Art (Studio) (ARTS)

ARTS 005: Basic Composition (3 Credits)

This studio course in basic composition is designed to allow students to improve their understanding of the structural components in drawing, as well as their ability to render them effectively in drawing, painting, and other media. The class will feature regularly scheduled demonstrations, slide lectures, and critiques. Students will be introduced to traditional drawing techniques as well as to aspects of the contemporary art-making process.

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Creation and Criticism in the Arts

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ARTS 007: Three-Dimensional Concepts (1-4 Credits)

This course addresses the development of three-dimensional perception from both physical and conceptual points of view. Through a series of assignments introducing a variety of construction methods utilizing plaster, wood, metal, and miscellaneous found materials, students engage in the manipulation of form to understand the relationships between mass, space, and time.

Meets the following Core requirements: Critical Analysis, Create, Innovate & Experiment

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Creation and Criticism in the Arts

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ARTS 009: Painting (Beginning) (3 Credits)

This class introduces students to the fundamentals of painting through in-class practice, demos and lectures. Students learn many modes of painting, first focusing on observation, still life, "plein air" and figure models, then shifting focus towards individual projects and concept based work. This class explores historical, cultural, social and personal aspects of painting all while developing knowledge and practice of composition, color theory, light logic, scale, surface and illusion. Students gain confidence in the art-making process and become better prepared for further study in art.

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Creation and Criticism in the Arts

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ARTS 011: Contemporary Art: Ideas and Practice (3 Credits)

This interdisciplinary course explores how to integrate form and content and how to select which mediums best suit conceptual ideas. This course will cover preparatory and technical processes involved in creating artworks, including strategies for the pursuit and development of ideas. To foster critical thinking and enhance communication skills, critiques are held at the end of each project. This class will attend art exhibitions and visit artist studios, galleries and lectures to investigate the wide range of subjects available to contemporary artists. Students may work in any medium.

Meets the following Core requirements: Critical Analysis, Create, Innovate & Experiment

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Creation and Criticism in the Arts

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ARTS 029: Sculpture 1 (3 Credits)

This course investigates the physical and conceptual processes of sculpture through traditional object making, performance, photography, installation, socially engaged projects, new technologies, and video. Sculpture will be considered in terms of its material, location, situation, and function. Throughout the semester absurdity, improvisation, and refined craftsmanship will be stressed to have students find the right form for their ideas. This course will include intermediate instruction of the wood and metal shops, and digital processes.

Prerequisite(s): ARTS 007

Meets the following Core requirements: Critical Analysis, Create, Innovate & Experiment

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ARTS 043: Darkroom Photography: Making + Engaging (3-3 Credits)

Photographers are makers and collectors, sociologists and psychologists, community members and tourists. They point with a point of view, make arguments and advocate. Through a critical and imaginative lens, this course will engage students in these perspectives while attending to the physical qualities of light and light-sensitive papers and the apparatus of the camera through their own making. Cameras, related equipment and basic film and paper needs are provided.

Meets the following Core requirements: Critical Analysis, Create, Innovate & Experiment

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Creation and Criticism in the Arts

View Course Goals

ARTS 044: Digital Photography: Material + Process (3 Credits)

In the culture of the digital image, when photographs can be made and distributed with increasing facility, how does the artist engage critically? Students will explore the potential of digital tools, including scanners, smartphones, DSLRs, editing software, and print production, in a broad visual context that considers social technologies, tools of surveillance, digital kitsch, and self-publishing. Cameras and related equipment, access to Photoshop software, and basic printing needs are provided.

Meets the following Core requirements: Critical Analysis, Create, Innovate & Experiment

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Creation and Criticism in the Arts

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ARTS 073: Advanced Sculpture (3 Credits)

Advanced Sculpture is the continuation of the fundamentals learned in Sculpture I and allows the student to develop and complete final works to present in critique. This course will is a combination studio class and laboratory, a place for experimentation and thought to figure out the right Form (material/approach/result) for your Concepts and Ideas. After the first assignments, students can generate their own projects and the class will meet as a seminar to discuss their work. Advanced demos and tutorials will be determined by the work produced by the class.

