Rubye Elizabeth Thomas
Explores the visual arts experience in many of its psychological, social, and cultural dimensions. Topics include visual perception and cognition, the process of assigning personal meaning and value to art, and the role of the visual arts in individual and community identity development and change efforts.
This course will explore the visual arts experience in many of its psychological, social, and cultural dimensions. We will study visual perception and the cognitive processes that enable us to see and interpret images. We will also explore memory, emotion, schematic representations, and other aspects of autobiographical and cultural experience involved in assigning meaning and value to art. Finally, we will examine the role of the visual arts – both the process of making art and the final product -- in individual and community identity development and change efforts. Murals, posters, public installations, monuments, and community arts programs represent just a few of the ways that the visual arts are used to define, educate, engage, challenge, criticize, inspire, and share personal and collective narratives. We will look together and reflect upon visual art in public spaces, but we will also look at how visual arts are used in private living spaces as well.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Lecture and discussion.
Class assignments and grading
The course is divided into three units. For each unit, students will complete a written assignment that requires understanding and integration of lectures, discussion, and texts. Each assignment also requires that students apply knowledge to a particular visual image, site, or practice. In addition, two reflection papers will be assigned; these reflections require field observations.
Grades will be based on the quality of class participation, reflection papers, and assignments.