Instructor: Brian Davis
Senior art and visual technology major, completion of 12 concentration credits, and completion of or concurrent enrollment in all required general education courses.
Senior Project is a capstone course for graduating AVT majors concentrating in any studio or new media discipline except graphic design (who take AVT 498, Senior Design Project).
This course satisfies the General Education/Mason Core Synthesis Requirement. As a synthesis course, Senior Project draws on skills and knowledge attained through the foundation and core elements of the General Education Program, applying the power of liberal learning to a specific field or fields. AVT 497 links particular issues in the field of visual art to wider intellectual and community concerns and requires students to demonstrate advanced skills in oral and written presentations. The course allows students to draw together learning and their critical thinking into a defining experience, through the exhibition of their senior project and preparation of a web presence that is a professional platform for their work.
Over the course of the semester, students will:
- Produce a new body of work of suitable quality for exhibition.
- Write a 1 to 2 page exhibition proposal
- Produce a visual exhibition rendering in 2 or 3D
- Write a professional artist statement
- Present and participate in group and individual critiques
- File 3 progress reports with images
- Document the project in images and on the web
- Install the exhibition to professional standard
- Prepare and provide for press and a reception
Criteria for Evaluation:
- Final grades will be assigned on the level of success in completing the above course requirements. Evidence of personal initiative, original creative work, thoughtful preparation and skillful execution, timeliness, attendance and participation will be measures of successful work; the greater the body of evidence, the higher the grade. You must work consistently and collaboratively throughout the term with your fellow students, your instructors, the faculty in your concentration, and gallery staff. Following appropriate schedules and procedures is an essential part of the process.
- Your demonstration of understanding and comprehension of the topic undertaken for exhibition, the creativity and scope of the solution and appropriate craftsmanship and technical skill. This is a 15 week course, and your grade will reflect the consistency of effort and developmental growth throughout the semester.
- Senior Project requires significant independent work. You will choose the topic of your project and demonstrate an understanding of the context in which your work and thought operate.
- Meeting deadlines and participating in class discussions and critiques.
- Projects must reflect the student’s best effort, show continual progress and be turned in on due dates. You must complete all components of your project as defined in your final approved proposal.
- Attendance (both physical and mental), attitude and work habits.
- Attendance in this course is mandatory. Absence from class may result in a lowering of your final grade. Please note that if absent, the student must find out from a classmate what he/she has missed and what to prepare for the following meeting. The professors cannot take time away from regular class instruction to repeat lectures and assignment requirements for each absent student.
- Except for a serious emergency and/or a letter from a doctor, no excuses for late work or absence will be accepted. If you wish to be excused from class to observe a religious holiday, or for any other serious matter of a personal nature, you must bring it to the attention of the professor prior to the absence so that arrangements can be made for you to keep up with the progress of the class. Class starts and ends at its designated time. Habitual tardiness or leaving early on a habitual basis will affect your grade.
- Attendance at all classes, including the opening reception for the senior project exhibitions during class time, is expected and required. The university’s policy states: “Students are expected to attend the class periods of the courses for which they register. In-class participation is important not only to the individual student, but also to the class as a whole. Because class participation may be a factor in grading, instructors may use absence, tardiness, or early departure as de facto evidence of nonparticipation. Students who miss an exam with an acceptable excuse may be penalized according to the individual instructor’s grading policy, as stated in the course syllabus.”
- The professor’s observation and evaluation of individual progress (in terms of improvement, skill building, creativity, productivity, etc).
- You are required to come to class prepared for critiques as well as written and web-based requirements, and to participate in all class discussions and critiques. Habitually coming to class unprepared will result in a lower grade for this course.
- Exhibition All work must be at the highest level possible. This includes successfully completing the details: labels, advertisement (announcements, postcard, web page) signs and written presentations. You are also responsible for timely installation and striking of your exhibition, including cleanup and correction of wall surfaces, so that you do not interfere with the students exhibiting before or after your show.
Pecha Cucha (20 points)
You will get 7 minutes to create a 20 slide (minimum) presentation of where your reproach interests lie and how they will culminate into your senior project. This presentation should include photos of past work, images of influences, and your plan for your senior project.
