Book illustration by Bill Holm

You are here

ART 400 A: Interdisciplinary Visual Arts Senior Studio

Meeting Time: 
MW 2:30pm - 5:20pm
ART 204
Timea Tihanyi
Timea Tihanyi

Syllabus Description:


Welcome to ART400: Interdisciplinary Visual Arts Senior Project                  SPRING 2019

MW 2:30-5:20 Room: Art 204

Instructor: Timea Tihanyi 
Office: Art 328J        Office hours: after class or before 11:20 on MW, please email for appointment


Quick links to 

Schedule // Senior Project Exhibition // SOA+AH+D Policies 2019.pdf


Course Description

Art400 focuses on the development of senior–level artwork in any format or media. During the course of the quarter you will be able to identify, develop, and exhibit a senior project and will also create a portfolio towards a post-educational goal.

Throughout the quarter, as a way of developing your interdisciplinary senior project to its fullest potential both technically and conceptually, you are responsible for

  • consistently creating and presenting iterations of the work,
  • exploring and testing possible materials and presentation formats,
  • following up on suggested artists/artwork examples and improvements/additional considerations suggested during consultations,
  • and dedicating a regular focused amount of time weekly in the studio.

Course assignments are designed to give you practice with being a professional in the field of the visual arts. They are there to strengthen your presentation, observation and critiquing skills; help you to formulate a strong and compelling artist's written statement; and to both develop and reflect on your artmaking process within the context of contemporary visual art practice and in a larger cultural and art historical framework. You will be asked to refine your concept and process, to research key artist influences and personal sources, and to consider the exhibition location as well alternatives for the installation of your work in the public space. In other words, this course gives you real-life experience and responsibility of a professional visual artist from project idea, through development and presentation, to critical review and archiving of the work in your portfolio.

The course also covers various issues of professional practice, like researching post-undergraduate opportunities, developing a strong portfolio towards a desired goal (for example, an exhibition proposal; graduate school, internship or residency application), documentation of finished work and organizing an exhibition (planning, posters, walltexts, reception, etc.).

With these skills, you will be prepared for professional life beyond school, including visualizing ideas, developing and presenting proposals, and being ready for the next step in your creative career with up-to-date application materials.

It is a privilege and an honor to be invited back to hold this quarter's exhibition in Odegaard Undergraduate Library. This venue gives our show a tremendous public exposure. Imagine your work is being seen and loved by thousands of students, faculty, staff and visitors every day. 

Exhibition dates: 5/30 - 6/13

Opening reception is tentatively planned for the Friday, May 31st 5-7pm. 

Install date: 5/29 during class

Take down date: 6/11 during scheduled final exam time



Final grade will be determined by the following:

Completed senior project -- 35%

Participation and Contribution, with an emphasis on advancing your own as well as others' learning in class. An active engagement with all aspects of the course: in class activities, including critiques, class discussions and reviews, exhibition jobs and group work -- 30%

Preparedness and Development (having new developments to present at every meeting, preparedness for class sessions, submitting small assignments on time, meeting work-in-progress check-points, presenting project plans, tests and work in progress) -- 35%



  • Missed assignments, critiques and any peer or class activities will result in no credit for that assignment.

  • Absences from class prevent participation and thus will result in lost participation credits for the day, negatively affecting the final grade.

  • If sudden illness, emergency or random act of nature should prevent you from attending class, you are responsible for following up with a classmate for class notes, reviewing missed discussion points, guidelines, etc., checking preparation notes for next class, and completing missed work ON TIME.

  • If you need special accommodations, please discuss them with me in advance and together we can make a plan ahead of time. You must stick to the plan as outlined during our discussion. 
  • If you are sick and contagious, stay at home and get better. If you must miss a class due to illness, let me know immediately and develop a timeline for keeping up with the assignment.

  • If you have any questions / concerns about the class or your performance, please don't hesitate to schedule an appointment to discuss those with me.


  • Have a sketchbook and continue to collect ideas, research and technical notes, and related visuals in it. Bring this to every meeting and take notes during our meeting on what you need to follow up with. 

  • Check Canvas regularly, at least twice a week and the day before class, for updates.

  • Participate! Add relevant content to the topical discussions and group activities. Ask questions and interact with the instructor and your peers. 

  • Electronics (laptops, tablets, phones and other smart devices) are only allowed when the instructor calls for their use. Outside of these times, turn off and put these away.

  • No headphones, earbuds in during class time.

  • Class begins and ends at the appointed time. We will take breaks as appropriate. Arrive on time and plan to stay for the entire duration of class. Tardy attendance will result in the loss of participation points. 

More about Grading and Absence:

Assignments will receive verbal feedback during critiques, no letter grade until the completion of the course but you are welcome to check in with me any time about how you are doing.

Absences are highly discouraged as they will interfere with your timely progress in class and take away your ability to participate. 

If you must miss a class, let me know via email ( in advance or as soon as possible and also provide me with a plan for making up for lost work day and class information. In general, you must consult Canvas first, follow up with a classmate, then, if need additional help, contact me. 

Make up of missed preparation/assignments:

There is no make up for participation, work-in-progress check-ins, and participation in critiques. Check-ins and smaller assignments are due during class as stated on course schedule. If an unforeseen emergency prevents you from attending a group crit or individual consultation, you must send me an email with clear images of your work in progress before class and your relevant questions. Be ready to move to the next step with the project and present development in person in the next class. This should be a very last option reserved to special cases of unforeseen emergency and cannot be used to cover for unfinished assignments. In it is your interest to participate in the critique with work finished to the best of your skills and ability. 

If you have any questions or concerns about the course, please email me for appointment to discuss them. 

