MFA Special Topics

Each term Graduate students choose 3 to 6 units of Special Topics courses

GR 550 -1 Theories in Art Criticism and Writing

Students apply critical thinking and writing techniques while examining the role of various theories of aesthetics in the criticism of contemporary art.


GST 550-4 Theories in Global Contemporary Art

Students examine the role of post-colonialism, globalization, and the phenomenon of the global mega biennial marketplace in the context of contemporary art.


GST 550-7 Experiences, Installation and Form

Students explore strategies for using painting and drawing, motion arts, photography and graphic design to create experiential contexts for their work.


GST 550-10 Marketing: Strategies for Working Artists

Students apply the fundamental skills of marketing, self promotion and professional development as it applies to artists in today’s professional milieu.


GST 550-16 Abstraction in Painting and Illustration, Photography, Motion Arts and Graphic Design

Drawing upon modern and postmodern approaches to representation, students develop abstract sensibilities within their emphasis.


GST 550-19 Social Networks and Creativity

Students examine how collaboration has emerged in contemporary media independently of traditional organizational structures. The pros and cons of new media’s defining features will be evaluated.


GST 550-20 Narratives and Archetypes

Students explore the principles and tools necessary tocreate emotionally packed graphic design, photography, motion arts and photography that resonate with audiences. Emphasis is placed on combining structures that make the visual expression compelling.


GST 550-3 After Modernism: Art Since 1960

Students investigate the cultural movement of Post-modernism from its origins in the late 20th century to understand its implications for recent historical and contemporary art practices.


GST 550-21 Heroes and Mythology

Students explore Joseph Campbell’s theory of the “monomyth” which argues that important myths from around the world all share a fundamental structure. Campbell’s understanding of myth in history is synthesized as a practical source of wisdom in life and creativity.

GST550-2 Modernism: Origins and Implications

Students investigate the cultural movement of Modernism from its origins in the late 19th century through the mid 20th century to understand its implications for historical and contemporary art practices.


GST 550-5 Alternative Narratives

Students explore the question of how dominant themes and images in art history are being and interpreted relaying their research and its application to their own work.


GST 550-8 Across the Digital Divide: Use of Technology in Drawing and Painting, Motion Arts, Photography and Graphic Design

Students examine the use of technology among contemporary artists while exploring the many possibilities digital technologies offer their own work.


GST 550-11 Art Theory in Painting/Illlustration, Photography, Motion Arts and Graphic Design

Students distill theoretical ideas applied to photography, motion arts and graphic design. All major canons of criticisms are thoroughly discussed and applied to the students emphasis.


GST 550-14 Micro/Macro Format

Students explore the limits and possibilities of size and scale. Critical emphasis is given to content/format correlation and juxtaposition. The course culminates in an exhibition or portfolio integrating relevant and unique presentation methods.


GST 550-17 Emergent Technology in Fine Arts Education

A teaching-practicum/seminar addressing how Fine Art educators must rapidly adapt curriculum based on commercially mandated platforms, material quality improvements, and unexpected forms and venue for production. Under guidance from faculty, students research and teach new technologies and classroom methods appropriate to time and place.


GST 550-18. Adaptation and Appropriation in Art and Technology

Students examine the role of collage in contemporary art, especially that found in digital art creation. This understanding is combined with subjects such as theft, copyright, copyleft and fair use that have proven essential to development and progress in contemporary art and technology.