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COVID-19 UPDATES: Spring Semester Information

Topics in Sculpture

Spring 2020

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Figure Modeling
Instructor: Chris White
26629  SCPT 321 001
F 9:00 am – 11:50 am
(full semester)
3 credits

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

Flexible Molds
Instructor: Jesse Burrowes
CRN 26630 SCPT 322 001
F 9:00 am –11:50 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.

Instructor: Jesse Burrowes
26638 SCPT 323 001
F 1:00 pm – 4:50 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.

Plastics Techniques
Instructor: Nicole Levaque
38942 SCPT 491 009
M 12:00 pm – 1:50 pm
(2/17/20– 4/27/20)
2 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.

Instructor: John Careatti
35807 SCPT 491 012
W 12:00 pm – 1:50 pm
(1/15/20 – 3/25/20)
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.

Instructor: Julia Gartrell
37443 SCPT 491 008
W 12:00 pm – 1:50 pm
(1/15/20– 2/12/20)
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.

Top: Surface Finishing
Instructor: Michael Demps
36364 SCPT 491 005
T 12:00pm- 1:50pm
(1/28/20 – 2/25/20)
5 weeks
1 credit

This course will explore conventional and experimental methods of surface finishing on wood, metal, plastics, and found objects. Some areas of exploration will include surface prep, abrasive blasting, high polishing, laminate application, concrete finishing and electroplating.

Oxy-Acet Welding
Instructor: Laura Alexandra Matzke
15666 SCPT 491 002
F 12:00 pm – 1:50 pm
(1/17/20 – 2/14/20)
1 credits

This five-week studio course designed to develop skills and understanding of using oxy-acetylene welding when working with copper and mild steel. Focusing on building technique and acquiring skill through technical demonstrations and hands-on learning, we will cover Oxy-Acetylene welding and cutting, brazing techniques, annealing, and copper work. 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.

Instructor: Brian Barr
33506 SCPT 491 007
F 12:00pm – 1:50pm
(1/31/20 – 4/10/20)
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.

Documenting Your Work

Instructor: Terry Brown
23863 SCPT 491 004
F 12:00 pm – 1:50 pm
(2/14/19 – 4/24/20)
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.

MIG/TIG/Stick Welding
Instructor: Jon Woodrum
15677 SCPT 491 907
W 5:00 pm – 6:50 pm
(1/29/20 – 2/26/20)
1 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.

MIG/TIG/Stick Welding
Instructor: Laura Alexandra Matzke
40547 SCPT 491 010
S 1:00 pm – 2:50 pm
(1/29/20 – 2/26/20)
1 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.

Video Installation
Instructor: Laura Alexandra Matzke
15676 SCPT 491 905
M, W 6:00 pm – 7:50 pm
(1/27/20 – 2/24/20)
2 credits

Video Production, Post-Production and Exhibition: This course will focus on best practices for recording video, sound design, editing, installation and documentation of work. Topics include Premiere Pro, chroma keying (green screen), as well as use of projectors, screens and media players.

Wood Construction Techniques
Instructor: Katie Kehoe
15734 SCPT 491 904
W 6:00 pm – 7:50 pm
(1/29/20 – 4/08/20)
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
40534 SCPT 491 017
T, R 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.

X-MEDIA: Sound, Video and Beyond

Instructor: Michael Demps
40536- SCPT 491 908
M 6:00pm-8:50-pm
(Full Semester)

This course will introduce students to experimental art practices that utilize sound, video, and performance as mediums, often creating psychological or physiological reactions as part of the finished artwork. We will engage with the histories of sound art, video art and performance art in relation to the larger history of art and music; theoretical underpinnings and practical production; central debates and problems in contemporary art. Through reading, making, and in-class critique, students will develop their own process of working with sound, video, performance

Additional special courses:

Design, Build, Skate

Instructor: Christopher Mahonski, Joshua Rodenberg, Joey Arflin
40481- SCPT 491 015
F 9:00am-1:50pm
Full Semester

This class will operate as seminar, collaborative construction project, and community outreach that partners students with local non-profit RASA (Richmond Area Skateboard Alliance). We will begin with discussion and research into skateboarding’s history, relationship with public space,  and current and increasingly more inclusive manifestations in our culture. This portion of the class will involve field trips to skate spots and visiting lecturers ranging from Parks and Rec administrators to former professional skaters. Students will be expected to develop specific areas of research that they will present to the class. While looking at skate culture critically, we will also be working collaboratively on designs for a small “pocket skatepark” within the newly renovated Monroe Park on VCU campus. Studio demonstrations will cover all aspects of concrete skatepark design and construction, from using CAD software for layout, cnc machining plywood forms, to moving earth and setting rebar, and finally pouring and finishing concrete. The class will end with fabrication of the new 1500 square foot skate spot in Monroe Park, to be finished by the early summer of 2020.

About the instructors:
Chris Mahonski is a Richmond based artist and currently serves as the Digital Fabrication Technician for the Department of Sculpture and Extended Media. As a RASA board member since 2015, Chris helped start the skate after school program and continues to serve as construction coordinator for the Riverview Community Skate Park.
Josh Rodenberg is a Richmond based artist and musician currently working in the Kinetic Imaging Department as an instructor and technician. Josh has been working with RASA since 2017 and has worked on numerous DIY skate projects.
Joey Arflin is an experienced fabricator and currently serves as a Facilities Technician at VCU. He frequently volunteers his construction knowledge for RASA projects. Joey has worked on DIY skateparks throughout the country and brings a wide skill set and insights into the physical workings of the campus.

This course will invite 12 ART major students and 6 NON-ART majors

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.

About the instructor:
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.

Top: Concepts & Issues II
Instructor: Lisa Freiman
36364 SCPT 491 005
R 12:00pm- 1:50pm
(Full Semester)
2 credit

This is a lecture course that builds on SCPT 290: Concepts and Issues and covers contemporary art from recent decades. Students will be introduced to issues in contemporary art including recent debates in the field.

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