Also see School of Art + AH + D Policies: Policies 2019.pdf


Interpretation of Grading Scale:

A 4.0-3.9 The highest possible performance in all aspects of the course with work exemplifying exceptional quality. Exhibits outstanding creative potential.

A- 3.8-3.7 / B+ 3.6-3.5 Exhibits creative potential with superior performance in most aspects of the course; high quality in the remainder. Well prepared for subsequent courses in the field.

B 3.4-3.3 / B- 3.2 High performance in most aspects of the course. Very good chance of success in subsequent courses in the field. Exhibits some creative potential.

C+ 3.1-3.0 / C 2.8-2.9 Good performance in some of the course; satisfactory performance in the remainder. Exhibits some creative potential. Good chance of success in subsequent courses in the field.

C- 2.7 / D+ 2.5-2.6 Demonstrates the minimum amount of research needed to complete the course with satisfactory performance.

D 2.1-2.4 Met basic requirements in most of the course, with the remainder being somewhat substandard.

F 2.0 and below Did not meet basic requirements for class.


Code of Conduct

This is an interdisciplinary visual arts studio course; we will be thinking and talking about, as well as making art in this manner. Please note that class time is for workshops on professional practices, consultations, peer reviews, critiques and group interaction (such as planning and feedback). Work on the senior project will need to be done outside of class time in the SOA facilities. Expect to spend at least 6-10hours/week on your studio practice outside of class and set up a schedule that will work for you through the quarter accordingly. A large part of your course grade is Preparedness and Development, which entails preparedness for meetings and meeting the required level of project development at the check-points shown on the calendar. 

One-on-one consultations will provide you with feedback on the work in progress presented and help you to tackle challenges and find alternative directions that help the sophisticated development of your project. Consultation and demos on unfamiliar materials and techniques are always available upon your request.

This class is conducted in a collaborative spirit, requiring you to engage with the group process and to contribute to building an environment of learning and experimentation where:

  • taking risks is preferred;
  • safe to ask questions and debate issues;
  • feedback is offered in a supportive spirit;
  • all participants are attentive and respectful of each other.


To achieve this please observe the following rules and expectations:

  1. Make sure your project moves along steadily even if you are being momentarily distracted by various other obligations. Come to class prepared to demonstrate progress and to participate in a shared positive learning experience. Have some new development to present every week.
  2. Class begins and ends at the appointed time unless otherwise scheduled. Check Canvas schedule for preparation. 
  3. Be responsible for your own successful completion of the course. This means to:
  4. Keep an open attitude. Use your best judgment to define project parameters. Rely on your strengths and well-honed skills but leave it open for experimentation. (For example, if you have never made a painting, it’s probably not a wise decision to set out to make your senior project be the first one. However, if in the process of testing, you have discovered an interesting and rewarding way to express your idea best through the process of painting, you should not shy away from doing that.) Challenge yourself, and strive for new ideas and ways of expression.
  5. Attend all sessions and be prepared to present new results of your work in progress each week. Always have tangible things to show: work in progress, material tests, sketches, models, etc… Meet the required level of project development at the check-points shown on the calendar. 
  6. Complete all assignments on time. Assignments must be presented in person. Contribution to and Participation in discussions, critiques and organizing the show is required and an important part of your course experience.
  7. If sudden illness, emergency or random act of nature should prevent you from attending class, contact me ( IN ADVANCE of your absence.

If you do 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.

8. All projects must be completed and presented on time. Late projects will not be accepted. Work unfinished by the time of the final critique will be graded as is and will not be considered for inclusion in the Odegaard exhibition.

9. 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.

10. Most projects are just not practical to do at home.  204 is your shared studio space for the duration of the quarter. You have full access to the room outside of the scheduled class times. Wherever you work, always leave your work area clean.

11. Observe safety, traffic flow, and maintenance rules when working in public spaces outside of the classroom. Attain permission from Annie Pearson ( in the main office (rm. 102) before installing your project. LEAVE NO TRACE policy applies! See details: Art Installation and Display Policy.pdf

12. Move out all materials, tools and projects from the classroom by last class meeting on finals week. 
13. Absolutely NO cell phone calls or text messages are to be taken or made during class. Turn off and put away all phones and digital equipment (including laptop, tablets, smart phones, and personal equipment for music) for the entire duration of class.
14.  If you have any questions, concerns regarding the class or need extra help, talk to me ASAP. 



Door code: BAG

After-hours building access

Art Building Hours
Mon–Thu 7:00am–7:00pm;

Fri 7:00 am – 5:00 pm; Sat 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm; Sun 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Have your Husky Card programmed for After Hours Access.
Go to Art 104, M-F, 8am-4pm.


Anyone in the building after hours is responsible for the safety and security of the building.

Have the studio (art204) door locked at all times, especially outside of regular hours, or if you are the only one working in there.

Create a buddy system. The more people working in the studio the safer and more enjoyable it gets.

Anyone who allows someone into the building or a workspace, or who props open a door for any reason risks losing after-hours access to the building.

Students who are not enrolled in classes for the quarter are not allowed to use the facilities.

The campus police frequently monitor the building to insure your safety and security. To know what to do in case of concern or emergency, see a yellow ICA brochure.


Theaster Gate lecture and reception:

THURSDAY, MAy 2nd, 7:30pm lecture in Kane Hall (5:30-7:00pm reception at the Jake Gallery)



Catalog Description: 
Focuses on the development of exhibition quality artwork, culminating in a group show. Covers curatorial issues, installation, and presentation. Assignments are designed to strengthen oral presentation skills, artist's written statement, critiquing abilities, and ability to place work within a larger art historical framework.
GE Requirements: 
Arts and Humanities (A&H)
Last updated: 
August 2, 2019 - 9:01pm