Students in conversation in the Psychology courtyard outside Psy-150 at Long Beach State University

Fall ’18 Syllabus

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CSULB students in conversation in the Psychology Courtyard on the 1st day of Art 110, Introduction to the visual arts at Long Beach State University
1st day of class, Fall 2018!


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Art 110: Introduction to the Visual Arts

  • Section 2: Class No.3973, Mon-Wed 3:30 – 4:45
  • Classroom: Psy-150 + School of Art (SOA) Galleries between FA2 & FA3
  • Instructor: Glenn Zucman
  • Office Hours: Mon-Wed 1:30-2:30 @USU Umbrella Tables just outside Coffee Bean / Robeks
  • Final: Wednesday, December 19, 2:45 – 4:45, SOA Gallery Courtyard
  • Contact:
  • Graduate Assistant: Marina Vilhena


  • 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.

  • “A” – 3 weeks of intro talks
  • “B” – Main Course – 10 weeks of thinking about artists & trying art activities
  • “C” – 2 weeks of Optional EC Presentations, and our Final

Main “B” Section of Course

We’ll do 2 things/week in the middle 10 weeks:

  1. Have a conversation with a CSULB School of Art Artist
  2. Try an Art Activity

Each activity will be a separate blog post due 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.
  • No late work is accepted.
  • No late work is accepted.

Most students find Art 110 a relatively easy class. But as you can see, you are responsible for turning in 2 blog posts/week for the 10 weeks of “B”. If you are not good at meeting deadlines you might want to:

  • Decide that now is the time to get good at meeting deadlines …OR…
  • Drop the class and take a different class that better suits your working style

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 LBSU 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. Please do not search your phone for something you did last year and try to turn it in for this class.

Final Exam

  • The Final is Wednesday, December 19, 2:45 – 4:45 in the SOA Gallery Courtyard
  • The Final will be: Art Games!
  • Note that our final is the last day of finals!
  • Please be sure you put the final on your calendar!
  • The University requires me to give a final, and the university requires you to attend the final.
  • DO NOT buy a plane ticket home or for vacation on the day of our final or before it!


  • Your phone is your textbook.



  • Required
  • Starting in Week 2, please “draw your ID card” on a 4×6 index card and turn one in at the end of every class.
  • Please do not use a 3×5 index card.
  • Please do not use a 4×6 piece of paper.
  • Please use 4×6 index cards only.

Artist Conversations

For the easiest, and best Artist Conversation blog posts, be sure to use the

Real Conversation
Try to have a real conversation with the artists. If we just rush in and bombard them with cameras, just like you or I, they can be kind of put off. On the other hand, if you take the time to read their Artist’s Statement on a wall inside the gallery before asking questions, and then asking thoughtful questions, the artists will be excited to talk with you about their work.

Same Level
Very often we are standing and the artist is sitting. This isn’t great. It’s awkward and definitely less connected than a conversation at the same level. If there aren’t many people around, try to find a chair so that you can be at the same physical level as the artist while you talk. If there are many Art 110 students visiting with the same artist at the same time and finding chairs isn’t practical, then invite the artist into the gallery to chat. This way they’ll be standing and at your same level, plus they can gesture to their work which is nice for conversation and also makes for nice photos.

Good & Bad Questions
There are no bad questions.

However, artists do appreciate it when you read their statement first, so you can ask them to expand on what they’ve written, instead of simply repeating it.

Also, one of the most obvious questions turns out to be a poor question:

Where do you get your inspiration?

This is an instinctive question that we all tend to ask. However it’s a poor question because artists don’t work that way. When you ask it, rather than opening up conversation it tends to close conversation down. You can ask a fairly similar question that is better at inviting them to discuss their process:

Can you talk a little about the ideas you’re exploring in this work?

(if they’ve already talked about their ideas in their statement or in previous answers, you can ask for a clarification or expansion of their ideas and process)

Your Blog

We won’t use BeachBoard or DropBox to “turn in” your 2 weekly pieces. Instead, everyone will make their own, free blog at Once you set up your site and claim a URL, something like you’ll go to the Class Roster Page and paste your URL in a comment on that page. I’ll then add you to that roster page. Other than the daily ID cards, that’s the last thing you’ll have to “turn in”. Each week I’ll go to your blog and look at your new work. All you have to do is make your 2 weekly posts on your site by 11:59 pm on Sunday night.

