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ART 395 A: The Creative Process: Strategies And Outcomes

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Meeting Time: 
MW 11:30am - 2:20pm
ART 327
Timea Tihanyi
Timea Tihanyi

Syllabus Description:

ART 395 A: The Creative Process: Strategies and Outcomes - Special Topic: THE NARRATIVE


Winter 2016

MW 11:30am-2:20pm Room: Art 327-329 

Instructor: Timea Tihanyi


Office: Art 328J      Office hours: by appointment (scheduling for M through W before 11:20am or after 2:30pm)


Go to weekly schedule ->  Course information and week-by-week schedule


Course Description

This is an interdisciplinary studio course designed for senior and junior studio art majors. This quarter's special topic is the NARRATIVE. Freely crossing between materials and studio strategies we will consider a variety of narrative formats through a series of individual and collaborative projects. Our exploration will involve (but not limited to) the following aspects of the narrative: autobiography, appropriation and response to literary sources, relationship between fiction and truth. Using these, students will be developing their personal visual language for telling stories, and effective strategies for creating meaning by visual means. The course is a great preparation for art400 IVA senior studio, as the second part of the quarter will be spent on the development of an individual project in three iterations. You are encouraged to keep an eye on contemporary art (exhibitions, lectures, events) and experiment freely with new approaches.


There are two distinct parts to this course:

Part 1: Week 1 through 5 - Collaborative experimentations

Goal: experiential learning through generating, sharing, and evaluating a series of potential outcomes (to create and test a “library of possibilities”)

Process: a series of short collaborative exercises with possible participation of selected guests and exhibitions. 

Tools and strategies: experimentation, participation and collaboration

Possible outcomes: open, to be determined during the process (each of your contributions need to be documented and archived in some form)

Grading: based entirely on effort invested: preparation, participation and contribution (and not on the evaluation of the finished projects)


Part 2: Week 6 through Finals – Individual project in three iterations

Goal: using your experience with the “library of possibilities” from the first part, continue experimenting, now with more focus and depth, in order to create 3 different iterations on a single idea or concept.

Process: setting an individual project and executing 3 well-considered and well-developed versions of it.

Tools and strategies: development with emphasis on experimentation + presentation

Grading: based on the artistic merit of completed projects (including concept, experimentation, effort, development, and presentation); participation in class activities, peer critiques; progress and development shown during the quarter.


Scheduled last day of meeting (FINALS WEEK): Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 230-420 pm, ART 327


By the end of the quarter, you will have an solid experience with building a contemporary art practice, and will be more conscious of the creative process itself, allowing you to be productive and participate in the creative economy of the real world.


Learning outcomes:

Below is a list of creative steps students will practice this quarter:

Creative Strategies:

Generating ideas, Building new ideas on old ideas

Using Play & Chance

Process - Product

Experimentation (taking the same idea through several mediums)

Dealing with challenges:

Planning with purpose

Problem solving

Gaining insight:


Constructing meanings

Evaluating outcomes


Artist research:

Find and research contemporary artists and practices whose work process and ideas you find intriguing (either for being inspiring or for making you confused). To share the work of these artists, we will schedule research presentations in the second half of the quarter. The format of these is a Pecha-Kucha.


Project Archive:

Document and submit all your project contributions and the final outcome of the projects on a regular basis. A simple cellphone snapshot will do just fine, but in some cases you might want to spend more time and effort on getting a good documentation.

Upload your documentation under Archives: Photo documentation of Your Contribution to Class Collaboration

Sketchbook/assignment notes:
Designate a sketchbook or folder for all your class related sketches, plans, notes, assignment handouts and research findings. Bring this to every class.  


Access to tools and facilities:

While the class has a supply of shared materials for the first part, students should plan on providing the materials and tools necessary for their individual project. 

There is a minimum art-toolkit that is required for every class:

- a sketchbook (+pencils, pens, markers, etc.)

- a black Sharpie

- cutting tools (paper cutting scissors and an X-acto knife or utility knife)

- adhesive/s (Elmer's stick or a bottle of glue, hot-glue gun with glue sticks)

- camera (+ A tripod and a video camera will be needed on weeks 3-4. These can be borrowed from SOACC)

- a USB thumbdrive


If you need access to specialized equipment, other than the woodshop or the SOACC, arrange in advance with the respective program/studio. For example, if you want to do some welding as part of your project, you need to have previous experience with the equipment and arrange with the technician/faculty in the sculpture program. Upper level studio courses and independent study projects taken concurrently with art395 provide a good opportunity for doing what you want, in the facility that you need, at a professional level. While there are many viable low-tech ways of creating a project, in general, you should always strive for a professional studio experience.


