drawing of a CSULB student ID Card

Fall ’17 Syllabus


Art 110: Introduction to the Visual Arts

  • Section 2: Class No.4100, Mon-Wed 3:30 – 4:45
  • Classroom: PH1-140 + School of Art (SOA) Galleries between FA2 & FA3
  • Instructor: Glenn Zucman
  • Office Hours: Mon-Wed 1:00-2:30 @USU Tables just outside (or inside) from Coffee Bean / Robeks @University Student Union
  • Final: Wednesday, Dec 13, 2:45 – 4:45, SOA Gallery Courtyard
  • Contact: glenn.zucman@csulb.edu, @glenn_irs, 415-203-5571


  • None


The purpose of this course is to introduce students to Art and Ideas as practiced in the 21st century. Students will try a range of art media including traditional tools & new media. Student discussions will compare and contrast contemporary artists. Students will visit the CSULB School of Art Galleries, see the work of 4-5 different student artists, have conversations with the artists, and write blog posts about the work.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Describe some of the styles, ideas, and issues found in the Western canon.
  • Understand and articulate some of the ways that art functions vis-à-vis human culture
  • Build upon their direct, introductory experiences, in Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Photography, Animation, and Data Visualization in both Physical and Virtual worlds
  • Articulate their understanding of the relationship between art and: culture, speech, creativity, expression.
  • Describe the role of the artist in culture/society.

Course Format

We’ll break our 15-week +Finals course up into 3-10-3 weeks.

  1. 3 weeks of intro talks
  2. Main Course – 10 weeks of thinking about artists & trying art activities
  3. 2 weeks of Optional EC Presentations, and our Final

Main Section of Course

We’ll do 3 things/week in the middle 10 weeks:

  1. Have a conversation with a CSULB School of Art Artist
  2. Research a living artist
  3. Try an Art Activity

Each of the 3 activities will be a separate document you deliver via BeachBoard’s Dropbox by 11:59 pm on Sunday night.

No Late Work

Work is due by 11:59 pm on Sunday nights. No late work is accepted.

Original Work

Please read the Cheating & Plagiarism section of the CSULB Catalog. Your work should be yours. If you plagiarize in this course I will report you to the Chair of your Department, and the Dean of your CSULB College.

New Work

Please do not turn in old work. This course consists of a series of activities to do now in the context of this class and in resonance with your classmates.


  • Your phone is your textbook.


  • see the Materials List.


  • Required
  • Please “draw your ID card” on a 4×6 index card and turn one in at the end of every class.

Points & Grades

  • Attendance: 24 x 9 points = 216
  • SOA Artist Conversations: 10 x 21 points = 210
  • Off-Campus Artist Essays: 10 x 21 points = 210
  • Activities: 10 x 25 points = 250
  • Final Paper: Art & (my) Life = 60
  • Final “Exam”: Art Games = 54

Course Total Possible = 1,000 points.

  • 900 points = A
  • 800 points = B
  • 700 points = C
  • 600 points = D
  • 599 & below = F


  • The Final is Wednesday, Dec 13, 2:45 – 4:45 in the SOA Gallery Courtyard
  • The Final will be: Art Games!

Points on BeachBoard

For some reason, BeachBoard will show you your points, but not add them up for you. There are some fancy switches inside BeachBoard that Instructional Technology has to flip to get it to show you what all your individual points add up to. If someone reminds me to set this near the beginning of the semester, then you can see totals all semester instead of waiting till the end.


Coded Points

Because Art 110 is a large class with about 130 students, it is difficult to give detailed feedback on your writing. I’m happy to discuss your writing at any time and to help you develop better ideas and better form. To help with a quick understanding of your work, we will grade with Coded Points.

Strong writing & analysis with good form will receive full points. If there are mistakes your points will quickly show what your mistake was since there is only 1 way, or 1 mistake, to generate a given score. If you’d like further details, just send me an email and we can discuss it more fully.

Rubric: Artist Essays (SOA & Off-Campus Artists)

  1. Misspelled Artist Name: 21 – 10 = 11
  2. No Exhibition info (on SOA artists, not required for OC) 21 – 9 = 12
  3. Not analytic enough / too short: 21 – 8 = 13
  4. Formal & Content sections combined as one: 21 – 7 = 14
  5. Many Grammar, Sentence Construction, Spelling mistakes: 21 – 4 = 17
  6. Some Grammar, Sentence Construction, Spelling mistakes: 21 – 2 = 19

Rubric: Art Activities

  1. No Photos: 25 – 15 = 10
  2. Incomplete or incorrect activity: 25 – 10 = 15
  3. Not Analytic Enough / Too short: 25 – 5 = 20

Not Analytic Enough / Too Short

What does this mean?

  • Analytic: in writing about artists’ work, terms like “Like it” and “Don’t like it” are not generally helpful. As a university student your job is to analyze ideas, art, artists, culture, and communication. Try to discuss how this work resonates with other artists. With art historical ideas. With your own life experiences. Try to think deeply about the work. Consider it in a wider context.
  • Too Short: your artist essays should consist of (at least) 4 well written, substantive paragraphs.


Photos of what?

  • Artist Essays – no photos required
  • Art Activities – Document your process! Show steps. Show you with finished work.

Naming Your Files

  • Please use separate files for each item each week!
  • Format: First-Last-Wk#-ArtistLastName or Project Title


  • Suzy-Student-wkB1-shelley.rtf (essay on SOA Artist Maccabee Shelley)
  • Suzy-Student-wkB3-elan.rtf (essay on Off-Campus Artist Maika Elan)
  • Suzy-Student-wkB8-LAflag.rtf (art activity to design a new flag for Los Angeles)

Art Gallery Etiquette

Art Galleries and Art Museums have some things in common with places like Libraries, but also a lot that is different. They’re all great cultural resources where you can enrich your life. In a library, except for a few rare items like Special Collections, you can mostly touch everything. And usually, you’re supposed to be quiet or talk in a whisper.

Art Galleries are the opposite. Sometimes people feel like they’re supposed to be quiet, but actually, there’s no such “rule”. Talk! Discuss! Interact! Make the space and the experience yours! On the other hand, in Art Galleries and Museums, PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH! The majority of work you will see should not be touched.

Art Activity Writeups

  • Art Activities are mostly about experience. But you should still analyze your experience. How did it go technically? Aesthetically and creatively, what possibilities do you see? How would you like to do it differently in the future?
  • Be sure to include photos of your process! Be sure YOU are in at least 1 photo! (or a short video instead of photos)
  • See each Activity Brief for a few specific questions to discuss.

Other Details


The School of Art grants incompletes rarely and only for the most extreme conditions.

Withdrawal Deadlines


CSULB will make reasonable accommodations for any student who has a disability. It is the student’s responsibility to notify me in advance of the need for special accommodations. This course uses many activities and many tools. Most of you should have no trouble with any of this, however, if anyone has challenges with any course aspect for any reason, please be in touch ASAP and we can work to find suitable alternatives. A sincere effort should result in real learning and a good grade, so never be afraid to ask for any accommodations you need, but do make a sincere effort.

drawing of a CSULB student ID Card
Shannon Satterfield, Spring 2017


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