can receive.

Each student will write at least one specific goal that they propose to guide the next body of independent work. Consider the feedback on your initial investigations to assist you in determining a goal to direct your next work(s).

The goal should address:

WHY  -your personal motivations for selecting this direction

WHAT -measureable objective(s) clearly and concisely stated

HOW -your approach including anticipated media, size, amount that you                                     propose to produce.


Sept 24                                      Group A                                                                                    30%

Oct 1                                          Group B                                                                                    30%

Oct 8                                           Group C                                                                                    30%



Nov 5              Group A                                                                                                40%

Nov 12            Group B                                                                                                40%

Nov 19            Group C                                                                                                 40%

Project Outline for Extensive studio investigations critique 1 & 2

Students are to create two bodies of work responding to the class comments and critiques, as well as, the studio investigations of Sept 17thh   The work created for these critiques should be completed works.

For each critique students are required to present their works in a professional manner (paintings are hung level, sculptures are installed on plinths or how the artist would like the view to interact with the piece.

Students must include a written statement to accompany their 2work, the following information must be document in this statement: ideas ,concepts what has inspired influenced this body of work, as well as, technical skills involved. This will be done for both first and second critique.

The second critique the written statement should also include reference to any artist that may have been suggested, as well as, any other reflections that the student may have regarding the progress of their practice. 

This written documentation will be worth 5% of the overall 30% and 40% that is given per critique.



On going research, written goal(s), and critique reflections will be recorded in your log. Please date notes for each critique that you attend.  Students should actively seek/ look up artist that have been mentioned during critique session, as well as, artist that ar of interest and influence to their own studio production.

VISITING ARTIST RESPONSE  A list of Visiting Artist event attends with a brief summary  with  a response to each artist is art work is required.  Minimum of 6 events must be attended.  The visiting artist schedule is posted on Avenue to Learn and is on your course calendar. It is also available as a printed poster around the studios. 

It is your responsibility to come to all classes on time and prepared to participate in the activities of the day. This includes demonstrating your critical skills through participation in critique discussions.

Mid term

A grade of 20% will be given no later than Nov 3rd



Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Late Admissions

Projects that are not presented by the student during their scheduled critique or on the deadline day will receive one full letter grade deduction each day it is late, after one week a 0 will be given for the project,  i.e. A = B, B+ = C+.  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 Accommodations

Extensions or other accommodations will be determined by the instructor 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 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.



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.

Other Course Information:

Working in the studio

It is mandatory for the studio arts students to have read this manual.

Studio Safety Art Manual for Students website:


The studio are for art students in the program, if you have a special project that requires someone from outside of the program to be in the studios, you must see the technologist or a professor for permission.  There is no food or drink permitted in any of the studio spaces, and steel-toed shoes must be worn in the studios at all times.  If a student is not wearing steel -toed boots they will be asked to leave, continual occurrence of no steel toes will result in loss of studio access. Do not bring any chemicals or other materials into the studios with out the permission of the studio technologist or instructor.  Do not decant any materials into food containers, use a sealable container and re- label the container to reflect what is in the container.  Each year the studio has to take unlabeled containers to hazardous waste which is very costly and is direct loss of studio funding for other material or equipment. 

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 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 a medical professional make the decisions necessary.

Clean up after you are finished. 


Clean up of studios at year end- Wed Dec 9th at 9am

Students must participate with the cleaning of the studios; if a student cannot attend they are to see the technologist or instructor for a clean up task before hand.


McMaster University Grading scale

Grade Equivalent Grade 

Point Equivalent Percentages

A+ 12 90-100, A 11 85-89, A- 10 80-84

B+ 9 77-79, B 8 73-76, B- 7 70-72

C+ 6 67-69, C 5 63-66, C- 4 60-62

D+ 3 57-59, D 2 53-56, D- 1 50-52

F 0 0-49




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)



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



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)



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



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.

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 all 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.



Academic Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty consists of misrepresentation by deception or by other fraudulent means and can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of a zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: “Grade of an 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 kinds of academic dishonesty please refer to the academic Integrity Policy, specifically appendix 3, located at


The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of works that is not one’s own for which other credit has been obtained.  (Insert specific course information, e.g. style guide).

Improper collaboration in-group work.  (Insert specific course information).

Coping or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations. 

(If applicable) In this course, we will be using a web-based service ( to reveal plagiarism.  Students will be required to submit their work electronically to and in hard copy so it can be checked for academic dishonesty.  Students who do not wish to submit work to must still submit a copy to the instructor.  No penalty will be assigned to a student who dose not submit work to All submitted work is subjected to normal verification that standards of academic integrity have been upheld (e.g., Google search, etc.)  To see Guidelines for the use of, please go to

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


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



“It is policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all emails communication sent from student to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from the students own McMaster University email account.  This policy confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.”

technologist or instructor..


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