Topics in Sculpture

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FALL 2018

Figure Modeling
Instructor: Chris White
27257 SCPT 321 001
F 9:00 am – 11:50 am
(full semester)
3 credits

In his class you will learn basic figure modeling skills using water based clay and working with live models.


Flexible Molds
Instructor: Steve Jones
CRN 27258 SCPT 322 001
F 11:00 am –1:50 pm
(full semester)
3 credits

This course will teach students how to build three types of molds with can be used to cast almost any type of form in a variety of materials. We will begin with plaster molds to gain a basic understanding of the molding process. We then proceed to use urethane rubber to create two types of flexible molds that will have rigid outer cases to support the rubber “blankets”. Students will be required to produce two cast objects during the course that will be installed and evaluated in a group critique setting. This course requires students to purchase some of the molding materials including the rubber to be used. This course is a prerequisite for the Foundry class.


Foundry
Instructor: Steve Jones
27259 SCPT 323 001
F 2:00 pm – 5:50 pm
(full semester)
4 credits

This course focuses on casting both bronze and aluminum in VCU’s foundry within the Sculpture Department. Students need to have taken the Flexible Molds course in the Sculpture Department as a prerequisite for this course. We will be using the “lost wax” casting process to transform a sculpture made out of wax into a metal object. Therefore wax working and casting techniques will be an integral part of the course. Our foundry utilizes ceramic shell investment to create the molds into which the metal is poured. You will also learn a wide variety of metal working and finishing techniques using various hand and power tools. In addition we will cover TIG welding for non-ferrous metals and patination of bronze. There will be two critiques during the course for critical evaluation in terms of sculptural concept, craftsmanship and installation. This course requires students to purchase casting metal and ceramic shell through the Sculpture Department.

This class can fulfill the “Directed Upper-Level Sculpture Course” requirement.


Metal Construction Techniques
Instructor: Abigail Lucien
36006 SCPT 491 001
R 12:00 pm – 1:50 pm
(8/23/18 – 9/20/18)
1 credit

Metal Construction Techniques is a five-week studio course designed to develop skills and understanding of working with metal as a medium. Focusing on building technique and acquiring skill through technical demonstrations and hands on learning, we will learn cold bending, plasma cutting, MIG welding, and heat bending mild steel. The goal is for students to leave the course feeling confident working with metal as a material as well as comfortable independently operating the tools and machinery located in the metal shop.


Plastics Techniques
Instructor: Evan Galbicka
37975 SCPT 491 002
W 12:00 pm – 1:50 pm
(8/29/18 – 9/26/18)
1 credit

This class will introduce you to a variety of materials, techniques, language, and ideas related to the use of plastics in contemporary sculpture. Through hands-on demonstrations and exercises we will learn how to best use VCU’s extensive fabrication facilities and also develop strategies for creating experimental uses of plastics as a material in the studio.


Forge
Instructor: John Careatti
15733 SCPT 491 003
W 12:00 pm – 1:50 pm
(9/5/18 – 11/7/18)
2 credits

This course introduces students to the hot forging of iron. Basic operations are demonstrated and practiced, including safety, use of hammer and tongs, drawing, splitting, upsetting, and punching and slitting.


SCPT Haus
Instructor: Brian Barr
32977 SCPT 491 005
F 12:00pm – 1:50pm
(8/31/18 – 11/9/18)
2 credits

This course will cover a basic set of practical skills related to the homebuilding, and examine its implications and uses in artistic contexts. Skills covered will include building walls from studs, hanging and taping drywall, basic electrical for wiring a light and switch, as well as basic plumbing with pvc pipe. These skills will be demonstrated and discussed in terms of their practical uses, including personal and commercial applications, as well as how artists have used them in the context of contemporary sculpture and installation practices. The course will consist of technical demonstrations and lectures on contemporary artists using these materials in their work. The class will conclude with a collaborative installation project that incorporates all skills covered.


Surface Finishing
Instructor: Chris Mahonski
36008 SCPT 491 006
T 12:00 pm – 1:50 pm
(11/6/18 – 12/4/18)
1 credit

This course is an introduction to both conventional and experimental methods of surface finish on wood, metal, plastics, and found objects. Some areas of exploration will include surface prep, pneumatic paint spraying, abrasive blasting, high polishing, laminate application, concrete finishing and electroplating. Through class demos students will get hands-on experience with these techniques, while conducting their own research and experimenting on sample pieces outside of class. We will also look at wide array of contemporary artists who are using innovative surface finishing and talk about how those finishes transform and shape the content of their work.

