Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
ART 293A
Course Title:
Figure Sculpture
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Introduces basic sculptural form, processes, techniques, and concepts while addressing historical and contemporary issues relating to figure sculpture. Develops introductory level of creative problem solving through making figurative sculpture based on the study of the human form from professional models, nude and clothed. Applies various sculpting techniques and concepts to the study of the structure, form, and proportions of the human figure. Introduces critical skills necessary to evaluate figure sculpture through critiques, discussions, and sculpture presentations by exploring artistic intent, examining aesthetic and structural solutions, and expanding perceptual awareness of sculpture. This is the first of a three-course sequence. Recommended: ART 117. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

There are no course prerequisites although Basic Design 117 is helpful. Emphasis will be on working from life models in various ways to create figure sculpture. The course utilizes professional nude models as the basis for student assignments. A sense of curiosity and a willingness to experiment are helpful.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Students will endeavor to do the following:* Find and develop creative ways to solve problems using a variety of basic strategies for making figure sculpture* Create personal works of sculpture, which demonstrate an introductory level of understanding of sculptural ideas, and the processes, materials, and techniques involved in figure sculpture * Ask meaningful questions, identify ideas and issues, and develop a basic vocabulary to be able to actively participate in a critical dialogue about figure sculpture with others* Understand, interpret, and enjoy figure sculpture of the past and the present from different culturesto initiate a lifelong process of expanding knowledge on the diversity of perspectives of the human experience.* Develop a heightened awareness of the physical world, the nature of the relationship of human beings to it, and our impact on it via the experience of making figure sculpture.* Use self-critiquing skills to begin developing autonomous expression through figure sculpture while recognizing the standards and definitions already established by both contemporary and historical works of art from different cultures.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Students will do the following in order to be assessed:Make creative, appropriately crafted, challenging sculptural solutions to given provocations.Comprehend and apply analysis of sculptural ideas, techniques, terminology, and issues through participation in formal critiques and discussions.Develop conceptual ideas through the practice of creative research and preparatory studies (e.g. sketchbooks, journals, maquettes, models, writing assignments, presentations, technical practice tests, etc.).

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Themes, Concepts, Issuesv Concepts, Ideas, and Issues Pertaining to the Creative Process v Strategies for developing ideas (i.e. experiencing and playing with materials, imagining, dreaming, visualizing, symbolizing, writing, reading, researching, studying historical and cultural examples, sketching, collaborating, discussing) v Strategies for problem solving towards concretion of ideas in sculptural form (i.e. sketches, plans, maquettes, test pieces, models)v Perception and Artv Form and Contentv Interpreting artv Historical and Cultural Contextsv Concepts, theories, and issues addressed by various cultures and historical periodsv Concepts, theories, and issues addressed by contemporary sculptors fromdifferent culturesv Relationships between form and content in works of art from different cultures and historical periodsv The roles of art and artists in different culturesv Intercultural and €œinterhistorical€ influences (e.g. the influence of cycladic and African art on western, modern sculpture)v Sculptural Forms and Perceptual Impactv Visual/physical elements used to create sculptural form: point, line, plane, shape, form, marks, texture, shadow, light, value, color, space, sound, smell, weight, volume, mass, text, etc.v Relationships of characteristics of visual/ physical elements to be considered (e.g. proportion, length, thickness, position, orientation, scale, weight, interrelationship of shapes, relative value and color, movement and stillness, quality of texture etc.)v Strategies for manipulating visual/physical elements that is ways of thinking of composing with visual/physical elements (e.g. arrange, juxtapose, relate, contrast, group, balance, unify, repeat, edit, elaborate, classify, divide, increase, decrease, maximize, minimize, dissect, separate, align, vary, diversify, alternate, reduce, connect, etc.)v The relationship between materials and their visual/ physical impact (i.e. a stick or string acts as a line, an indentation in a form is simultaneously perceived as a mark, a material is chosen for its shape and color, an element is chosen for its weighty quality, an object is chosen for its associative qualities etc.)v Materials and Techniquesv Gravity and the basic forces of tension and compression.v Materials, their handling, and meaningv Physical activities used to alter and form materials that can be used to create figure sculpture (e.g. slice, bend, carve, compress, stretch, twist, etch, impress, etc) (Suggested materials are clay, wax, concrete, foam, plaster, etc) v Working with armaturesv Understanding the issues and processes involved in working with modelsv Working with traditional and non traditional figure modeling toolsv Strategies for making a figure sculpture permanent (e.g. casting, firing, or direct modeling in plaster, wax, concrete, foam etc)v Safety and Environmental concerns of materials and techniques associated with figure sculpture in a variety of media in particular as well as associated materials: proper disposal of waste, places where recycled material can be found, proper safety attire to be used when working with specific materials, health related concerns, sources of information on these subjectsv Critical Analysisv Purposes of criticism and analysis of artworks: deepen understanding, reflect on level of quality and possible improvements, heighten creative decision making by observing decisions made by others and oneself, establish and maintain high standards of achievement, ask questions, find new connections, create autonomy and creative confidence, create new problems to solve, discuss art with others to expose oneself to multiple perspectives etc.v Vocabulary relevant to ideas, materials, and techniques pertaining to figure sculpturev Application, interpretation, and redefinition of sculptural ideas, connection of historical and cultural contexts, personal expression and creative freedomv Aspects of criticism: formal, conceptual, historical, cultural, experiential etc. Competencies and SkillsThe successful student should be able to do the following:v Find resources for materials and tools used in making figure sculpturev Conduct research to develop ideas, perspectives, and influences from a variety of sourcesv Employ a variety of strategies to solve problems encountered in the process of realizing an idea for a sculpture in physical form. Students will be able to make models, sketches, maquettes, material tests etc.v Use a variety of conceptual strategies to create sculpture based on the human form.v Understand and use a variety of materials, tools, and techniques associated with making figure sculpture.v Use the proper safety/health equipment and procedures in working with associated materialsv Make interesting, challenging, appropriately crafted sculptures that are personally meaningfulv Understand and apply basic vocabulary necessary to discuss the formal, conceptual, and technical aspects of sculpturev Analyze and enjoy the formal and perceptual concerns of sculpturev Communicate with others on a variety of levels (i.e. formal, conceptual etc.) on the subject of sculpturev Assess the ways in which art objects are affected by personal perspectives and experiencesv Make historical and cultural connections in determining meaning and understanding of artv Enables student to begin preparing a portfolio of sculptural work.