Prerequisite(s): ARTS 007 and ARTS 029

Meets the following Core requirements: Critical Analysis, Create, Innovate & Experiment

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ARTS 091: Ceramics (0.5-4 Credits)

Introductory course dealing with conceptual, formal, traditional, and technical issues using clay as the primary medium. The class will feature regularly scheduled demonstrations, slide lectures, and critiques. The course is idea based and will focus on ceramics as it fits into the art mainstream as well as traditional ceramics and pottery concerns. Three assigned projects and work outside of class are required.

Meets the following Core requirements: Critical Analysis, Create, Innovate & Experiment

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Creation and Criticism in the Arts

View Course Goals

ARTS 105: Basic Composition (4 Credits)

This studio course in basic composition is designed to allow students to improve their understanding of the structural components in drawing, as well as their ability to render them effectively in drawing, painting, and other media. The class will feature regularly scheduled demonstrations, slide lectures, and critiques. Students will be introduced to traditional drawing techniques as well as to aspects of the contemporary art-making process.

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Creation and Criticism in the Arts

View Course Goals

ARTS 107: Three-Dimensional Concepts (4 Credits)

This course introduces the physical and conceptual processes of working within the 3 Dimensions through the interdisciplinary strategies of working with form, space, and time. Project assignments are structured to introduce tools, methods of construction, and playful intuition to build a vocabulary of hand skills to be applied to both traditional and nontraditional making. This course includes basic casting/mold-making, woodshop and metalshop demonstrations, performance, and digital strategies.

Prerequisite(s): ARTS 007

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Creation and Criticism in the Arts

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ARTS 109: Painting (Beginning) (4 Credits)

This class introduces students to the fundamentals of painting through in-class practice, demos and lectures. Students learn many modes of painting, first focusing on observation, still life, "plein air" and figure models, then shifting focus towards individual projects and concept based work. This class explores historical, cultural, social and personal aspects of painting all while developing knowledge and practice of composition, color theory, light logic, scale, surface and illusion. Students gain confidence in the art-making process and become better prepared for further study in art.

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Creation and Criticism in the Arts

View Course Goals

ARTS 110: Photography: Seeing + Knowing (4 Credits)

What is the link between seeing and knowing? How does it relate to right and wrong, truth and lies? And what does it mean for an image to be effective? This course questions the spectacle and the clinical gaze, the voyeur and the witness, as we investigate ways of seeing. This course is open to image makers and those interested in visual literacy. Course content includes creative work, topical readings, class discussion, and visits with contemporary artists and thinkers. Cameras and related equipment, access to Photoshop software, and basic printing needs are provided.

Prerequisite(s): ARTS 043 or ARTS 143 or ARTS 145

Meets the following Core requirements: Critical Analysis, Create, Innovate & Experiment

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Creation and Criticism in the Arts

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ARTS 111: Contemporary Art: Ideas and Practice (4 Credits)

This interdisciplinary course explores how to integrate form and content and how to select which mediums best suit conceptual ideas. This course will cover preparatory and technical processes involved in creating artworks, including strategies for the pursuit and development of ideas. To foster critical thinking and enhance communication skills, critiques are held at the end of each project. This class will attend art exhibitions and visit artist studios, galleries and lectures to investigate the wide range of subjects available to contemporary artists. Students may work in any medium.

Meets the following Core requirements: Critical Analysis, Create, Innovate & Experiment

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Creation and Criticism in the Arts

View Course Goals

ARTS 113: Photography: Pictures, Things + Meanings (4 Credits)

What does it mean to make pictures of things? This course explores the relationship between objects and the images we make of them. An image may be a trace of something in the world; an object in itself (a print weathered by time, the trace of a chemical process, a sculpture, an installation); or a fabrication (a lie, parafiction, propaganda). Open to makers of things and images. Course content includes creative work, topical readings, class discussion, visits with contemporary artists and thinkers. Cameras, related equipment, access to Photoshop software, basic printing needs are provided.