 


Oxy Acetylene Welding
Instructor: Abigail Lucien
15736 SCPT 491 009
R 12:00 pm – 1:50 pm
(9/27/18– 11/1/18)
1 credit

This is a basic five-week lab course in oxy/acetylene gas welding/cutting.


 

Arduino and Robotics
Instructor: Bec Conrad
34734 SCPT 491 012
M 12:00 pm – 1:50 pm
(8/27/18 – 11/5/18)
2 credits

In this 10-week studio class, students will learn to incorporate emerging technologies into their sculptural projects. Students will learn to code using the Arduino micro controllers in conjunction with input devices such as proximity sensors, piezo sensors, and light sensors and output devices such as LEDs, speakers, and a motors. By mixing these devices with sculpture, this course provides students with a creative environment to produce interactive and electronic sculptures. Note: Technology costs for this class can run from $30 to $90, depending on the student’s project. Individual laptop required.



Documenting Your Work

Instructor: Terry Brown
24640 SCPT 491 014
F 12:00 pm – 1:50 pm
(9/21/18 – 12/7/18)
2 credits

Everyone who makes work needs to know how to document it– well. This class is a must for anyone planning a career as a working artist, moving on to graduate school, applying for grants, or simply having a digital record of work. This class covers camera usage, basic lighting and computer skills to get good images of your work without having to pay someone else to do it.


Intro to Mill and Lathe
Instructor: Bec Conrad
15746 SCPT 491 022
M 12:00 pm – 1:50 pm
(1/5/18 – 12/3/18)
1 credit

This course provides an introduction to machining metal using the vertical knee mill and engine lathe. Topics include: safety, operation, tooling, feed and speed considerations, set up and basic machine procedures such as turning to size, facing, boring, face and side milling, and cutting slots and grooves. A must for precision engineering, custom building, and kinetic sculpture.


MIG/TIG/Stick Welding
Instructor: Jon Woodrum
15747 SCPT 491 901
T 5:00 pm – 6:50 pm
(8/28/18 – 10/30/18)
2 credits

This course covers the process and applications of advanced welding techniques. Students will receive hands-on instruction in stick welding, MIG welding, TIG welding, and plasma cutting as time permits.


Sewing
Instructor: Julia Gartrell
34363 SCPT 491 902
W 6:00 pm – 7:50 pm
(11/5/18– 12/3/18)
1 credit

Students will learn to operate a sewing machine, make/alter patterns, and use sewing to construct lightweight large-scale structures. The class will work with a variety of materials including fabric, plastic sheeting, plastic wrap, and metal, and explore their potential for making inflatable, wearable, and installation-based work.


Video Installation
Instructor: Jordan Marty
36009 SCPT 491 903
T, R 5:00 pm – 6:50 pm
(9/4/18 – 10/4/18)
2 credits

Techniques in Video Manipulation: This course will focus on post-production and special effect techniques, as well as best practices for video installation. Topics include After Effects, compositing, chroma keying (green screen) and VR/360 technology, as well as projection mapping, and the best use of projectors, screens and media players.


Wood Construction Techniques
Instructor: Julia Gartrell
15734 SCPT 491 904
W 6:00 pm – 7:50 pm
(8/27/18 – 11/5/18)
2 credits

The class is designed for the sculpture student seeking practical knowledge of woodworking. Topics include a brief introduction to the history of wood use in the United States and how wood is used in industry and construction. Students will process wood from rough sawed lumber to a finished product, learn joinery techniques, and use equipment and power tools located in the shop as well as an assortment of hand tools. Students will work on a project at their own pace during the ten week section, designed to support material covered during the class.


Digital Fabrication
Instructor: Chris Mahonski
34512 SCPT 591 001
W 12:00 pm – 1:50 pm
(full semester)
3 credits

This class is an introduction to computer modeling, 3D data acquisition, and various forms 3D Printing and CNC processes. Specifically, students will use Rhinoceros 3D to digitally model virtual forms. Various methods will be used to digitally capture 3D data including stationary laser scanning, handheld structured light scanning, and photogrammetry. The Sculpture Department’s Fortus 250, along with Makerbot, FormLabs, and Lulzbot printers in the Library’s Workshop will be used to physically realize models and designs. The second half of the class will focus on cutting a wide variety of materials with the Shopbot 3-Axis CNC milling machine and the TorchMate CNC plasma cutter. Assignments will be hands-on in nature, with students modeling and/or capturing data to use in fabrication. Personal research, lectures, media, readings and discussions will supplement hands-on demonstrations during the course.


