Shiva Nadjm, Art110 Fall '15, with her name in bubble letters at the Venice Beach Legal Art Walls

Spring ’16 Syllabus

Blue Banner with "Spring '16" in yellow letters

Table of Contents

Full Syllabus:


Class Overview

Each Week:

1. Discussion about Artists

3 Activities:

1. Art Experience to Try
2. Conversation with an Artist
3. Conversation with a Classmate

Each Week You Post On Your Website:

1. Art Experience Photos & Evaluation
2. Essay about your artist
3. Summary of Classmate Conversation


1. Posts due by 11:59pm Sunday Night
2. NO Late Work Accepted
3. Grading on Monday
4. Points can be viewed on BeachBoard on Tuesday

No Conversations due in Weeks 1, 2, 6, 14

• Thursday Wk 1 – In UT-108 Lab Help w WordPress Websites / Photo Activity / Class
• Thursday Wk 2 – Optional Art Experience trip to The Seal Beach Pier
• Thursday Wk 6 – Meet @SOA Galleries & head out for CSULB Campus “Photo Walks”
• Thursday Wk 14 – Meet @SOA Galleries & try group Flashmobs

Meet in UT-108

Tuesdays are discussion days. There is no homework involved. Each Tuesday we’ll form different discussion groups, surf the web for info about our 2 Artists of the Week, and discuss their work and ideas. Your group should compare and contrast the 2 artists. Finally you’ll summarize your ideas in 2 ways:

• Leave one comment for your whole group on the page for the week. Be sure to list the names and URL’s for each participant who is present.

• One or more from your group will share some comments with the whole class.

• There is no preparation required before class, and nothing to turn in after class. Simply attend, bring your Internet Device, participate, and you’re finished.

Meet in the School of Art (SOA) Art Gallery Courtyard.

3 Activities:

Weekly Art Experience – sometimes it can be done during class. Art Experiences like painting will need to be done outside of class. Post your Art Experience on your website.

Classmate Conversation – each Thursday you’ll have a conversation with a classmate you haven’t met yet and do a blog post about your conversation.

Artist Conversation – each Thursday you’ll have a conversation with one of the artists exhibiting at the School of Art, Art Galleries, and do a blog post about their work.

Full Syllabus

Art 110: Introduction to the Visual Arts:
• Section 1: Class No.1035 – F2F Course
• Instructor: Glenn Zucman
• Tuesday 11 – 12:15, UT-108
• Thursday 11 – 12:15, CSULB School of Art, Art Gallery Courtyard
• Final: Thursday, May 12, 2016, 10:15 – 12:15, Art Gallery Courtyard
Office Hours:
• Tuesday 12:15 – 12:45, School of Art, Art Gallery Courtyard
• Thursday 12:15 – 12:45, School of Art, Art Gallery Courtyard
• By Appointment, FO4-267
• 415-203-5571 or Glenn_IRS – WhatsApp, Telegram, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, etc


  • None


The purpose of this course is to introduce students to Art and Ideas as practiced in the 21st century. Students will try a wide range of art media from traditional tools like paint, to contemporary media like Snapchat. 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 have:

  • Been introduced to many creative media tools
  • Produced an ePortfolio of their work in Art110 and at CSULB
  • Seen 50 – 60 different art exhibitions at the CSULB SOA Galleries
  • Conversed with many student artists about their work
  • Conversed with many classmates about the work on exhibition at the CSULB SOA Galleries

Format of the Course

Each week this course includes:
1. A small group discussion about artists & ideas
2. Art Experience
3. Conversation with a student artist exhibiting in the CSULB SOA Galleries
4. Conversation with an Art110 classmate about the work in the CSULB SOA Galleries

The Weekly Discussion will be contained within Tuesday classes.

For the Art Experience, and Conversations, you’ll make 3 blog posts on your website, 1 for each item.

Due Dates

Each week’s posts are due by 11:59pm on Sunday night.

No Late Work

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


Your Internet Device / Camera (Phone, Tablet, or Laptop) is your textbook. Please be sure to bring it to every class as you will need to use it every day.


see the materials list


This is not a “textbook” course, but an experience course. If you don’t come to class, you haven’t done the course. Points will be based on classtime work: Discussions on Tuesdays & Activities on Thursdays.

Missing 1 or 2 classes during the semester should not be too detrimental to your final grade. Beyond that you should see me immediately and most likely plan to take Art110 a different semester.

Points and Grades


  • 13 Discussions x 20 = 260 points
  • 15 Art Experiences x 25 = 375 points
  • 11 Artist Conversations x 30 = 330 points
  • 11 Classmate Conversations x 10 = 110 points
  • Final: 145 points

Course Total Possible = 1,200 points.