Campus and SOA Resources

Research        - SOA Library 

Equipment   - checkout laptops and data projectors:

SOA Media Center (basement)

Classroom Support Services: STF Equipment (Kane Hall or reserve online:

- video and digital cameras, tripods:

                        SOA Computing Center (2nd floor)

Woodshop       - SOA Woodshop (1st floor) Note: You’ll be checked out on the equipment before you are allowed to use it on your own.



1. Participate in building an environment of learning and experimentation where:

         a. experimentation is the main aim, taking risks and challenging conventions is preferred;

         b. safe to “fail”, safe to ask questions,

         c. feedback given is offered in a supportive spirit; feedback received is taken into consideration,

         d. all participants are mutually attentive and respectful of each other.

2. Class begins and ends at the appointed time unless otherwise scheduled. Arrive on time and prepared to work, to contribute, and to present.

3. Be responsible for your own successful completion of the course. This means to:

a. Keep an open attitude. Experiment, challenge yourself and strive for new ideas.

b. Attend all sessions and complete all assignments on time. Preparedness and participation in class work time, discussions, and critiques is required and an important part of your course experience (and grade).

c. If sudden illness, emergency or random act of nature should prevent you from attending class, contact me ( IN ADVANCE of your absence or as soon as possible. Don’t miss a class and let it slide.  

If you take an absence you are responsible for following up with a classmate, making sure that you are not missing any important information and staying up-to-speed with the rest of the class.

d. All projects must be completed and presented on time. The format of presentation is in a critique. Late projects and absences from critique will only be accepted under special circumstances and only with proper documentation of emergency and/or prior arrangements made with the instructor's permission. 

4. This course prepares you for real-life studio practice. You are expected to take your own work seriously and to be organized and conscientious in planning and managing project work time.

5. Most projects are just not practical to do at home. Art327-329 is your shared studio space for the duration of the quarter. Access to the room is outside of the scheduled class times. Check schedule by the door to see what times the room is available. Wherever you work, always leave your work area clean. Observe safety, traffic flow, and maintenance rules when working in public spaces outside of the classroom. Attain permission from Annie Perarson ( in the main office (rm. 102) before installing your project. LEAVE NO TRACE policy applies!

Move out all materials, tools and projects from the classroom by the day of the final.
6. Practice courtesy: Turn off and put away all cell phones and digital equipment that may distract you from participation for the entire duration of class.
7. If you have any questions, concerns regarding the class or need extra help, talk to me ASAP.



Your final grade will be determined by the following:

  • Experimentation, effort,  and artistic merit of completed projects: 40%
  • Participation in class activities, including collaborations, critiques, discussions (including artist research and pecha kucha presentation) + effective use of class worktime,: 40%
  • Preparedness and professional manner. Individual effort, commitment,progress throughout the quarter (including documentation posted on Canvas): 20%


Equal Opportunity

The School of Art reaffirms its policy of equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, or status as a disabled veteran or Vietnam-era veteran in accordance with UW policy and applicable federal and state statutes and regulations. 

Disability Accommodation

If you would like to request academic accommodations due to a disability, please contact Disabled Student Services, 448 Schmitz, (206) 543-8924 (V/TTY) or

If you have a letter from Disabled Student Services indicating you have a disability that requires academic accommodation, please present the letter to me on the first day of class so we can discuss the accommodations you might need. 

Participation Policy

Absences from class prevent participation and may negatively affect grades.

If you miss class due to illness or emergencies immediately notify your instructor and insurethat all missed assignments and exams are completed.   


Plagiarism is defined as using in your own work the creations, ideas, words, inventions, or work of someone else without formally acknowledging them through the use of quotation marks, footnotes, bibliography, or other reference.

Please check with your instructor if you have questions about what constitutes plagiarism.

Instances of plagiarism will be referred to the Vice Provost/Special Asst to the President for Student Relations and may lead to disciplinary action.




Catalog Description: 
Explores the nature of the creative process in the visual arts. Focuses on experiential learning through projects of ideation, experimentation, problem solving, editing, and creating narrative meanings.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
October 5, 2016 - 9:01pm