Round 1 Progress Report (20 points)
You will provide writings, sketches, and images of senior project progress. This is round 1 of documenting your final exhibition work. You will provide all info on Trello. Once info progress reports are up, give feedback to fellow students about their progress.
Round 2 Progress Report (20 Points)
Building on Round 1 you will provide writings, sketches, and images of senior project progress. This is round 2 of documenting your final exhibition work….you are more than half way there by now. You will provide all info on Trello. Once info progress reports are up, give feedback to fellow students about their progress.
Round 3 Progress Report (20 Points)
Building on Round 2 you will provide writings, sketches, and images of senior project progress. Provide a clear installation plan. You are close to or just putting on the finishing touches to your work. You are finished with room for minor changes. You will provide all info on Trello. Once info progress reports are up, give feedback to fellow students about their progress.
Visual Exhibition Layout (15 Points)
You will create a visual representation that portrays how you see your work in the exhibition space. Your visualization should reflect a to scale model of the space and the work.
Artist Statement: (20 Points)
You will go through several workshops in order to provide a clear and thoughtful artist statement. This statement will give further insight into the content of the work and be free of spelling or grammar errors before it’s final display with your name tag at the exhibition.
Committee Participation (20 Points)
You will participate as an active member or leader of one committee of your choice. Your grade for this assignment will be collectively decided by your fellow group members, so stay communicative and engaged with your peers.
Class Participation (20 Points)
Your class participation is evaluated on your participation in group discussions, the quality of your web presence, and overall engagement in the class.
Senior Project Artwork (100 Points)
The most important part of this class in the artwork that you create. You will be graded on your craft, professionalism, work ethic, and overall presentation. Make sure that every detail of your display is considered, your grade depends on it.
Show Documentation (10 Points)
Finally, after all the hard work you must document the work in the space. Be sure to use extra lights, etc if necessary. Do all things necessary to create the best shots possible. You will email me a minimum of three images. Be sure to capture a variety of angles.
University and School of Art Policies
In accordance with George Mason University policy, turn off all beepers, cellular telephones and other wireless communication devices at the start of class. The instructor of the class will keep his/her cell phone active to assure receipt of any Mason Alerts in a timely fashion; or in the event that the instructor does not have a cell phone, he/she will designate one student to keep a cell phone active to receive such alerts.
Commitment to Diversity
This class will be conducted as an intentionally inclusive community that celebrates diversity and welcomes the participation in the life of the university of faculty, staff and students who reflect the diversity of our plural society. All may feel free to speak and to be heard without fear that the content of the opinions they express will bias the evaluation of their academic performance or hinder their opportunities for participation in class activities. In turn, all are expected to be respectful of each other without regard to race, class, linguistic background, religion, political beliefs, gender identity, sex, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age, veteran’s status, or physical ability.
Statement on Ethics in Teaching and Practicing Art and Design
As professionals responsible for the education of undergraduate and graduate art and design students, the faculty of the School of Art adheres to the ethical standards and practices incorporated in the professional Code of Ethics of our national accreditation organization, The National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).
Open Studio Hours
SOA teaching studios are open to students for extended periods of time mornings, evenings and weekends whenever classes are not in progress. Policies, procedures and schedules for studio use are established by the SOA studio faculty and are posted in the studios.
Artsbus – Dates for Fall 2019
* Each student must have up to 5 AVT 300/Artsbus credits before graduation. For credit to appear on your transcript you must enroll in AVT 300. This also applies to anyone who intends to travel to New York independently, or do the DC Alternate Assignment.
* If you plan/need to go on multiple Artsbus trips during a semester and need them towards your total requirement, you must enroll in multiple sections of AVT 300. Please go to the Artsbus website: http://artsbus.gmu.edu “Student Information” for additional, very important information regarding Artsbus policy.
* Non-AVT majors taking art classes do not need Artsbus credit BUT may need to go on the Artsbus for a class assignment. You can either sign up for AVT 300 or buy a ticket for the bus trip at the Center of the Arts. Alternate trips must be approved by the instructor of the course that is requiring an Artsbus trip.
