Friday, December 19, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Coming to a close (and how the art program does finals)

We are nearing the end of the semester and our stay in Alpine. Friday (tomorrow) is Mark's last final. I finished my last about 20 minutes ago. We are very excited to be done with this semester. Mark's classes have been very hard and draining. Mark is really looking forward to being able to relax again. And he deserves it; he has worked very hard and been extremely busy. 13 hour days on campus 2-3 times a week is not a schedule we would like to repeat. My classes were not nearly as busy as Mark's, and one bonus of the art program is a lot less homework than the Chemical Engineers- and no real final exams. I often get asked how the art program gives finals so I will explain.
For studio classes, the final usually consists of a portfolio and critique. Some teachers have us turn in actual work, others have us make a CD with images of our work (some have us do both). Usually, there is a final project that gets a lot of attention. In some classes, the final project is considered the final. Other teachers have us assemble our best work to turn in at the final. And some teachers give a short written exam.
This year, I had 4 studio classes: Ceramics, Sculpture, Watercolor, and Painting (oil). For ceramics, our final consisted of a very short written final on vocabulary and process. After the written part, we had a critique of our final piece. (which had to be finished the week before so it could be fired). The previous assignments were graded on their earlier due dates. Sculpture was only a critique. This critique however, was to show all of our work. We had three projects during the block, working almost simultaneously, and they were all graded at the final critique. Watercolor was similar to sculpture. We had to complete 18 paintings (two paintings for each of 4 in-class assignments and 10 out of class assignments) over the block and show all 18 at the final critique, however, then we selected our best 9 (half of each assignment) to be graded. For painting, we had lots of little assignments that didn't get graded at all. For our final, we completed one painting and turned it in, along with a CD with images of our final painting and the painting we did for the midterm (my midterm painting was For Sheralie). Pretty much, each class grades a little differently depending on the teacher, but there is almost always food at the end. I'll post some images of my final projects as soon as I can find my pictures- I've had some computer trouble and had to reformat. Sorry this is so long.