1080 points = A
960 points = B
840 points = C
720 points = D
719 & below = F

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.

Cheating & Plagiarism:
Most of you will find this course easy. And many of you will think that in a course with no Exams, Quizzes, or Research Papers, that it isn’t even possible to cheat or plagiarize. But students do plagiarize all the time. Students Google for photos of activities they didn’t do. Students copy the writing of classmates.

Before you decide to plagiarize in Art110, be aware that the consequences can include an “F” in the course, and dismissal from The University. Please review the Cheating & Plagiarism section of the 2015-2016 CSULB Catalog. Pay careful attention to my responsibilities when you plagiarize, and the academic actions that may be taken against you.

Extra Credit

Wk 4: Painting

The best place to paint is at the Venice Beach Legal Art Walls. Just about everyone who has ever gone has had a great time. Yes it’s far. Yes, I know you hate to drive. Just paint at home for full credit, or go to the Venice Beach Legal Art Walls to paint for +40 EC.

Wk 4: LA Art Book Fair ’16 – 11-14 Feb

Visit the LA Art Book Fair at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. Take photos and write about your experience for +50 EC. The event is free on Feb 12-14. The Thursday night reception on Feb 11 is US$10.

Your Name

The University now allows you to set your official name. So if the name on your birth certificate is “Andrew,” but you go by “Drew”, now the university can refer to you as Drew. This makes it easier for me to find you on the roster, and better for your classmates who can refer to you by the name you choose.

Please set your University name and your Common / Email name to be the same.

Rubric: Artist Conversations

Each Conversation starts off with a perfect score of 30. Points are deducted from that if necessary. Because Art110 is a large class of about 130 students, it is difficult to provide 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”. I hope you have no mistakes in your work and receive a full 30 points for each Artist Conversation Essay. If there are mistakes your points will quickly show what your mistake was. If you’d like further details, just send me an email and we can discuss it more fully.

  1. Misspelled Artist Name: 30 -20 = 10
  2. No Artist Tag, or incorrect tag: 30 -18 = 12
  3. No link to artist website (if they have one) 30 -16 = 14
  4. Not analytic enough / too short: 30 -14 = 16
  5. Poor Grammar: 30 -12 = 18
  6. Poor Post Naming: 30 -10 = 20
  7. No Photos: 30 -8 = 22
  8. Other misspellings: 30 -6 = 24

Rubric: Classmate Conversations

Each Conversation starts off with a perfect score of 10. Points are deducted from that if necessary:

  1. No Photos: -4
  2. Poor Post Naming: -4
  3. Too short: -4
  4. No link to classmate website: -4

Rubric: Art Experiences

Each Art Experience starts off with a perfect score of 25. Points are deducted from that if necessary:

  1. No Photos: -10
  2. Poor Post Naming: -10
  3. Too short: -10

Did I really get a 0?

Sometimes students check points while an Activity is still being graded. Or occasionally during the semester it might take longer than normal to finish grading an Activity. If you look at BeachBoard before we’re done grading you might see a “0” for your points. Don’t panic! “0” means “still being graded!” To make this clear, if you turn nothing in, I’ll give you “1” point. So if you see “1”, then you know I couldn’t find any work for you. If you see “0” that only means “still being graded, check back later.”


Photos of what? For your Art Experiences, document your process! For Classmate Interviews, a photo with your classmate would be great. For Artist Interviews, a photo of the artist, or their work would be ok. Photos of both would be great.

Post Names

Please use this format:

  • Wk2 – Art Experience – Plaster Casting
  • Wk2 – Artist Conversation – Brianna Allen
  • Wk2 – Classmate Conversation – Geri Weckstein

This standard format really helps me get through grading 129 x 3 posts every Monday. You can use 1 variation if you like. I’ve noticed that many of you like to use more creative titles for your Art Experiences – which is awesome! So please do use the above formats for your Weekly Conversations, but for your Art Experience, you can also use:

  • Wk 1 – Demise via Kidnapping

Artist Essays

  • Your Art Experience and Classmate Conversation posts can be casual.
  • Your Artist Conversation writing must be college level.

The Artists you will meet in the SOA Galleries are mostly young artists just beginning their careers. They’ve typically worked for many months to put up the work we see in the galleries, and you are very likely the 1st person ever to write about them and their work! That’s awesome! But it also gives us the responsibility to be accurate and informed about the work.