Visual Voices Lecture Series Fall 2019
Visual Voices is a year-long series of lectures by artists, art historians and others about contemporary art and art practice. Visual Voices lectures are held on Thursday evenings from 7:20- 9:00 p.m. in Harris Theater: http://soa.gmu.edu/visualvoices/
September 5, 2019 Buzz Spector “Buzz Spector: I stack things. I tear stuff up”
September 26, 2019 Tom Ashcraft “Workingman Collective: Navigating a Collaborative Practice
October 10, 2019 Kristine Potter “Mythologizing America”
October 24, 2019 Daniel Wickersham
and Malcolm Lomax “Supplementals, Collective Consciousness, and Communicable
Consortium Registration Deadline
First day of classes; last day to submit Domicile Reclassification Application; Payment Due Date
Labor Day, university closed
Last day to add classes—all individualized section forms due
Final Drop Deadline (no tuition penalty)
Web Withdrawal Period (100% liability) ?
September 18- September 30
Midterm progress reporting period (100-200 level classes)—grades available via Patriot Web
Selective Withdrawal Period (undergraduate students only) (100% tuition liability)
October 1 –
(Monday classes/labs meet Tuesday. Tuesday classes do not meet this week)
Incomplete work from spring/summer 2019 due to instructor
Incomplete grade changes from spring/summer 2019 due to Registrar
November 27 – Dec 1
Last day of classes
Reading days provide students with additional study time for final examinations. Faculty may schedule optional study sessions, but regular classes or exams may not be held.
December 9 – 10
Wed December 11
Wed December 18
Winter Graduation Ceremony
Thurs December 19
Degree Conferral Date
Sat December 21
Once the add and drop deadlines have passed, instructors do not have the authority to approve requests from students to add or drop/withdraw late. Requests for late adds (up until the last day of classes) must be made by the student in the SoA office (or the office of the department offering the course), and generally are only approved in the case of a documented university error (such as a problem with financial aid being processed) , LATE ADD fee will apply. Requests for non-selective withdrawals and retroactive adds (adds after the last day of classes) must be approved by the academic dean of the college in which the student’s major is located. For AVT majors, that is the CVPA Office of Academic Affairs, Performing Arts Building A407.
Students with Disabilities and Learning Differences
If you have a diagnosed disability or learning difference and you need academic accommodations, please inform me at the beginning of the semester and contact the Disabilities Resource Center (SUB I room 234, 703-993-2474). You must provide me with a faculty contact sheet from that office outlining the accommodations needed for your disability or learning difference. All academic accommodations must be arranged in advance through the DRC.
Official Communications via Mason E-Mail
Mason uses electronic mail to provide official information to students. Examples include communications from course instructors, notices from the library, notices about academic standing, financial aid information, class materials, assignments, questions, and instructor feedback. Students are responsible for the content of university communication sent to their Mason e-mail account, and are required to activate that account and check it regularly.
Students are expected to attend the class periods of the courses for which they register. In-class participation is important not only to the individual student, but also to the class as a whole. Because class participation may be a factor in grading, instructors may use absence, tardiness, or early departure as de facto evidence of nonparticipation. Students who miss an exam with an acceptable excuse may be penalized according to the individual instructor’s grading policy, as stated in the course syllabus.
Students in this class are bound by the Honor Code, as stated in the George Mason University Catalog. The honor code requires that the work you do as an individual be the product of your own individual synthesis or integration of ideas. (This does not prohibit collaborative work when it is approved by your instructor.) As a faculty member, I have an obligation to refer the names of students who may have violated the Honor Code to the Student Honor Council, which treats such cases very seriously. No grade is important enough to justify cheating, for which there are serious consequences that will follow you for the rest of your life. If you feel unusual pressure about your grade in this or any other course, please talk to me or to a member of the GMU Counseling Center staff.
Using someone else’s words or ideas without giving them credit is plagiarism, a very serious Honor Code offense. It is very important to understand how to prevent committing plagiarism when using material from a source. If you wish to quote verbatim, you must use the exact words and punctuation just as the passage appears in the original and must use quotation marks and page numbers in your citation. If you want to paraphrase or summarize ideas from a source, you must put the ideas into your own words, and you must cite the source, using the APA or MLA format. (For assistance with documentation, I recommend Diana Hacker, A Writer’s Reference.) The exception to this rule is information termed general knowledge—information that is widely known and stated in a number of sources. Determining what is general knowledge can be complicated, so the wise course is, “When in doubt, cite.”