Notes on your blog name:

  1. If you choose a name like it gets confusing when I try to give you points for your work. If your name is “Brandon Smith”, it’s very helpful if you choose a URL like
  2. If your name is “Brandon Smith” and nobody has it will ask you if you want that. If another “Brandon Smith” already has that URL, it will offer you something like You can take that, but you could also ask for something like For some reason, instead of just adding a single digit, it goes crazy with extra numbers if someone has your name.
  3. Sometimes the “Free Website” button isn’t obviously visible. But all you need for Art 110 is a Free blog. You do not need to pay any money.
  4. When you post your URL on the Roster Page, be sure to tell me what your first and last name is, like: Hi, this is Glenn Zucman, and my URL is


I hope your writing is strong, but as general education students, it might not be the most professional art writing. For your Art Activity Posts, this isn’t a problem. It is different with our SOA Student Artists. They are emerging artists and nobody may have written about them. In a web search for their names, Art 110 student writing would come out at the very top. Sometimes artists and the School of Art are not comfortable having our writing visible on the web. When you make a post for an SOA Artist, please click Visibility in your edit window, and select Password Protected. For a password, please use “soa”, all in lower case. This will allow your post to be easily graded, but not clutter up search results.


You do not need to set your Art Activity posts to password protected. They should be set to the default of “Public”.

Naming Your Blog Posts

  • Please make a separate blog post for each item each week!

Please use this format:

  • Wk B1 – Art Experience – Plaster Casting
  • Wk B3 – Artist Conversation – Brianna Allen

This standard format really helps Marina & I get through grading 250 posts every week!

Points & Grades

  • Attendance: 24 x 9 points = 216
  • SOA Artist Conversations: 10 x 32 points = 320
  • Activities: 10 x 35 points = 350
  • 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

Art Activities

During our 10 weeks of “B”, we’ll try 10 Art Activities. You can group them into 3 categories:

  • Messy Hands Activities: Plaster Casting, Graffiti Writing, Sketching, Finger Painting
  • Life Design Activities: Life Design, ePortfolio, Environmental Portrait, Welcome Vlog
  • Student Choice Activities: Your Turn, One More

For most students, the Messy Hands Activities tend to be the most fun. The Life Design Activities don’t tend to be as much “fun,” but I hope they will be useful in designing your career and building an ePortfolio that will help you with employers, grad schools, internships, program admissions, and so on.

Working in Groups

I encourage you to do any of these activities with your Art 110 classmates! In most cases, you’ll still need to do your own piece. Doing Graffiti Writing or Environmental Portraits together can be great, you can carpool, share paint, help each other with photography, and so on. But each person should have their own Graffiti Piece, Environmental Portrait, etc.

For the “Student Choice” Activity you can work in groups (or alone) and you can also work on 1 group project. You could, for example, plan a group video project where several classmates all contribute to the project. In that case, you would all write your own blog posts, and embed the 1 video in each post.


Here’s our Schedule of Activities. For the 3 weeks of “A” and the first 2 weeks of “C”, we’ll be in Psy-150. During the 10 weeks of “B” we’ll use both Psy-150 and the SOA (School of Art) Gallery Courtyard located between FA2 & FA3. I’ll send emails and/or have blog posts with updates on where we’ll be each class.

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 125 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

  1. Misspelled Artist Name: 32 – 16 = 16
  2. No Exhibition info: 32 – 15 = 17
  3. Not analytic enough / too short: 32 – 14 = 18
  4. Formal & Content sections combined as one: 32 – 13 = 19
  5. No photo: 32 – 12 = 20
  6. Many Grammar, Sentence Construction, Spelling mistakes: 32 – 11 = 21
  7. Some Grammar, Sentence Construction, Spelling mistakes: 32 – 6 = 26

Rubric: Art Activities

  1. No Photos: 35 – 25 = 10
  2. Incomplete or incorrect activity: 35 – 20 = 15
  3. Not Analytic Enough / Too short: 35 – 15 = 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?

  • Art Activities – Document your process! Show steps. Show you with finished work.
  • SOA Artists – 1 or more photos. Could be of the Art in the Gallery, of the Artist, or of you with the artist.

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

The right to be forgotten

You might find a picture of you or your work in my weekly blog post. I will never show your work and say this is what not to do. I will only show your work and say Look at what a beautiful job Maddy did last week. I hope you feel good about this. But even if you do, it’s possible that you don’t want your photo or name on this website. If I ever post a photo of you, or your work, or list your name, or a link to your website, and you’d rather not have that here, just LMK. You can ask me to take something down today, tomorrow, next week, next year, or next decade. You never have to give me a reason. You only have to give me the URL where the item you’d like taken down is. It’s always up to you.


CSULB will make reasonable accommodations for any student who has different needs. It is your 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.

Basic Needs

Any student who is facing academic or personal challenges due to difficulty in affording groceries/food and/or lacking a safe and stable living environment is urged to contact the CSULB Student Emergency Intervention & Wellness Program. The website outlining the resources available is Students can also e-mail or call 562/985.2038. You can also reach out to me if I can help identify additional resources.

Students in conversation in the Psychology courtyard outside Psy-150 at Long Beach State University
Art 110 students in conversation at Psychology-150, 1st day of class, 27 August 2018


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