3D Foundations Syllabus

Policies & Info

  • Professor Nick Sevigney
    • Office phone: 603-535-2547
    • Office: Draper & Maynard- #114
    • Email: nsevigney@plymouth.edu
    • Office hours are posted on my ” About ” page

This studio course is a foundation course in three-dimensional visual art. It combines the study of the basic elements, principles, and practices of form and design in three dimensions with a series of hands-on problem-solving projects.

Foundations Mission Statement:

The Foundations Program in the Plymouth State University Art Department provides a rigorous and engaging introduction to contemporary art practice.  The program emphasizes technical skills while simultaneously foregrounding the process of conceptual development.  Students come to understand art and art making in historical and theoretical contexts, and to ask questions about how their own emerging work relates to current discourses in art.  Studio work is balanced by skill development in critical reading, writing and presentations.   Foundations courses comprise a series of interlocking, sequenced components working together to encourage cross-disciplinary research and exploration, and lay the groundwork for future work at advanced levels of the program.

Official Course Description:

Foundation studio course in 3-dimensional visual art. Combines the study of the basic elements, principles, and practices of form and design in three dimensions with a series of hands-on problem-solving projects. Introduces students to a wide range of materials and techniques and to a variety of issues in contemporary art.   Additional course fee required. Falls and Springs.

All Foundations courses will help students to:

  • Perceive their Foundations program as a cross-disciplinary, unified set of courses that function in conversation with each other, and which are specifically designed to prepare them for the rest of the art curriculum and for their future work in the field;
  • Develop an understanding of how meaning in art is generated through exposure to aesthetic and critical theory and interrogate the relationship between the artist, the art, and the viewer;
  • Begin to understand the basic historical and contemporary developments in art, and be able to talk about how their own work is situated in and relates to these developments;
  • Gain experience with a wide range of materials and techniques (including electronic media and media that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries) and be able to access this experience in service of their own work;
  • Cultivate the ability to explore, research, and develop personal ideas and themes;
  • Develop a system of sketching and drawing methods       that will allow them to investigate, conceptualize and bring ideas through to a finished project;
  • Develop an understanding of the principles and elements of design and begin to apply them effectively in their own work;
  • Develop a vocabulary of the principles and elements of design and the ability to use it in discussing and writing about art.

Objectives of this course:

  • Excite you to work in 3D Multi-media;
  • Introduce a vocabulary and understanding of form and space so that you can articulate your opinions;
  • Introduce the principles of 3D form;
  • Introduce you to a wide range of materials and techniques;
  • Help you gain an ability to make workable connections between concept and media;
  • Introduce you to a variety of issues in contemporary art, and encourage you to address these ideas in their own work;
  • Place projects into dialogue with 3D art history and culture;
  • Encourage you to develop conceptual, formal, and technical qualities in each project;
  • Help you learn to make valid assessments of quality and effectiveness in design projects and works of art, especially your own;
  • Introduce you to basic documenting techniques including photographing work and assembling a digital portfolio.

At the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • Understand the vocabulary of 3D, the principles of 3D form, and how they relate to your own physical work (Linear Forms, Planar Forms, Solid Forms, Geometric Forms, Organic Forms, Open Forms, Closed Forms, Hard Forms, Soft Forms, Color, Pattern, Texture, Repetition, Gesture, Scale, Static vs. Dynamic Forms, Structure, Triangulation, Tension, Torsion, Shear, Compression);
  • Have experience working with a wide range of tools and materials (wood, clay, plaster, and non-traditional materials);
  • Have experience working with a wide range of techniques (Additive Processes, Subtractive Processes, Constructive Processes, Fastening, Mold-Making, Casting, Digital Video, etc.);
  • Understand basic video editing and shooting principles;
  • Be able to take a professor’s assignment and develop it into a fully realized project, both conceptually and technically;
  • Be able to talk about several contemporary issues in 3D art, and articulate how your own work relates to those issues;
  • Understand the basic historical developments in recent 3D art, and be able to talk about how your own work relates to these developments;
  • Be able to synthesize formal, technical, and conceptual thinking in a single project;
  • Set up lights and effectively photograph 3D artwork.