Prerequisite(s): ARTS 043 or ARTS 143 or ARTS 145

Meets the following Core requirements: Critical Analysis, Create, Innovate & Experiment

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Creation and Criticism in the Arts

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ARTS 117: Photographic Structures (4 Credits)

We live in a culture of the copy in which we make and dispatch images with an increasing degree of facility. This course will explore the effects of reproduction and mass communication, the ways that technology extends, augments, or amplify the senses, how camera vision effects what the way we see, and the expanding sites in which images might live. Course content includes creative work, topical readings, class discussion, and visits with contemporary artists and thinkers. Cameras and related equipment, access to Photoshop software, and basic printing needs are provided.

Prerequisite(s): (ARTS 043 and ARTS 143) or ARTS 145

Meets the following Core requirements: Critical Analysis, Create, Innovate & Experiment

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Creation and Criticism in the Arts

View Course Goals

ARTS 129: Sculpture 1 (4 Credits)

This course investigates the physical and conceptual processes of sculpture through traditional object making, performance, photography, installation, socially engaged projects, new technologies, and video. Sculpture will be considered in terms of its material, location, situation, and function. Throughout the semester absurdity, improvisation, and refined craftsmanship will be stressed to have students find the right form for their ideas. This course will include intermediate instruction of the wood and metal shops, and digital processes.

Prerequisite(s): ARTS 007

Meets the following Core requirements: Critical Analysis, Create, Innovate & Experiment

View Course Goals

ARTS 143: Darkroom Photography: Making + Engaging (4-4 Credits)

Photographers are makers and collectors, sociologists and psychologists, community members and tourists. They point with a point of view, make arguments and advocate. Through a critical and imaginative lens, this course will engage students in these perspectives while attending to the physical qualities of light and light-sensitive papers and the apparatus of the camera through their own making. Cameras, related equipment and basic film and paper needs are provided.

Meets the following Core requirements: Critical Analysis, Create, Innovate & Experiment

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Creation and Criticism in the Arts

View Course Goals

ARTS 144: Digital Photography: Material + Process (4 Credits)

In the culture of the digital image, when photographs can be made and distributed with increasing facility, how does the artist engage critically? Students will explore the potential of digital tools, including scanners, smartphones, DSLRs, editing software, and print production, in a broad visual context that considers social technologies, tools of surveillance, digital kitsch, and self-publishing. Cameras and related equipment, access to Photoshop software, and basic printing needs are provided.

Meets the following Core requirements: Critical Analysis, Create, Innovate & Experiment

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Creation and Criticism in the Arts

View Course Goals

ARTS 145: Digital Photography: Material + Process (4 Credits)

In the culture of the digital image, when photographs can be made and distributed with increasing facility, how does the artist engage critically? Students will explore the potential of digital tools, including scanners, smartphones, DSLRs, editing software, and print production, in a broad visual context that considers social technologies, tools of surveillance, digital kitsch, and self-publishing. Cameras and related equipment, access to Photoshop software, and basic printing needs are provided.

Meets the following Core requirements: Critical Analysis, Create, Innovate & Experiment

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Creation and Criticism in the Arts

View Course Goals

ARTS 147: Installation (4 Credits)

This course explores the trajectory of installation art: inside/outside, private /public space, permanent /ephemeral, interventions, material based, scale, site specific, the set, a space for public engagement, performance, sound, and video. This course is intended for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students who are working within expanded forms of sculpture to give both an advanced understanding of pre-production, from proposals and digital mockups, to production of an installation, including construction, filming, and audio & video installation.

Prerequisite(s): ARTS 007

Meets the following Core requirements: Critical Analysis, Create, Innovate & Experiment

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Creation and Criticism in the Arts

Instructor Consent Required: Y

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ARTS 149: The Artist Using Photography (4 Credits)

Contemporary photography is an expansive field that often augments conceptual practices, whether performative, sculptural, time-based, social, or spatial. This course explores picture-making in tandem with other practices: object forward, site forward, action forward, concept forward. Open to artists working in all media. Course content includes creative work, topical readings, class discussion, and visits with contemporary artists and thinkers. Cameras and related equipment, access to Photoshop software, and basic printing needs are provided.

