Course Listings


*subject to change




3 Units

This course is a masters level portrait class. The creation of engaging portraits will be explored. Our models will be diverse, presenting unfamiliar challenges. Technical options will be covered. Creative approaches will be encouraged. Human geographic adaptation, andhow it influences appearance will be discussed. Neuroaesthetic theory, and an expanded understanding of contrast will be discussed.



3 Units

Creative investigation is an essential component of the MFA program, particularly in the early stages of study. Students are encouraged to embark on a period of artistic exploration prior to the development of a cohesive, thematic body of work for their thesis exhibition. This course provides students an opportunity to cultivate their creativity through open-ended prompts that can be shaped to their own goals.



3 Units

Movement and Flow will explore the importance of movement in the static arts and look at strategies for its implementation. The class will investigate multiple methods for introducing movement into compositions, and through classroom exercises discover how the illusion of movement operates upon the mind of the viewer. This course builds on previously acquired skills in painting and drawing, including tonal control, color perception, perspective, anatomy, and compositional design through intensive classroom sessions, homework, and instructor demonstrations. Out ­of­ class assignments will combine intellectual and personal content and are meant to integrate seamlessly into MFA thesis work. Through the media of painting and drawing students will have the option of focusing on figural movement, animal movement, general compositional movement, or combinations of all of these. The focus will be on making art that affects the viewer through the artist's conscious use of techniques that induce the sensation of movement in static artworks.



3 Units

This course will examine concepts of pictorial space that move beyond the single viewpoint of one- and two-point perspective. Horizontal and vertical panoramic formats integrating multiple perspectives will be used as the setting for narrative structures that interact with the space dynamically. Experimentation with topographical and worm’s eye views will also be included. Art Historical precedents dating from the Renaissance to contemporary periods will form the basis of a dialogue on the nature of the perception and representation of space.



3 Units

The depiction of time will be examined in a number of ways both through single and serial imagery. The notion of simultaneity within a single image will be treated as a phenomenon of the creative process and of narrative progression. Sequential imagery drawing on conventions of comic books and graphic novels will depict linear narratives and variations on single themes. Depictions of time throughout Art History will be cited and used as visual paradigms.



3 Units

This course will explore the structural and thematic aspects of color composition. Works will be created based on color harmonies and contrasts, gestalt groupings, chromatic light, dominant hue and saturation contrasts. The class will investigate the psychological and narrative potentials of these combinations. Homework will use color composition strategies to support narrative content. Readings on the scientific and psychological bases of color perception will be a part of the class.



3 Units

This studio course will examine the various historical and contemporary strategies of appropriation and recontextualization of imagery. Beginning with the borrowed styles and formats of the Baroque period through the ironic anti-modernist gambits of Pop and the selective reuse of visual mass media conventions in contemporary art, the class will execute a series of works experimenting with each approach. Goals of the class will include the incorporation of co-opted imagery into a synthetic representational artwork. Questions of originality and authorship will be explored in class discussions and short written assignments. Examples of the various types of appropriation will be reviewed through slide presentations.



3 Units

The class will use the theoretical writings and major artworks of the Surrealist movement as the basis for a series of studio projects. The canonical texts of psychology dealing with the unconscious will also play a role in the assignments. Image-making strategies that draw on the unconscious including automatic drawing and the exquisite corpse will be deployed. Additionally, Surrealist literary works will be a source of subject matter.



3 Units

Contemporary events and issues will be used as a starting point for allegories dealing with political subject matter. Historical and contemporary examples of imagery that explores social content will serve as paradigms for assignments. Varieties of cultural perspective on particular events will be examined and will be informed by texts that address strategies of reading and issues of identity.



3 Units

This course will draw on classical literary sources to create contemporary narrative works. Readings from the Western and non-Western canon will form the basis for each assignment. Readings from Structuralist philosophy texts will supplement and inform the strategies for placing the historical narrative into a contemporary translation.



(LA621 / 622 / 633)

1 Units

These one-unit, specialized academic courses are designed to help the student develop a substantial academic Thesis that both describes and analyzes the process involved in the creation of the MFA studio work. This in-depth analysis will integrate the student’s understanding of historical and contemporary issues in art as they relate to themes that emerge as a product of studio research. The final Thesis document will be submitted at the conclusion of the MFA program as partial fulfillment of the MFA degree.



3 Units

The course is designed to prepare students for careers as professional artists and college-level educators. The class will also serve to inform their experiences as teaching assistants during graduate study. Students will receive instruction on developing syllabi, structuring class time and delivering lecture material. Other sections of the course will detail the process of creating presentation materials to museums, galleries and alternative spaces for exhibition. The class will also focus on professional applications and interviewing strategies for academic appointments.




3 Units

This course traces the major movements and canonical figures of Modernism from 1850-1960. The theoretical underpinnings of Modernism are examined through selected readings. The course will follow the path of representational art and how it was influenced by Modernist theories and processes throughout the first half of the 20th century.



3 Units

This course will trace the development of representational art since 1960 and coordinate it with the major changes in the art world during this period. Attention will be paid to the influence of late Modernism, Pop Art, Minimalism, Process Art and Photorealism, and other significant movements on representational painting and drawing. Along with the imagery of this period, the course will trace the important theoretical bases of Postmodernism including Structuralism and Deconstruction. The course will also address contemporary representation from past to present.



3 Units

A course in contemporary representational art in galleries and museums of the greater Los Angeles area. A noted art writer and critic leads classes through current exhibitions with critical examination of the work on view. Theory and Criticism also includes writing assignments on contemporary artists and group critiques of student work.