The Art Education program endorses the Plymouth State University conceptual framework for teacher education: CHECK. The experiences required for this program are Commitment and Holism and are based on ExperienceCollaboration and Knowledge of the disciplines of the Fine Arts. The course objectives and assignments in this course reflect and reinforce the conceptual framework of teacher education at Plymouth State University. Throughout this learning experience, students will have the opportunities to:

  • C COLLABORATE with other students and professionals and develop partnerships which are essential to the teaching/learning process.
  • H Develop a HOLISTIC perspective on teaching and learning by considering the needs and interests of the whole learner, as an individual and as a member of the learning community.
  • E Experience the connections between subject, events, and life.
  • C Develop a sense of COMMITMENT to personal growth and development as artists and professionals and understand how the teaching/learning process plays a role in the formation of personal and social values throughout our lives.
  • K Enhance and share their KNOWLEDGE through the cultivation of mastery, self-reflection, critical discussion, and inquiry.

NH State Certification Standards addressed in this course: ED 612 Standards: A1-b-c, 2, 4, 5, 6; C 1, 2, 3, 4 and D1; ED 610 Standards: B1, 2 Diversity A

Assignments:  Assignments will consist of projects that combine various aspects of three-dimensional design, and they will provide you with experience in working with different materials. Upon completion of each project, there will be a group critique—the equivalent of a test—to discuss the issues and methods involved in the project. These should not be missed, and active participation is expected. Missing a critique will lower the project grade by 10%. There will also be a 1-2 page Eport post on a contemporary 3D artist.

Other Policies

  • DO NOT EAT OR DRINK IN THE STUDIO -TOXIC MATERIALS CAN BE TRANSMITTED INTO YOUR DIGESTIVE SYSTEM. For more information on safety, visit www.plymouth.edu/artdept/safety.html
  • ADA Policy:Plymouth State University is committed to providing students with documented disabilities equal access to all university programs and facilities. If you think you have a disability requiring accommodations, you should contact Campus Accessibility Services (CAS), located in Speare (535-3300) to determine whether you are eligible for such accommodations. Academic accommodations will only be considered for students who have registered with CAS. If you have authorized CAS to electronically deliver a Letter of Accommodations for this course, please communicate with your instructor to review your accommodations.
  • If you need such accommodations you will benefit by having links to the following support services.

Academic Integrity Policy: See the campus Fair Grading Policy

Art Department Policy on Use of Visual Recording Devices in all Classes , Workshops, or Open Studio Sessions using live models: It is our mutual responsibility, as faculty and students, to ensure the privacy and safety of our models at all times. In order to uphold our commitment to privacy and safety, no visual recording devices will be allowed to be used in Figure classes, workshops, open studio sessions, or any class with a live model posing. If any individual is seen holding or using a visual recording device, they will be asked to leave the class and an unexcused absence will be credited for that day. In the case of cell phones, cell phones must be turned to vibrate mode before entering class. Emergency and/or special calls will be answered outside of the classroom. Any use of visual recording devices for class purposes must be pre-approved by the instructor and can only be used when the model is not posing.

Art Department Policy on Unclaimed Artwork: Any student participating in a studio course in the Art Department at PSU is responsible for removing from the premises the artwork he/she creates in that class at the end of the course. Any artwork left behind by a student from a course at the end of the semester will be saved or disposed of at the discretion of the instructor or Program Coordinator. The Art Department cannot ensure safety, conservation, or appropriate storage of work. If the artwork is saved, it will be used as a teaching resource for future classes. Any artwork that is in a departmentally endorsed or sponsored exhibit and which is unclaimed by the artist at the end of that exhibit will be retained by the department for a period of 6 months. However, during this time, the Art Department cannot ensure safety, conservation, or appropriate storage of work. At the end of 30 days, the work will be reviewed by a departmental vetting committee to determine if the artwork will be retained or discarded. If the artwork is retained, it will be used as a teaching resource and Images of that artwork will be used for any public relations purposes as the Department and University see fit.

