Studio Projects: Land and Sky

Fall 2018
Winter 2019
Credits per quarter

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Taught by

Robert Leverich
visual arts, architecture
Alex McCarty
3D studio art

This theme-based, foundational visual arts program is designed for students who want to gain skills and understanding through focused 2D and 3D studio work and its supporting reading, research, and writing. We will focus on the relationship between artists, cultures, and landscape this boundary plane we inhabit between earth, sea, and air. The root of the word landscape refers to the shape or condition of the land. How do different cultures define and shape landscapes, and how do landscapes in turn shape peoples lives and what they make? What is the role of an artist in the landscape as an observer, participant, and shaper? How do studio work and work outdoors inform each other? How do an artist’s tools mediate experience of the landscape? We are uniquely situated here in the Pacific Northwest to consider a variety of landscapes and seascapes, as well as a variety of cultures with strong ties to both.

Program work and learning will be centered in the studio. Projects will focus on expanding 2D skills (drawing, printmaking) and 3D skills (sculpture, craft, environmental art). We will spend time working in the field, as well as in the studio. We will engage landscapes as means to express personal and cultural narratives and as forms of exchange within larger communities. We will address questions of authority and authorship in working with landscapes, their inhabitants, imagery, and stories. As the program progresses, each student will be asked to develop more personal and focused work about the landscape for a final exhibition.

Studio work will be grounded by readings, seminars, and work discussions and reviews, as well as research and writing efforts, to address dimensions of landscape from ecology and material sources to place and politics. We will survey landscape-based art forms as principle cultural tropes, and consider the changing responses of artists to environments and the communities vested in them. Field trips and guest lectures will expand our awareness of regional landscapes, cultures, and artists.

Students should plan to commit at least 40 hours a week to program work and the studio learning community. Dedicated students will advance their art-making and writing skills, build a strong portfolio of personal work, and develop a fuller understanding of landscape in contemporary art and cultural contexts, and in their own work.

This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in: visual arts and design, architecture, landscape architecture, and environmental studies.

Online learning:
  • Hybrid Online Learning - This offering delivers < 25% of its instruction online, rather than via face-to-face contact between you and your instructors.

Scheduled for: Day

Located in: Olympia