AR115 Introduction to the Visual Arts

for F6J 2004

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AR 115  /  Introduction to the Visual Arts  / MGE  /  3 Credit Hours

Fall 2004   August 23 – December 10

Monday   5:30 – 8:00 p.m.  

Leslie Buckingham, Senior Instructor

Office in Interior Design,  MA430C

Office Hours after class, or by appt.

(816) 678-1144 Phone and Voicemail




The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.



Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.



A basic art appreciation course which introduces the formal language of painting, sculpture and architecture, relating them to the philosophical premises and historical events that they reflect.  This course provides a framework of reference for appreciation of art as well as a basis for further study.  While slide-lecture is the usual format, demonstrations, field trips and gallery tours augment classroom instruction.



The instructor’s educational philosophy is one based on interactive learning based on lectures, readings, examinations, videos, and gallery tours. 



The purpose of this course is to give students a greater appreciation of art and culture.  The book will focus much of its attention to art from the artist’s perspective, whereas many art history texts tend to focus on art’s historical or sociological context.  Studio artists will enjoy the variety of artists and their diverse methodology.  Students of art history will learn more about the technical aspects of producing art.  Those students who are merely taking this course as a general elective will not be left out.  This class is an ideal first exposure to art and will build confidence in their ability to form individual opinions about art.  In other words, this class will de-mystify much of that part of our society – the visual arts – that the student may never have completely understood. 


LEARNING OBJECTIVES - On completion of this course, student should be able to:


·        Use the specialized vocabulary of art and design to describe, both orally and in writing, their responses to art they have directly experienced.

·        Recognize stylistic similarities and differences in art from a wide variety of cultures and time periods.

·        Look at and critically respond to works of art.  They should be able to not only know what they “like” but why!

·        Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the principal stylistic divisions in western art and of many world cultures.

·        Visit many of the local museums, galleries and architectural monuments in the area.

·        Explain a variety of two-dimensional and three-dimensional studio techniques.


As with other humanities subjects, the study of art is the study of humanity…what it means to be human. These objectives are meant to be only a beginning.  Powers of observation and the intellectual search for meaning in art are skills that should be continuously exercised for the rest of our lives.  This is true whether the student plans a career in art or in accounting.  Art is not about this class (or any class, for that matter).  Art is about life.   



  • Paul Zelanski and Mary Pat Fisher.  The Art of Seeing.  6th Edition, (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2005.)   [ISBN 0-13-117517-3]


  • Paul Zelanski and Mary Pat Fisher.  The Art of Seeing.  5th Edition, (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2002.)   [ISBN 0-13-091475-4]


Suggested but not required…

  • Paul J. Zelanski.  Artnotes.  6th Edition, (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2005.)  [ISBN 0-13-189863-9] …5th edition would work here as well.  You can buy this in a package with the textbook.


Academic Honesty is required of all members of a learning community.  Hence, Park will not tolerate cheating or plagiarism on tests, examinations, papers or other course assignments.  Students who engage in such dishonesty may be given failing grades or expelled from Park.



Plagiarism – the appropriation or imitation of the language or ideas of another person and presenting them as one’s original work – sometimes occurs through carelessness or ignorance.  Students who are uncertain about proper documentation of sources should consult their instructors.



Instructors are required to keep attendance records and report absences.  The instructor may excuse absences for cogent reasons, but missed work must be made up within the term of enrollment.  Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.  In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of “F”.  An Incomplete will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.  Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance (TA) or Veterans Administration (VA) educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the term of enrollment.  Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.  Reports of an F grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for students receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned above will be reported to the appropriate agency. 


In my class, you are allowed a maximum of only 1 unexcused absence without penalty to your grade as long as you are responsible for the work missed, etc.  Additional absences will hurt your grade dramatically.  Two instances of the following will count as one absence:  coming to class late, leaving early, or falling asleep.  ATHLETES contact me after class and let me know if away-games will take you out of class.



Assignments will be accepted up to one week after their due date, but will be penalized one letter grade (10 percentage points).  Students may NOT make up quizzes or exams missed because of an unexcused absence.



Student learning in this course will be assessed by means of:


·        Examinations.

·        Quizzes.

·        Short writing assignments.

·        Gallery response papers.

·        Class discussions and presentations.

·        Attendance and participation.




Please turn cell phones and pagers off during class.  Students who disrupt class with these items will be asked to leave and could suffer appropriate penalties for tardiness (see above attendance policy).



Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students  that meet the criteria for special assistance.  These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal.  It is Park University’s policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities and, to the extent of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply.  Additional information concerning Park University’s policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page:




Pay attention in class.  Dates for exams and assignments are subject to revision!!