Your 4 paragraph Artist Conversation post should have:

Post Title: use the form:

Wk 9 – Artist Conversation – Maccabee Shelley

Exhibition Information

Artist: Maccabee Shelley
Exhibition: No Redemption Value
Media: Ceramics, Glass, Mixed-Media, Installation
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
Instagram: maccabeeshelley

About the Artist

In this paragraph you can provide a little background information on the artist. Are they a Graduate or Undergraduate student? Which Program from the CSULB School of Art are they in? What are their interests? What ideas does their work explore?

As you know, CSULB consists of a number of Colleges. One is The College of The Arts (COTA). COTA in turn is composed of a number of Departments, like The Theatre Department or The Film & Electronic Arts Department. Occasionally when a Department reaches a large size and national reputation, it is renamed from Department to School. So the former Art Department is now the School of Art. The former Music Department is now the Cole Conservatory of Music. Within the School of Art there are many Programs:

• Art Education
• Art History
• Ceramics
• Drawing & Painting
• Fiber
• Graphic Design
• Illustration / Animation
• Metal
• Photography
• Printmaking
• Sculpture / 4D
• Wood

If a student is studying Ceramics, then you might correctly say that Andrea L. Williams is a student in the School of Art’s Ceramics Program. Or you could also say something like CSULB undergraduate Andrea L. Williams is working toward her BFA degree in the School of Art’s Ceramics Program.

You are probably familiar with the degrees BA or BS, MA or MS, and PhD. In The Arts, like Theatre, or Dance, or Art, the standard degrees are BA, BFA, MA, MFA. (Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Master of Arts, Master of Fine Arts) The BA & MA are sometimes thought of as academic degrees and the BFA & MFA as professional degrees. The BFA & MFA tend to involve more units than the BA or MA degree. You can debate whether the MFA is or is not equal to the PhD, but either way the MFA is a terminal degree, as in you’ve obtained the highest degree in your field. With an MFA you can teach at a university and participate in other professional and academic activities.

Formal Analysis

What is it? Describe the work. The “formal” qualities. The media or materials. The nature of the line, shape, color, rhythm, scale, texture, cadence, and so on. Is it straight? Jagged? Undulating? Sinuous? Staccato?

Content Analysis

What is it about? Relate the ideas you get from your conversation with the artist here. What’s on their mind? What are they thinking about? What ideas are they trying to explore?

Synthesis / My Experience

What does it mean? In this last section it’s about you! Synthesize the gestalt of this exhibition and how it resonates for you. How do the formal nature of the work and the artist’s ideas resonate with your own ideas, perceptions, and perspectives? Do things from your life experience, your academic experience, and other sources resonate here?


IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT YOU READ WHAT YOU’VE WRITTEN BEFORE YOU CLICK PUBLISH! Almost everyone makes small typos, awkward phrases, and other simple but distracting mistakes. Proofread! Proofread!! Proofread!!!

Artist Tags

The CSULB School of Art, Student Artists, are being generous with us. They galleries normally open at Noon, so they’re opening an hour early to talk to Art110. And they’re dealing with a big class like ours coming through their carefully assembled exhibition. And answering lots of questions from us! So lets try to thank them for their hospitality and for sharing their work with us. One great way to do this is to TAG your post. This gives them a tag they can click on to see all the posts we’ve written about them. The tags for your Artist Conversations are:

Each week when we visit the SOA Galleries, you’ll pick 1 of the shows for your Artist Conversation & Blog Post. This will almost always be in 1 of the 5 Galleries: Gatov West, Gatov East, Merlino Gallery, Werby Gallery or Dutzi Gallery. There may also be work installed or performed in the SOA Courtyard on occasion.

Screen cap of the WordPress Tag window showing how to type a tag and add it.
to add an Artist Tag, just type it in the Tag Box in your WordPress edit window. Then click “Add”

Another nice way to respect these artists is to try to have a real conversation with them about their work and their ideas first, and then ask to take a photo of them or their work. When 100 of us rush in with cell phones snapping all at once, the artists can start to feel like victims of paparazzi rather than appreciated artists.

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 vast majority of work you will see should not be touched. Art is often fragile. Popular art can be seen by many millions of people. Many artists go through great effort and expense to create archival artworks that can endure over many centuries. All of this fragile art and human culture can be damaged by acid from your hands, by accidental mechanical damage from touching, by being bumped into by your backpack when you walk around or take a step back to take a photo.

Occasionally you might see a sign that says something like “Please Touch” and in that case you can touch. If you ever think the artist might intend for you to touch something, it is best to ask. Occasionally artists do intend for you to touch, but we must presume that everything is no touch! Just because a work of art might look like a chair or a couch or a floor tapestry, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can sit on it or walk on it. Unless you see a sign giving you permission, always presume everything is no touch.

