Coursework

ART 598 Art and Social Practice Workshop

This intensive weekly workshop is designed to give students time with their faculty and peers to discuss their work, engage in conversation, investigate their research, develop their presentation skills and partake in group activities.  Each quarter students will get time to lead a class, this can take many forms and can happen in any location the student would like to take the class. As part of this course we will also work together on the administration and execution of group exhibitions, trips, residencies and other types of opportunities as they present themselves or as we create them.

ART 410/510 History of Art and Social Practice

This course will trace a history of social practice in art and investigate as a group the current critiques, debates and issues surrounding its current state in relation to its historical context. The course will examine social practice from 1920 to present and touch on the key movements and artists including Dada, Neo-Concretism, Situationism, Fluxus, Happenings, Social Sculpture, New Genre Public Art, art and activism, network art, Social Aesthetics, post-studio practices, and Relational Aesthetics. This course will place a strong emphasis on contemporary examples of art and social practice.  Through group activities, discussions, student led seminars and participatory projects the class will work together to address the some of following questions: can socially engaged art do more harm than good? Are there ethical responsibilities for social art? Does socially engaged art have to do civic or public good? Can there be transdisciplinary approaches to contemporary art making that would contribute to issues such as urban planning and sustainability? As both urban planning and contemporary art imagine new worlds, how can art projects be seen as potential models for living?

ART 583 Practice and Pedagogy
Through the examination of alternative approaches to pedagogy, a history of art schools, and an overview of educational models and methods students will begin to develop their own approaches to teaching using their own art practices as the foundation. Students will gain insight into how to approach teaching visual culture from both inside and outside of the academy through direct interaction with a variety of guest lecturers, student led readings, and hands on activities. In this seminar students will create a course syllabus/outline based on their TA assignment (if applicable), lead a critique and write a teaching philosoph. The experience and expertise of various educators will be directly implemented into this course as a way to give students a rich, varied and multi-faceted perspective on teaching as well as experience based models. Assessment, engagement and reflection will be stressed in teaching, inquiry and practice.

ART 586 Visiting Artist Seminar

Portland State University’s Art Department offers free public lectures every Monday night of the school year. This years current lecture line up can be found  here.

A major part of the MFA in Contemporary Art Practice curriculum is the Monday Night Lecture Series where both studio and social practice students have a dinner with the visiting lecturer and take in a student presentation during dinner. After the public lecture students get to have an additional Q & A session with the lecturer over drinks.

PMMNLS gives students incredible access to a varied selection of international, national and local individuals. In addition students also get to have a series of one on one meetings with a selection of lecturers per term.

Past PMMNLS lecturers include Dan Graham, Jim Drain, Jo Jackson, Chris Johanson, Julia Bryan-Wilson, Allan McCullum, San Keller, Lisa Sigal, Byron Kim, Fritz Haeg, Matthew Higgs, Courtney Fink and Stephanie Smith.

PMMNLS visiting artists are interviewed each Monday on Art Talk AM on the Radio: 12-1 PM. Find it at 98.3 FM on the PSU campus, streaming at KPSU.org and available at arttalkam.blogspot.com.

ART 584 Social Practice Directed Studies                                                         
Tutorial and directed study in social practice production with a supervising faculty member. In-depth discussions and assessment of graduate student’s work-in-progress in relation to contemporary art practices and criticism, historical practices, technical and formal concerns and/or related interdisciplinary interests. Directed assignments and course of study will be given as appropriate. Must be repeated for 20 credits.  Required for MFA Social Practice emphasis.  Prerequisite: graduate standing.

ART 530 Critical Theories    

Introduction to and overview of major issues in contemporary art theory, including intellectual history, theoretical antecedents, theories of aesthetics and current critical concerns.  Through reading and discussion, the course provides a basis for developing a common critical language and an opportunity for in-depth exploration of contemporary art practices in relation to a variety of cultural and historical topics.  Maximum 4 credits. Required for MFA.  Prerequisite: ARH 550.

ART 581 Topics Seminar

Examines selected issues in contemporary art and culture.  The instructor’s current research interests determine course material.

ARH 598 Contemporary Art History
Course investigating current global developments in contemporary art. May be repeated for a maximum of 8 credits. Required for MFA. Prerequisite: graduate standing

ART 582 Writing and Research    
Explores the role of writing and research in contemporary art practice. The course considers some of the reasons visual artists write, reviews various types of historical and contemporary artists’ writing, and explores basic research methods.  Second-year MFA candidates complete a first draft of their Graduate Project Statement.  May be repeated twice for a maximum of 4 credit. Required for MFA. Prerequisite: graduate standing. Prerequisite: graduate standing.

ART 508 WKSP: Elective Exploration                                                  
Courses to be taken outside the art context and chosen for relevance to student’s individual creative     work in consultation with student’s advisor.  May be repeated for credit: a maximum of 8 credits in ART 508 courses can be applied toward graduation requirements. Maximum 8 credits. Required for MFA. Prerequisite: graduate standing.

ART 599 Graduate Critique                                             
Tutorial and directed study in developing an MFA Graduate Project and written artist statement, conducting supporting research and art production with approval of exhibition project advisor and/or final review committee. Public presentation of graduate project and artist talk to take place at Open Engagement conference in the third year of the program; oral examination with final review committee.  Prerequistie: Third year standing the Master of Fine Arts Program.

ART 587 Graduate Project                                           
The culmination of three years of work and research in the program, this project will be based on the student’s continued work and research and will be presented at the Open Engagement conference during the third year. You will work directly with your advisor for guidance on your written component, presentation and project.