You are asked to read the appropriate sections of your textbook for the subjects listed.  These readings should be completed prior to the class for which they are assigned.  Each week you will be asked to turn in short answers to questions about the previous week’s video segments.  Exams are primarily multiple-choice  (with some short answer) and will take place at the end of the evening for which they are scheduled.  Due to the length of my drive from home, if Park University classes are NOT cancelled and driving conditions are exceptionally poor, I may still cancel class.  Please call my cell phone number on severe weather days.




Part 1

Chapter 1

BOOK – Understanding Art

VIDEO – ART21 Place:  Laurie Anderson, Richard Serra, Sally Mann



Chapter 2

BOOK – Visual Elements

VIDEO – ART21 Place:  Margaret Kilgallen & Barry McGee, Pepón Osorio



NO CLASS – Labor Day




Chapter 3


BOOK – Organizing Principles

VIDEO – Masters of Illusion

VIDEO – ART21 Spirituality:  Beryl Korot, Ann Hamilton, John Feodorov



Ch. 3 (cont.)




BOOK – Organizing Principles (cont.)

VIDEO – ART21 Spirituality:  Shahzia Sikander, James Turrell

EXAM – Part One (Chapters 1-3)


Part 2

Chapter 4

Chapter 5



VIDEO – ART21 Identity:  William Wegman, Bruce Nauman, Kerry James Marshall




Chapter 7


Graphic Design

VIDEO – ART21 Identity:  Louise Bourgeois, Maya Lin

Film #1 Assignment given




Chapter 8


Photography and Filmmaking

VIDEO – various film clips

VIDEO – ART21 Consumption:  Barbara Kruger, Michael Ray Charles, Matthew Barney

Film #1 Assignment Due

Film #2 Assignment given


NO CLASS – Fall Recess



Chapter 9






Computer Graphics

VIDEO – various film clips

VIDEO – ART21 Consumption:  Andrea Zittel, Mel Chin

Film #2 Assignment Due

EXAM – Part 2 (Chapters 4, 5, 7-9)



Part 3

Chapter 10


VIDEO – ART21 Stories:  Trenton Doyle Hancock, Kiki Smith



Chapter 11


VIDEO – ART21 Stories:  Do-Ho Suh, Kara Walker


6:00 p.m. Mandatory field trip to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art



Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Clothing Design


VIDEO – ART21 Loss & Desire:  Janine Antoni, Gabriel Orozco, Collier Schorr



Chapter 14





Designed Settings

VIDEO – ART21 Time:  Vija Celmins, Tim Hawkinson, Paul Pfeiffer

supplemental readings given for FINAL

EXAM – Part 3 (Chapters 10-14)


Part 4

Chapter 16

Picasso’s Guernica

VIDEO – ART21 Time:  Martin Puryear

VIDEO – ART21 Humor:  Eleanor Antin, Walton Ford

FINAL assignment given...due semester’s end





Leonardo’s Mona Lisa

VIDEO – ART21 Humor:  Elizabeth Murray, Raymond Pettibon




No class meeting…FINAL DUE BY 12:00 NOON ON 12/14/04 (TUESDAY) to


A field trip to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is also required.  Please note an additional date of November 12, a Friday evening, has been added to the above schedule.  Class will be dismissed early one evening to allow for this extra time.  You are also required to attend 1 artist lecture at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.  A calendar of these events is attached.  A sign-up sheet will be passed around the 2nd week of classes so that I may reserve a spot for you at the event of your choice.  Further information on artists will be available on .


Kemper Museum of Contemporart Art calendar (for outside event assignment):

Artist’s name

Date of lecture

Day of Week



Gunnar Birkerts

October 1


6:30-7:30 pm

Public lecture

José Bedia

October7 & 8

Thursday & Friday

10am & 1pm

each day

University student lectures

Judith Schaechter

October 15



Public lecture and exhibition (opening reception 5:30-7:30pm)

James Croak

October 21 & 22

Thursday & Friday

10am & 1pm

each day

Student lectures

Ursula von Rydingsvard

October 29



Public lecture

Philip Pearlstein

November 5


10am & 6:30pm

University student lecture

(6:30 public lecture)

Hung Liu

November 19



Public lecture




Assignments                             290                              A = 90 – 100% (450 – 500)

            Field Trip         50                                            B = 80 – 89% (400 – 449)

            Video ?’s (13)  130                                          C = 70 – 79% (350 – 399)

            Film ?’s (2)       30                                            D = 60 – 69% (300 – 349)

            Participation     30                                            F = 59% and below (299 and below)

            Outside Event   50

3 Exams (50 pts each)              150                             

Final Assignment                         60                             


                         TOTAL =       500