At a large Art Museum the security guards won’t breathe down your neck so much if you don’t look like you might damage the art. At a smaller exhibition like the SOA Galleries, an individual artist might give you permission to touch their work if you talk with them for a while and ask their permission. Just don’t presume you can. The default is no touch!


Pretty much, if you participate on Tuesdays & put up 3 posts a week with Pix, Good Titles, nice Analysis, and a TAG for the artist, you should totally ace this class.

Other Details


The Art Department grants “incompletes” rarely and only for the most extreme conditions.

Withdrawal Deadlines

  • By MyCSULB – Feb 1, @10pm
  • w signature, Director, School of Art – April 15
  • w signature, Director, School of Art and Dean, College of the Arts – May 6

No Grade Begging

At the end of every semester I receive long emails in florid prose explaining to me how important a student’s grade in Art110 is. That for [ insert excuse here ] reason, they are worried they won’t be getting the “A” or “C” or other grade they desired, and that considering how important the grade is to this student, is there any way I can help or anything they can do?

Please do not send me this email.

I hope the learning, knowledge, and experience of Art110 is more important to you than a letter on your transcript. But whether you care about actual learning, or only grades, in either case, if it is important to you, then don’t express that importance by begging at the end, express it by:

  • Doing solid work all semester
  • Turning everything in on-time or early
  • Checking your points on BeachBoard regularly so you know exactly where you stand all semester


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 utilizes 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.


Week 1

19-24 Jan

  • Discussion: My Body: Francesca Woodman & Stelarc
  • Art Experience: Photography 1: Landscapes with a Corpse

Week 2

25-31 Jan

  • Discussion: Mass: Mona Hatoum & Anish Kapoor
  • Art Experience: 3D 1: Plaster Casting

Week 3

1-7 Feb

  • Discussion: Future Tense: Sight & World Builder
  • Art Experience: Drawing & Painting 1: Snapchat

Week 4

8-14 Feb

  • Discussion: The Street: Zevs & Banksy
  • Art Experience: Drawing & Painting 2: Legal Graffiti Writing

Week 5

15-21 Feb

  • Discussion: Fashion: Alexander McQueen & Gianni Versace
  • Art Experience: Social Practice 1: Cuisine, Couture or Coiffure

Week 6

22-28 Feb

  • Discussion: Photography: Nan Goldin & Mary Ellen Mark
  • Art Experience: Photography 2: CSULB Photo Walk

Week 7

29 Feb – 6 Mar

  • Discussion: The 21st Century: Marshall McLuhan & Andy Warhol
  • Art Experience: 4D: Video Group Project

Week 8

7-13 Mar

  • Discussion: Architecture: Frank Gehry & Peter Eisenman
  • Art Experience: Drawing & Painting 3: CSULB Campus Architecture

Week 9

14-20 Mar

  • Discussion: Space: Wolfgang Laib & Annette Messager
  • Art Experience: Drawing & Painting 4: Automatic Drawing

Week 10

21-27 Mar

  • Discussion: Cyber Culture: Vanessa Blaylock & Joseph DeLappe
  • Art Experience: New Media 1: Location Based Gaming (Geocaching)

Spring Break!

28 Mar – 3 Apr

Week 11

4-10 Apr

  • Discussion: Italian Pranksters: Maurizio Cattelan & Eva and Franco Mattes
  • Art Experience: 3D 2: Wall Hanging

Week 12

11-17 Apr

  • Discussion: Procedural Art: Chuck Close & Sol LeWitt
  • Art Experience: Drawing & Painting 5: Procedural Art (Sol LeWitt)

Week 13

18-24 Apr

  • Discussion: Metadata Matters: “Beautiful Woman” & “Gangsta”
  • Art Experience: New Media 2: Transmedia Storytelling

Week 14

25 Apr – 1 May

  • Discussion: Video Activism: 1700% & It Gets Better
  • Art Experience: Social Practice 2: Flashmobs

Week 15

2-8 May

  • Discussion: Holograms: Tupac Shakur & Hatsune Miku
  • Art Experience: Week Off!


Thursday, May 12, 2016
10:15AM – 12:15PM

  • School of Art Scavenger Hunt
  1. Do not be late.
  2. Do not book an airline ticket for May 11.
Shiva Nadjm, Art110 Fall '15, with her name in bubble letters at the Venice Beach Legal Art Walls
Shiva Nadjm, Art110 Fall ’15, with her name in bubble letters at the Venice Beach Legal Art Walls


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