IntroSems quarters and schedules subject to change--check back often. Go to Re-Approaching Stanford for weekly updates on Academic Year 2020-21.
Introductory Seminars for First-Year Students
An Artist’s Life: Diverse Voices and Changing Contexts
Sustaining a career as a visual artist takes entrepreneurship, creativity, and clarity about your goals, yet there are myriad possible ways to succeed and thrive as an artist. How do emerging artists connect to and contribute to an artistic community that supports what they do? How do artists create space for their work, or even create their own contexts? If you chose to be an artist, how will you sustain yourself financially and spiritually on your own unique path? This class seeks to demystify what it takes to live an artist’s life, while also helping you find your voice and passion, which is what makes this work life affirming as well as world changing.
If you want to explore a career in the visual arts, perhaps leading to an Art Practice major or minor at Stanford, but don’t quite know what that path would look like, this course is for you. The class will consist of a series of studio projects, each centered around a different guest artist whose career and art practice we will study. The example artists will be primarily artists of color or artists from underrepresented communities in the art world, such as queer or trans artists, with careers ranging from the conventional to the more unusual. These artist selections model the possibilities of an art career for students who do not see themselves represented in the mainstream art world, while broadening all students’ understanding of the different methods for making work and practicing as an artist today.
Through four introductory studio projects, and a longer personal final project, this course will allow you to hone your artistic concerns through a wide range of media and contexts. We will work with drawing & sculptural media (using a kit of shipped materials), digital media, photography, video, performance, and conceptual themes like designing an “anti-monument” or honoring your spiritual ancestors. You will be asked to consider how your personal voice can be expressed through introspection, engagement with your own history, cultural subjectivities, and activism. You will also research and create and share an online presentation of an artist who inspires your work.
While this course will be taught online, activities like shared sketchbooks we will mail to each other every week, personal subject matter, and our discussions with guest artists, will bring us together as a community. We will meet twice a week for an hour and twenty minutes online, but will often break into smaller groups for discussions or sharing work. Assignments outside of class will allow you to work in analog media (acrylic paint & clay included in the shipped materials kit) as well as digitally using free or provided software (like Adobe Creative Suite). Students will need access to a Mac or PC computer, a phone-camera or any other form of digital camera, and be able to be online during class time with shared audio, and video as needed to show work. We will also create asynchronous means of posting and sharing work to mitigate any bandwidth issues we all may face.
Camille & Terry are excited to get to know you and your work, and to share our own paths & passions for art with you in this IntroSem course!