Art Studio 475

ARTS 475: Contemporary Photography

Prerequisites: ARTS 261, ARTS 262, and ARTS 461

Credit Hours: (3) One hour lecture; three hours laboratory

This course focuses on preparation and production of a professional portfolio that incorporates both technical and aesthetic possibilities of photography through assignments and lectures of historical and contemporary work, exploration of social, political and technological developments.  Students will investigate professional aspects of photography such as career opportunities and gallery relations.  One hour lecture, three hours laboratory.

Detailed Description of Course

This course familiarizes students with concepts, aesthetic trends and practice in contemporary fine art and commercial photography.  It is designed for senior art students looking to transition into the creative economy.

As the worlds of art and commerce increasingly intertwine, students will explore how a photography skill set is marketable beyond academia and the gallery world.  The first part of the course examines commercial and fine art photography from the mid-1950s to the present, using PowerPoint image lectures, readings, presentations and fieldwork to think about important practitioners of the medium. Discussion of critical topics in contemporary photography will cover prominent themes such as memory, surveillance, text & image, and participatory culture.
The second part of the course will explore commercial aspects of photography and how the world of art and commerce increasingly co-mingle. Commercial photography is photographic work created for commercial purposes, such as for magazine advertising, corporate publications, brochures, restaurant menus, etc. Commercial photographs fall into many categories and can include Architectural, Aerial, Food, Fashion and Sports photography.

Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Students will be expected to work independently in the studio successfully combining their technical skills and concepts, with the goal of working toward the successful production of multiple bodies of work over the course of the semester. Group and individual critiques will continue to form the basis of the course curriculum, supplemented by field trips and class exercises. Attendance at all departmental visiting artist lectures is required.

Students are empowered though the development of self-discipline, cultural awareness, and personal voice and are expected to respond critically in both written and visual formats to the artwork discussed in class and to propose and execute a self-directed fine art portfolio and a commercial portfolio.

This course will be conducted as an informal lecture with individual studio exercises.  Assignments will include creating professional fine art and commercial portfolios, research journals, oral presentations and written exercises.

Student Goals and Objectives of the Course

Students will:

1. Gain experience writing a clear and coherent artist’s statement, project proposals and resume.
2. Learn to create a consistent and professional body of artistic and commercial work through high quality printing and presentation techniques.
3. Gain awareness into career options related to photography and job possibilities in the fine art and commercial market place trough research papers & presentations.
4. Learn to engage in verbal dialogues regarding the interpretation and evaluation of photographic works through written reports, group evaluations, discussions and creative critiques. Each student will gain experience in learning to analyze work orally in a clear, correct, coherent and persuasive language appropriate to art discourse.

Assessment Measures

Students will be assessed by class participation, written exercises, oral presentations, and technical proficiency and concept development with regard to studio practice. Assessment will take the form of rubrics and written tests.

Other Course Information

The Photograph as Contemporary Art, Charlotte Cotton

Studio Photography, John Child

Faces – Photography and the Art of Portraiture, Steven Biver & Paul Fuqua

Exhibiting Photography, Shirley Read

Review and Approval

March 27, 2012