Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

CCOG for ART 290A Spring 2023

View archive version »
Course Number:
ART 290A
Course Title:
Sculpture: Plaster/Clay
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Introduces processes, techniques, and concepts related the use of plaster and clay as a sculptural material. Develops creative problem-solving skills and personal expression through sculpture making and aesthetic choices. Introduces the skills necessary to evaluate sculpture through critiques and by addressing historical and contemporary issues in sculpture and its relationship to culture. Recommended: ART 117. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  • Solve aesthetic and material problems in a creative fashion thorough appropriate use of sculptural standards, practices, tools and techniques in plaster and clay.
  • Express connections to personal experience through sculpture making using plaster and clay as primary materials.
  • Assess the value and quality of personal work in relation to the practices and standards of sculpture making.
  • Communicate through sculptural vocabulary in order to engage in critical conversations about art and sculpture.
  • Manage time and production processes efficiently and with consideration for the environment and community impact.

Integrative Learning

Students completing an associate degree at Portland Community College will be able to reflect on one’s work or competencies to make connections between course content and lived experience.

General education philosophy statement

The study of Visual Arts is essential to the development of the individual and one’s meaningful participation in society. At the heart of artistic practice is the ability to organize experience and recognize its meaning. The creation of artwork and appreciation of aesthetics is a source of great pleasure and also a valuable means to effective visual communication. Participating in Visual Arts is an important way for individuals to connect to the past and respond to the present with a stronger sense of engagement with culture and society.

Aspirational Goals

  • Cultivate a relationship with sculpture making and its connection to audience, ideas and culture(s) of the past and present.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

  • Create appropriately crafted, challenging sculptural solutions to assigned projects.
  • Develop ideas through creative research, preparatory studies and written responses to artwork.
  • Demonstrate consideration for responsible making (i.e. respect for the classroom community, studio and environment.)
  • Participate in class critiques and discussions.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)


  • Visual communication
  • Contextual Awareness


  • Form and Aesthetic considerations
  • Content and Meaning
  • Craft, Technique and Material choices


  • Process and material limitations and possibilities
  • Personal expression
  • Audience


  • Mold making
  • Armature construction
  • Clay modeling
  • Clay forming and construction
  • Plaster casting
  • Plaster direct building techniques
  • Clay and Plaster finishing techniques
  • Mounting and display strategies.
  • Understanding of aesthetic choices
  • Critique and self-reflection strategies