Art and Design Building L005
AVT 363 002
Instructor: Brian Davis
Office Hours: TBA
Objective: To continue development of and build upon the basic wood shop and metal shop skills learned in Sculpture I.
In addition, the student will investigate contemporary sculpture and its wealth of possibilities through research and readings dealing with the materials, methods, artists and theories in contemporary art.
Projects in this class will include both additive and
subtractive processes. We will use materials such as wood, plaster, cement and
found objects. Projects can range in size from handheld to large outdoor
installation. In our classroom, storage space is at a minimum, so projects will
need to be removed promptly after grading.
Experimentation is encouraged! Making good art takes time, thought, planning
and the allowance of some extra time for mistakes. Though we will be working on
projects in class, it is expected that you will spend some time outside of
class to complete projects.
Critiques: Class critiques are very important and will be held at the
beginning of class on the due date of each project. Be prepared to talk about
your work during the critique. If your work is not complete for the critique
your grade on that assignment will be lowered by one full letter grade for each
day it is late. You are still required to participate in the class critique,
even if your work is not being critiqued.
Projects and grading:
There will be several projects, technical exercises, field
trips, writings and various activities throughout the semester. In addition, there will be short writings and
postings on the class blog. Each
assignment is worth a certain number of points. At the end of the semester,
your points are added up and your grade is averaged. Some projects are worth
more points than others. Grades always includes preliminary sketches and
models. Each assignment will be
evaluated on the basis of the following criteria.
1. Fulfillment of
the project objectives
3. Conceptual and
investment: the sweat factor
5. Overall aesthetic
and conceptual quality of the work
A Work is characterized by outstanding
achievement and understanding of critical analysis as reflected in solutions to
assignments, technical competence and the critique process. Student must display preparedness and
efficient dedication to scheduled studio time.
Adherence to attendance policy.
B Work is characterized by excellent
competence and understanding of critical analysis as reflected in solutions to
assignments, technical competence and the critique process. Student must display preparedness and dedication
to scheduled studio time. Adherence to
C Work is characterized by basic competence
and understanding of critical analysis as reflected in solutions to
assignments, technical competence and the critique process. Student must display adequate preparedness and dedication to
scheduled studio time. Adherence to
D Work is characterized by minimal effort and
success. Lowest passing grade.
Attendance is mandatory.
3 unexcused absences = final grade reduced by 1 letter (A
becomes a B),
4 unexcused absences = 2 letters
6 unexcused absences = failure no matter your grade
8 absences (excused or unexcused) will result in failure EVEN
IF YOU HAVE A VALID REASON FOR YOUR ABSENCE.
If a student is more than 10 minutes late to class, this will
count as a ½ absence (unexcused).
If a student is more than 25 minutes late to a class, they
will not be permitted in the classroom, which will result in a full unexcused
absence—unless they have given prior and timely notice and justification to the
If a student leaves class 10 minutes or more early, this will
result in a ½ absence (excused or unexcused).
Safety: be aware that there are potential hazards
regarding the work in this course. While
I conduct thorough demonstrations, it is ultimately up to each student to be
prudent and diligent.
You will be required to get a few basic items at the
beginning of class as well as some items needed for any specific project you
are working on. Places you can buy ART MATERIALS: Johnson Center Bookstore (on
campus)/ Plaza, 3045 Nutley St, Fairfax: 703 280-4500/ Utrecht, 1250 I (eye)
St, NW DC, 202-230-9097 www.dickblick.com
Text: No book is required. Readings will be handed out on a
You should have these supplies available for every class.
One bag of at least
20 glue sticks.
knife. This should be a large (6” x 1”), standard breakaway utility knife.
replacement blades for your knife.
X-Acto Knife and
assortment of blades.
Drawing tools: #2
pencil and eraser
Sketch book or
notebook: 8 1/2 x 11 (for this class only)
(1) roll masking tape (3/4” width or wider)
(1) Sharpie or felt
*Plastic bucket and
* You will need
these when we are doing the casting projects
Tool box to carry it all.
You can rent a locker in the hall from the photo printing lab
You can claim a small locker under work tables by bringing a lock and claiming it
Bigger projects are to be stored on our marked shelf and must be removed after grading.
If you don’t know, ask.
Wear proper safety gear.
No food or drink on machinery.
No cell phones, headphones in wood or metal studio.
PLEASE! Report broken machinery to faculty or technician
Never use a tool before receiving proper instruction.
Clean and return studio tools to proper storage area after
Put your work in storage areas and clearly label at end of
ID required for all non-class time tool use.
Clean up after yourself.
Treat people with respect.
The gathering of materials will be done outside of scheduled
studio time. There is no substitute for
time spent in the studio with peers and the instructor.
Do not remove any tools
or other materials belonging to the studio.
General cleanups require all students to participate. Failure to do so will negatively affect the
Wear casual clothing and closed-toed shoes. Bring an old long sleeved shirt for
Do not spray paint in the studio.
What to expect this semester:
Expect to spend a minimum
of 6 hours of work outside of class per week
Expect to get dirty: Wear
old clothing and closed toed shoes to class
Expect to vocalize:
Critique requires you to speak about your work
Expect to sketch your
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 Spring 2020
Saturday, February 15
Saturday, March 21
Saturday, April 11
* 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 – Spring 2020
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/
February 6 Dorothy Moss: Active Presence at the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery: Reverberations of the Obama Portraits
February 20 TJ O’Donnell and Lauren Oliver: Collaboration is Our Craft
March 5 Larry Issa* and Joe Jamaldinian: Marvelous Tales
March 19 D. Dominick Lombardi : Resilience and Evolution
Important Deadlines (subject to change):
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