Art and the Natural World
Taught by Sue West
This course is inclusive of all, whether a beginner or quite advanced artist. Each student comes with a different set of skills, knowledge, and experiences in art and in life; no matter where they are, they have much to offer others in this class. All levels of skill and experience are welcome. While beginners develop basic skills, those with more experience are offer added challenge.
Art projects are often preceded by an immersive experience suitable to the season which provides rich fodder for self- expression. For example—fall semester students may float for a short distance in the tide, then work with ink, text, and watercolor skills to create an accordion book about the sensory nature of the experience. Spring semester students may visit a marine touch tank, observing and handling the animals before creating a graphic strip showing the movements we observed.
Assignments progress from shorter projects that build skills to longer, more independent work, primarily with drawing, painting, and printmaking. Within each project, students will work with the eight “studio habits of mind”—develop craft, engage and persist, envision, express, observe, reflect, stretch and explore, understand art worlds (Harvard University’s Project Zero). Students are expected to complete weekly homework assignments and participate in class discussions and oral critiques. When projects are finished, students write assessments and artist statements about their work. They are assessed on the quality of their art-making process as well as the finished product as well as effort and participation in class and on field trips.