Meets the following Core requirements: Critical Analysis, Create, Innovate & Experiment

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Creation and Criticism in the Arts

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ARTS 151: Advanced Drawing (4 Credits)

This course provides intermediate and advanced instruction in drawing. There will be continued work with the figure and an exploration of the conceptual and aesthetic possibilities of drawing. This course encourages you to discover and develop a unique partnership between drawing mediums and your imagination, intuition, and experiences by exploring various ways of seeing and drawing, both perceptually and conceptually

Prerequisite(s): ARTS 005

Meets the following Core requirements: Critical Analysis, Create, Innovate & Experiment

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Creation and Criticism in the Arts

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ARTS 158: Photography Seminar (4 Credits)

This special topics course will examine key themes connected with current photographic practice and thinking as it relates to 19th, 20th and 21st century image making.

Meets the following Core requirements: Critical Analysis, Create, Innovate & Experiment

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Creation and Criticism in the Arts

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ARTS 161: Advanced Painting (4 Credits)

This course is designed to develop additional competence in individual aesthetic style as it may relate to one's cultural, social, and historical background. Furthering technical, conceptual and professional development in painting while considering how one’s work relates to history and contemporary modes of making. The course includes concept driven projects, technical demonstrations, group critiques, one on one discussions, visiting artists, field trips and special group projects. Student work on personal development of a visual language and specific modes of making.

Prerequisite(s): ARTS 009

Meets the following Core requirements: Critical Analysis, Create, Innovate & Experiment

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Creation and Criticism in the Arts

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ARTS 164: Advanced Ceramics (4 Credits)

An extension of ARTS 091 (191) with a greater emphasis on individually selected projects in addition to class assignments. The format will include technical demonstrations, slide lectures, class discussions, assigned readings, and critiques, with opportunities for a wide range of projects including installation and collaborative efforts.

Prerequisite(s): ARTS 091

Meets the following Core requirements: Critical Analysis, Create, Innovate & Experiment

View Course Goals

ARTS 173: Advanced Sculpture (4 Credits)

Advanced Sculpture is the continuation of the fundamentals learned in Sculpture I and allows the student to develop and complete final works to present in critique. This course will is a combination studio class and laboratory, a place for experimentation and thought to figure out the right Form (material/approach/result) for your Concepts and Ideas. After the first assignments, students can generate their own projects and the class will meet as a seminar to discuss their work. Advanced demos and tutorials will be determined by the work produced by the class.

Prerequisite(s): ARTS 007 and ARTS 029

Meets the following Core requirements: Critical Analysis, Create, Innovate & Experiment

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ARTS 180: Special Topics in Studio Art (4 Credits)

Exploration of themes and/or topics not offered as part of the regular curriculum. Course content to be determined by the instructor. May be repeated for credit when topics differ.

ARTS 180AS: Artists,Editions,and Multiple (4 Credits)

This course investigates strategies that contemporary artists employ to make art in multiples and editions; exploring particular concepts through a limited set of iterations.

Meets the following Core requirements: Critical Analysis, Create, Innovate & Experiment

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Creation and Criticism in the Arts

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ARTS 180B: ST: Texting or How to Write about Contemporary Art (2 Credits)

This workshop style course offers students an extended focus on writing about art, for art majors (though Art History majors are welcome to join in). It will provide hands-on opportunities to view and respond, in verbal and text form, to a wide range of contemporary art on view in the Bay Area. The course will complement senior and MFA level coursework, and serve as preparation for thesis writing, by focusing on art writing style over the course of two semesters. Students will start with a selection of readings including reviews, statements, interviews, exhibition texts, thematic essays.

ARTS 183: Advanced Seminar in Studio Art (4 Credits)

In-depth examination of and critical inquiry into a specific subject through shared readings, discussions, and written assignments. Course content to be determined by the instructor. May be repeated for credit when topics differ.