Attendance & Tardiness: see the university policy Excused Absence Policy. Attendance will be taken at the start of each class. If you’re late tell me or it will count as an absence. Be on time and stay for the entirety of class time. One unexcused absence will be allowed. After this absence your final grade will drop 2 points per unexcused absence. There will be academic consequences for every absence deemed unexcused after 1. The PSU college catalog states:“Student absences are defined as excused or unexcused. Unexcused absences are those that occur without adequate reason. Unexcused absences may be used in the computation of grades.Excused absences are defined as absences stemming from (a) participation in University sponsored activities and (b) compelling and extenuating circumstances beyond a student’s control…. Instructors have the right to determine when the number of excused absences exceeds a reasonable limit to the extent that it significantly interferes with a student’s satisfactory mastery of course content/skills.”  In any instance contact me prior to make arrangements. Constant tardiness or leaving class early is noted and will negatively impact your final grade. Optimize class time and make sure to have all required materials or you won’t be able to work (i.e., clay, tools or other required materials).

Grading: Fair Grading Policy

60% Projects: All projects will be graded on your PlymouthCreate Websites (PCW) and be graded on overall quality; complexity of idea; craft of execution; late assignments will be penalized one full letter grade for every day they are late. Missing a critique will lower your project grade by 10%. You will be required to keep a sketch book which will be a significant portion of each project grade.  All projects will be due on the critique day and the following components will be due on your ePort by the next class.  These are the components you should have for each project on your ePort. Each project will have ONE POST, which should contain all of the following elements:

  • Project Description/assignment:  You can summarize the project description or cut and paste.  Describe the “intent” (what the viewer will get) and what you think are the interesting parts that you were excited to do.   Also describe the challenges you see for yourself.  Perhaps it was a material you had never used or a concept you had not thought about before. With all your comments try to list at least one or two specifics.
  • Lateral thinking:  Explain what you are trying to do at this stage and then show examples.  These are your “lists” (or other brainstorming strategies) that you made when generating ideas.  You might take a digital image and then mark it up digitally with notes and arrows or use sticky notes before taking an image.  It could also be a written statement.  It is up to you.   However you decide to do this, it should explain your thoughts and give insight to the decisions you made about your ideas and which ones to move forward.
  • Sketchbook/Drawings:  Take pictures of your sketch book drawings with your phone or SLR camera  and add comments about what you were thinking. Depending on the project guidelines you may also need to include:
    • Maquettes:  Photograph your maquettes when applicable and include them. Explain why you did these and how they were helpful.  How could you have done things differently to improve the finished work?  Could you have made them differently or used a different material?  Bigger? Smaller? Etc.
    • Material Studies: Photograph your material studies. Explain what you thought you might learn from doing this and then what you actually learned.  This might be trying out a new material on a small scale to see what it does, it might be doing a full scale drawing to get a sense of scale or it might be trying out a painting style on a scrap before you commit to the actual piece.  The material study gives you a way to test out an aspect of the piece without committing to it only to find out it did not work.  Although this may take time it ultimately saves you time and gives the ability to find the element that works best with the overall intent.

Finished Piece:  This is where you have a few pictures (probably at the top of your post) and write a longer formal “artist” statement that talks about the intent or idea you started out with and how the piece changed over the process.  Then evaluate the finished piece using the project description and the elements of design.  Also reflect on the things you learned that you will take forward into other art making.  It is valid to have a piece fail or come out in unexpected ways and you need to understand you STILL learned a great deal!  As artists we are constantly venturing into unknown territories (ideas/materials/styles/etc) and should be comfortable with a process that is rich in experimenting and play the pushes the limits (maybe even to failure). It is fine to put this at the top of your post even though it is the final step.

10%     Participation and Approach : attend all classes; active in class discussions and critiques; use of Canvas; open-mindedness; willingness to push past your own personal limits; (Attendance=75%; Attitude=25%)

5%   Eport post on a contemporary Artist: organization, effort, and research.

10%    Quizzes and smaller assignmentsperformance on quizzes and small assignments.

15%    PlymouthCreate Website (PCW): Stock photos replaced and WordPress language changed; You have an about page; You have a menu on your ePort that directs to your Blog and to your About/Home Page; a post for each project; No weird formatting issues that make your site look messy

Required Materials:

  • Sketch book/idea log

Safety: When using power equipment: tie back long hair, remove jewelry, tuck in shirts or any other loose fitting clothing. The utility knife is the number one cause of accidents in this room…be careful with it! There will be a number of other safety protocols to follow as we move through each project. These protocols are part of the course content, and you will be tested frequently on your familiarity with them.