Narrative Objects


Fall 2013 and Winter 2014 quarters

Taught by

book arts, literature, creative writing
visual art, metalsmithing

What makes a work of art capable of narrative expressiveness? What constitutes a narrative? How do artists invest tangible records, stories, artifacts and objects with meaning, and how do readers work to recuperate or transform those meanings for themselves?

Many artists and writers have used objects, visual forms, books and text in combination to create a hybrid language that can carry narrative possibilities. How do such works exploit the possibilities of conventional and nonconventional narrative to stimulate the intellect and the imagination? Does imposing a narrative on a work of visual or sculptural art limit it, reduce it to a single interpretation? How can we navigate the space between object and idea as artists, as readers, as makers of things and makers of meaning?

This program will explore such questions through intensive studio work in fine metals and book arts. Equally important will be our study of literature that tests the boundary between narrative and non-narrative and the practice of critical and creative writing. The general program structure will include alternating periods of focused writing, imaginative reading, seminar discussion and extended, deliberate work in the studio.

Student projects will be direct responses to the themes and questions of the program: explorations of the nature of narrative, the various ways in which objects can participate in, contain, and create narratives. This unique opportunity to combine book arts and fine metals will persistently require competence in technical skills, unusual patience, attention to detail and materials, and articulate translations between ideas and visual forms.

The second quarter of the program will in part evolve from the discoveries of the first and will involve deepening our work in both studios, with the necessary emphasis on thoughtful self-critique and aesthetic rigor. This program will be important and challenging for students in the arts and humanities who think of artists as aesthetic and conceptual problem solvers, seeking new puzzles, forms and possibilities for constructing meaning using words, the book and small-scale sculptural forms. As a first-year program, this program provides specific support for students at the beginning of their Evergreen careers.

Program Details

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

visual arts, fine crafts, writing, literature and aesthetics.

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Day


Buy books for this program through Greener Bookstore.

Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning: Access to web-based tools required, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.

Required Fees

$100 per quarter for studio tools and materials.

Special Expenses

Students will need to purchase additional materials for art projects; expect to spend an additional $50 per quarter or more for individually-determined projects.


Date Revision
June 13th, 2013 This program now accepts sophomores (previously freshmen-only).

Registration Information

Credits: 16 (Fall); 16 (Winter)

Class standing: Freshmen–Sophomore; 50% of the seats are reserved for freshmen

Maximum enrollment: 36


Course Reference Numbers

Fr (16 credits): 10198
So (16 credits): 10373

Go to to register for this program.


Enrollment Closed

Course Reference Numbers

Fr (16 credits): 20158
So (16 credits): 20263

Go to to register for this program.

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