Students in conversation in CSULB Room MM-200.

Spring ’18 Syllabus

Banner for content for Spring Semester 2018 at California State University, Long Beach


Art 110: Introduction to the Visual Arts

  • Section 2: Class No.3242, Mon-Wed 3:30 – 4:45
  • Classroom: MM-200 + 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, May 16, 2:45 – 4:45, SOA Gallery Courtyard
  • Contact:, @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 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.

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. Please do not use a 3×5 index card, or a 4×6 piece of paper. Please use 4×6 index cards only.

Your Website

We won’t use BeachBoard or DropBox to “turn in” your 3 weekly pieces. Instead, everyone will make their own, free website at Once you setup 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 website and look at your new work. All you have to do is make your 3 weekly posts on your site by 11:59 pm on Sunday night.


I hope your writing is strong, but as general education students, it might not be the most professional art writing. For your Off-Campus Artist essays, this isn’t a problem. When someone does a web search for an artist like Maika Elan, there will be thousands of entries, and our modest writings will be buried on page 10.

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 Off-Campus Artist, or Art Activity posts to password protected. They should be set to the default of “Public”.

YOUR Website

Make your website yours!

I think you’ll find that using websites in this way will be a fast, easy, painless way to “turn in” your work. The truth is, that’s only the 2nd reason I’d like you to make websites. The even bigger reason is that I’d like you to have the experience of making a website. And I hope that you’ll think about starting an ePortfolio. It’s kind of nuts to put 4+ years in at CSULB, spend so much time, so much money, so much effort, and only have a piece of paper to show for it at the end.

You know that employers will be doing web searches for your name. Why not give them something more than a Facebook page to see? I strongly encourage you to use this website as the start of an ePortfolio of your work. I also encourage you to make a LinkedIn account and to use it. Look at LinkedIn job listings. Make connections to other students and to professionals you meet at conferences or talks. You’re welcome to connect to me if you’d like:

Naming Your Blog Posts

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

Please use this format:

  • Wk1 – Art Experience – Plaster Casting
  • Wk3 – Artist Conversation – Brianna Allen

This standard format really helps me get through grading 200+ posts every week!

If you’d like to use a more creative title for your Activity Posts, that’s fine too. You can title your Activity Posts like this:

Wk 2 – Demise via Kidnapping (eg: for Landscapes with a Corpse activity)

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


  • The Final is Wednesday, May 16, 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 100+ 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: 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?

  • 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


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

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 CSULB Room MM-200.
Spring 2018. 1st Day of Class! Art 110 in MM-200.


Comments? Questions? What great art did you see, make, or experience today?

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