Be especially careful when using the Internet for research. Not all Internet sources are equally reliable; some are just plain wrong. Also, since you can download text, it becomes very easy to inadvertently plagiarize. If you use an Internet source, you must cite the exact URL in your paper and include with it the last date that you successfully accessed the site.
Students who are in need of intensive help with grammar, structure or mechanics in their writing should make use of the services of Writing Center, located in Robinson A116 (703-993-1200). The services of the Writing Center are available by appointment, online and, occasionally, on a walk-in basis.
The Collaborative Learning Hub Located in Johnson Center 311 (703-993-3141), the lab offers in-person one-on-one support for the Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office, Blackboard, and a variety of other software. Dual monitor PCs make the lab ideal for collaborating on group projects, Macs are also available; as well as a digital recording space, collaborative tables, and a SMART Board. Free workshops are also available (Adobe and Microsoft) through Training and Certification; visit ittraining.gmu.edu to see the schedule of workshops and to sign up.
Provisions Research Center for Art & Social Change is located in Room L001 of the Art & Design Building. This student resource assists students in exploring and engaging new models for artmaking that lead to a more inclusive, equitable, and connected society. Provisions is also a hub for developing art projects through Mason Exhibitions, the Mural Brigade, and art partners throughout the metropolitan area, and beyond. Feel free to come in and browse the library, study, eat, etc. The University Art Librarian, Stephanie Grimm, will have regular hours in Provisions on Tuesdays at 2pm. Contact Don Russell for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
MASON EXHIBITIONS – FALL 2019 CALENDAR
For more information about exhibitions, receptions, and related events visit: masonexhibitions.org
GILLESPIE GALLERY OF ART
Location: Art and Design Building, Fairfax Campus
August 26 – September 28
This exhibition features 12 contemporary Latin American artists whose work has been influenced by personal experiences of migration. Their artworks reject borders but share common experiences of departure, discovery, abandonment, uprooting, rupture, pilgrimage, and reconstruction. These deterritorialized artists generate mestizo identities and create new definitions of their environment through their migratory aesthetics. The exhibition leads viewers through these transitional stages to reflect on the realities of migratory transformation.
October 7 – November 8
WICKERHAM & LOMAX
Wickerham & Lomax is the collaborative name of Baltimore-based artists Daniel Wickerham and Malcolm Lomax. This exhibition will survey their recent output in a variety of media including computer generated imagery, photography, video, and sculpture. Their diverse practice is particularly invested in questions of identity and the body and explores the impact of digital technologies and social spaces on the formation of subjectivities and speculative corporealities.
November 18 – December 3
BRIGITTE CARAMANNA: MFA THESIS EXHIBITION
December 9 – December 14
ART & DESIGN SENIOR SHOW
BUCHANAN HALL ATRIUM GALLERY
Location: Buchanan Hall, Fairfax Campus
August 26 – October 26
Valerie McKenna is a 2019 recipient of George Mason University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts Young Alumni Commissioning Project Award. This exhibition features McKenna’s new photographic series Albright which investigates experimental methods of capturing “a portrait of a landscape”. To create the works, the artist exposed large format film to light in Albright WV, developed it, and then returned it to the original location and buried it. Further exposure to rainwater, bacteria, and other elements in the environment create interesting textures and tones in the emulsion and through this physical interaction with the landscape allows the subject to inform the creation its own image.
BUCHANAN PARTNERS GALLERY
Location: Hylton Performing Arts Center, Manassas Campus
July 9 – September 7
ROBERT C. YI
This exhibition presents the early works of Robert Yi juxtaposed with current paintings that explore, masks, patterns, and symbolism in transition.
September 10 – October 26
LORY IVEY ALEXANDER
Lory Ivey Alexander is a process-driven multidisciplinary mixed media artist exploring history, memory, and identity. Intergenerational relationships and collective memory are central to this body of abstract paintings which explore the ancestry of art in Washington, D.C. and the relationships between the artist and her foremothers.
October 29 – December 7
VETERANS AND THE ARTS INITIATIVE:
EXPLORING IDENTITY WITH WOMEN VETERANS
The exhibition features the work of seven women who served during the Vietnam War-era through post-9/11-era and in several branches of the military, and it demonstrates their perceptions and reflections, as well as the photographic techniques that they learned together in a smart phone photography workshop series taught by Ms. Danielle Dravenstadt.