ARTS 189: Senior Seminar: Studio Art (3 Credits)

This class provides upper-division students the opportunity to produce a body of work in a variety of media, to develop critical skills and the development of language as it relates to the to the artist’s work in preparation for the Senior Exhibition. Students will develop a vocabulary for the articulation of their work and develop a dialogue with artists working across media. Students will participate in critical discussion of contemporary art practices. The course goals are met through the development of an artist statement, presentations, critiques, guest artist lectures, and field trips.

Note(s): ARTS 189 (fall) and ARTS 190 (spring) must be completed during the same academic year.

Meets the following Core requirements: Critical Analysis, Create, Innovate & Experiment

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Creation and Criticism in the Arts

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ARTS 190: Senior Exhibition (2 Credits)

This course is restricted to senior studio art majors or senior students invited by studio art faculty. All work exhibited must be completed in studio art courses at Mills.

Prerequisite(s): ARTS 189

Note(s): ARTS 189 and ARTS 190 must be completed during the same academic year.

Pass/No Pass Only

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ARTS 191: Ceramics (4 Credits)

Introductory course dealing with conceptual, formal, traditional, and technical issues using clay as the primary medium. The class will feature regularly scheduled demonstrations, slide lectures, and critiques. The course is idea based and will focus on ceramics as it fits into the art mainstream as well as traditional ceramics and pottery concerns. Three assigned projects and work outside of class are required.

Note(s): Students that have taken ARTS 91 can retake Ceramics as 191 and will complete an additional project to fulfill the advanced level of the course.

Meets the following Core requirements: Critical Analysis, Create, Innovate & Experiment

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Creation and Criticism in the Arts

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ARTS 201: Concentrations in Ceramics, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Electronic Arts, Video (4-5 Credits)

These courses are devoted to independent studio work, which is reviewed and critiqued by each student's graduate committee. Must be taken each of four semesters.

Note(s): 1.25 credit option with additional assignment.

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ARTS 205: Concentrations in Ceramics, Painting, Photography, Sculpture/Intermedia (4 Credits)

This course deals with the concerns of specific media, and its content will vary depending on the instructor. Each medium area will be offered once every two years.

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ARTS 229: Sculpture 1 (4 Credits)

This course investigates the physical and conceptual processes of sculpture through traditional object making, performance, photography, installation, socially engaged projects, new technologies, and video. Sculpture will be considered in terms of its material, location, situation, and function. Throughout the semester absurdity, improvisation, and refined craftsmanship will be stressed to have students find the right form for their ideas. This course will include intermediate instruction of the wood and metal shops, and digital processes.

Prerequisite(s): ARTS 007

View Course Goals

ARTS 247: Installation (4 Credits)

This course explores the trajectory of installation art: indoors /outdoors, private /public space, permanent /ephemeral, material based, scale, site specific, the set, a space for public engagement, performance, sound, & video. This course is intended for upper-level undergraduates and graduate students working within expanded forms of sculpture to give them both an understanding of pre-production, from proposals and digital mockups, to production of an installation, including construction, filming, and audio & video installation. Students will realize individual and collaborative projects.

Prerequisite(s): ARTS 007

Instructor Consent Required: Y

ARTS 280: Special Topics (4 Credits)

ARTS 287: Topics in Contemporary Art (3 Credits)

The course explores the multifaceted world of contemporary art. A broad array of current artists and their work will be presented and discussed.

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ARTS 288: Contemporary Art and Critical Thinking (4 Credits)

This graduate course focuses on contemporary art in its theoretical, historical, and critical aspects.

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ARTS 291: Graduate Seminar (3 Credits)

The graduate seminar is required for all first-year students. It is designed to foster a thoughtful investigation on a student's studio practice through studio visits/ critiques, reading of philosophical and theoretical texts, discussions, research presentations, and guest speakers. Must be taken twice in the first year.

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ARTS 293: Degree Exhibition and Artist Statement (1-1 Credits)

The exhibition in the Mills College Art Museum and the artist's statement complete the degree requirements. Must be taken twice in the second year.

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ARTS 296: INDEPENDENT STUDY (0.25-1 Credits)