Breathe by Lanxia (Summer) Xie

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ART 360 A: Topics In Studio Art And Practice

We look forward to safely returning to in-person instruction and activities this autumn quarter. Current and prospective students please visit our COVID-19 Updates pages.
Meeting Time: 
MW 2:30pm - 5:20pm
ART 207
Layne Goldsmith

Syllabus Description:




Professor Layne Goldsmith

Office:  Art 218

Office Hour 10:30 – 11:30, M+W, by appointment


“Can one draw happiness?”  Bruno Taut, Die Auflosung der Stadte, 1920

This course will focus on materials as the central subject of art making. You will be drawing directly with materials in 2D, 3D and installation formats and will be strongly encouraged to use all of your previous experience in drawing, painting, craft media, photography, or sculpture to direct and expand your exploration and subsequent use of materials. The emphasis of study will be centered on ideas that are generated through the exploration and manipulation of materials as both form and content. Ideas evolving from design regarding “use” and interactivity will be a component of this class as it attempts to explore the hybrid nature of art in the 21st Century.

This is a ‘material drawing’ class. It is about using what you know to discover what you don’t.  It will require that you pay attention to the world around you every day and that you follow your curiosity with purpose. You will study materials, their potential to carry meaning, and how they can shape content and inform your subject matter. You will be strongly encouraged to INNOVATE + invent your own vocabulary.

Active studio work sessions with directed open experiments will take place during class.  There will be regular assignments to be completed out of class. Each component of the course will build upon the previous study or project so students will develop a small body of work over the quarter. Consultation and demos on unfamiliar materials and techniques are always available by arrangement. One-on-one conversations and group brainstorming sessions will prepare you to explore the many possibilities, to develop your visual and material vocabulary, and to execute the finished projects.

Slide presentations, group discussions and critiques will provide you with many viewpoints from which to consider your work.  Be prepared to complete assignments and readings, to participate in discussions and attend all sessions. Your success will depend on it.

This will be, by nature, an interdisciplinary studio practice; we will be thinking, talking about, and constructing work in an interdisciplinary manner. The studio assignments, gallery visits, reading assignments, and discussions will provide content for the course.  The majority of your work will need to be done outside of class time. Expect to spend at least 10-15 hours/week on your studio work for this 5 credit course.

This course will make use of all of the following:

  1. Formal consideration of composition, line, shape, repetition, contrast, use of space as an ongoing component of all work.
  2. The importance of learning from the evidence
  3. Collecting, processing and transforming physical materials-found +purchased
  4. Directed experiments and studies using 2 and 3 dimensional formats

Structuring work through cutting, adhering, linking as dictated by materials + ideas, developing and articulating a unique visual vocabulary reflecting a point of view + self-history regarding your choice of materials and their manipulation


Class begins and ends at the appointed time. Arrive on time prepared to discuss your progress with assigned experiments, material studies and projects.

Be responsible for your own successful completion of the course. This means: Keep an open attitude. Experiment, challenge yourself and strive for new ideas. 

Attend all sessions and complete all assignments on time. Participation in discussions and critiques is required and an important part of your course experience 

If illness, emergency or random act of nature should prevent you from attending class, contact me ( ASAP. If you take an absence you are responsible for following up with a classmate, receiving any assignments and completing them on time. 

NO cell phone calls or texts are to be taken or made during class. Turn off and put away all cell phones and digital equipment during class. You may make calls + return messages during breaks.

If you have any questions, concerns regarding the class or need extra help, please ask


Keep a sketch book/studio logbook and use it on a daily basis

During the first half of the course you will complete a set of directed material      studies each week.

In addition, during the quarter you’ll be responsible of attending at least two of the gallery exhibits advertised in class and writing a brief review of each.

Grading: Your final grade will be determined by the following:

Participation in class activities,  critiques,  discussions, and all work submitted 60%
Effort shown in, artistic merit and completion of directed studies and assignments  
Professional manner, individual effort, commitment, progress throughout the quarter


Required Materials:
Whatever materials your experiments and projects require suggestions will be provided

Equipment NOT REQUIRED but useful as needed:
Digital camera, sewing machine, needle nosed pliers, wire cutters, work gloves
USB portable data storage unit flash drive for backup and archiving

Art Resources
Research:  SOA Library and Slide Library (1st floor)
Equipment - laptops and data projectors may be checked out:
Classroom Technology & Events: STF Equipment (Kane Hall or reserve online)
SOACC: (2nd floor)
Woodshop:  SOA Woodshop (1st floor) you need to be checked out on the equipment before using it on your own. 

Art Supplies for this class can be found in many places:
Thrift stores, dumpster, and recycling
Hardwicks Hardware on Roosevelt & 43rd
Artist and Craftsman Supply (behind PETCO off of 45th)
Gardens, backyards, parking lots, sidewalks, anywhere you are!

School of Art + Art History + Design Policies


Catalog Description: 
Examines a variety of cutting edge, emerging, and interdisciplinary approaches in studio art and practice. Topics vary.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
October 5, 2016 - 9:01pm