Digital Presence
Instructor: Katie Kehoe
36489 SCPT 591 902
W 6:00 pm – 7:50 pm
(9/26/18 – 12/5/18)
2 credits

Digital Presence is an introduction to customizing the virtual space that your work inhabits and will be seen in. Starting with building vibrant www platforms using customisable templates, and moving into alternate forms of creating a digital identity (Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, etc), students will learn how to best edit and format their media for an increasingly luminous screen, and discover and embrace new methods for projecting their work online. The class will also equip students with basic techniques in Adobe Photoshop + InDesign + Bridge, needed to create an effective PDF portfolio for grants and applications. Throughout the session, students will have the chance to speak to visiting artists of diverse virtual practices.


 

Additional special courses:

Concepts & Issues

Instructor: Gregory Volk
27255  SCPT 290 001
M, 12:10 pm – 1:50 pm
(full semester)
2 credits

Concepts & Issues is a lecture course that familiarizes students with contemporary artworks, as well as modern and postmodern concepts.  Students will be introduced to contemporary issues in art through the presentation of slides and films.  Visits to outside events and lectures will be required.  This class is co-taught with Hilary Wilder of the Painting & Printmaking department.

And who is Gregory Volk?  

Gregory Volk is a New York-based art critic, freelance curator, and associate professor in the Department of Sculpture + Extended Media and the Department of Painting + Printmaking at Virginia Commonwealth University. He writes regularly for Art in America, where is he a contributing editor, and for Hyperallergic. His articles and reviews have also appeared in many other publications including Parkett and Sculpture. Among his contributions to exhibition catalogues are essays on Bruce Nauman (Milwaukee Art Museum, 2006) Joan Jonas (Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, 2007), Ayse Erkmen (Turkish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, 2011), and Hildur Ásgeirsdóttir Jónsson (Tang Teaching Museum/Reykjavik Art Museum, 2014). His essay on Vito Acconci is featured in Vito Acconci: Diary of a Body, 1969-1973, published by Charta in 2007, and his essay on the early, seldom seen sculptures and installations of renowned painter Fred Tomaselli was published by the Begovich Gallery at Cal State Fullerton in 2015. Among his recent contributions to Art in America are extended reviews of the 2017 Venice Biennale, the 2015 Istanbul Biennial, and d(OCUMENTA) 13. As an art writer he is especially interested in a broadly international outlook, which greatly informs his ongoing research. Gregory Volk has curated numerous exhibitions in the U.S. and abroad, including Three Parts Whole at i8 Gallery in Reykjavik, Iceland (2011) Elemental at Havremagasinet in Boden, Sweden (2013), an exhibition that featured select Icelandic artists and prominent international artists who are deeply engaged with Iceland, and The Transportation Business at Jane Lombard Gallery in New York (2015), featuring diverse works by 16 international artists and 1 poet. According to Volk’s essay/press release, The Transportation Business concerned “multiple kinds of transportation, which should be understood eclectically, as physical but also visual, intellectual, psychological, and emotional voyaging.” His most recent exhibition was Flair at Fridman Gallery in New York (2017), which involved works by 5 prominent international artists from Cameroon, Germany, Israel, Iceland, and Turkey, Gregory Volk received his B.A. from Colgate University and his M.A. from Columbia University. He is also a frequent guest lecturer/visiting critic in the U.S. and abroad, including participating (together with artist, curator and critic Michelle Grabner) in the University of Texas at Austin’s 2014 Viewpoint Series.and his M.A. from Columbia University.


Intermediate Sculpture: LESS
15719 SCPT311 001
Advanced Sculpture: LESS
15725 SCPT411 002
Instructor: Mary Eisendrath
T, TH, 2:00 pm – 4:50 pm
(full semester)
4 credits

In a culture that defines itself by economic growth, upward mobility, accumulation, stimulation, spectacle, speed, and excess, we will push back for a prolonged moment and make space for quiet, space, slowness, spareness, and subtlety. These things are not achieved with ease; rather they require extreme rigor to achieve with poise. Throughout the semester we will study artists whose work manifests these principles, bring visitors to class, spend time in the outdoors, and have weekly related readings (Thoreau, Solnit, Cage, Basho, Suzuki, Scattered Poems, and more).

Please email mceisendrath@vcu.edu for an override.