Art110-2016-Fall-banner Students working over a table that has painted on its surface "CSULB School of Art"


• Hybrid Class: F2F + Online
• No tests, quizzes or term papers.
• Textbook: The Internet
• Materials: See materials list

4 Types of Activities

1. Art Talk Discussion
2. Art Activity
3. Artist Conversation
4. Classmate Conversation

Each week we’ll have an Art Talk Discussion, and 2 of the other 3. So 3 things / week. In the 1st week you’ll make a free website & “turn in” your URL, something like “” as a comment on the class roster page. After that you’ll post your work to your website / ePortfolio by Sunday night at 11:59pm, and I’ll go find your work on Monday and give you points. The 1pm class points will be posted each week by late Tuesday, and the 2:30 class points will be posted by late Wednesday.


Full Syllabus

Table of Contents

Art 110: Introduction to the Visual Arts:
• Section 2: Class No.4337 – Hybrid Course: W 1-2:15 + Online
• Section 3: Class No.7868 – Hybrid Course: W 2:30 – 3:45 + Online
• Classroom: FA4-311 + School of Art (SOA) Galleries between FA2 & FA3
• Instructor: Glenn Zucman
• Virtual Office Hours: Mondays 9-10am at
• Physical Office Hours: Wednesdays 11:30-12:30 @ Coffee Bean / Robeks @University Student Union. Outside at umbrellas. Inside if raining.
• or by appointment

Contact: for general questions
• for personal or private questions


  • None


The purpose of this course is to introduce students to Art and Ideas as practiced in the 21st century. Students will try a wide range of art media from traditional tools like paint, to contemporary media like Snapchat. Student discussions will compare and contrast contemporary artists. Students will visit the CSULB School of Art Galleries, see the work of 4-5 different student artists, have conversations with the artists, and write blog posts about the work.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Describe some of the styles, ideas, and issues found in the Western canon.
  • Understand and articulate some of the ways that art functions vis-a-vis human culture
  • Build upon their direct, introductory experiences, in Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Photography, Animation, and Data Visualization in both Physical and Virtual worlds
  • Articulate their understanding of the relationship between art and: culture, speech, creativity, expression.
  • Describe the role of the artist in culture / society.

Format of the Course

Each week this course includes 3 activities: an Art Talk Discussion and 2 of the following 3:

  1. Art Activity
  2. Conversation with an Artist
  3. Conversation with a Classmate

Art Talk Discussion

Each week you’ll discuss the The Art Talk video on the weekly page here on Each student should make 2 analytic posts. Most weeks you’ll watch an 8-15 minute video from me. A few times there will be a longer, maybe 90 minute, documentary to watch. After watching my intro video, do some research online, and then formulate what you’ll post. The few times we’ll have longer documentaries you won’t need to do any additional research.

Your analytic post should not only state the ideas as presented, but you should draw upon your research and life experience to reach new conclusions. Each week you should make 2 (or more) posts. 1 “original” post of your own insights. Your 2nd post should be a response to a classmate. You can amplify or modify their ideas, again, being substantive and analytic in your paragraph.

Activity & Conversations

Each week you’ll write 2 blog posts documenting the Art Activity and/or conversations you had that week.

Due Dates

• Discussion Comments & Activity Blog Posts due by 11:59pm Sunday night.

No Late Work

Work is due by 11:59pm on Sunday nights. No late work will be accepted.

Original Work

Your work should be yours. If you plagiarize in this course I will report you to the Chair of your Department, and the Dean of your CSULB College. It is very easy for you to not do an activity and just Google for images. It is also very easy for me to Google for those same images and show where you plagiarized from. Take this course, and your CSULB education seriously, do honest, and great, work.

Please review the Cheating & Plagiarism section of the 2016-2017 CSULB Catalog. Pay careful attention to my responsibilities when you plagiarize, and the academic actions that may be taken against you.

New Work

In some cases you might be able to think of a Photo, Video, Fiber Art Project, etc, that you’ve done in the past and that seems to fit the activity description for a given week. This is not a course in turning in work you did before. This is a series of activities to do now in the context of this class and in resonance with your classmates. Please do not turn in old work.


Your Internet Device / Camera (Phone, Tablet, or Laptop) is your textbook.



For the F2F Wednesday portion of the course, attendance is mandatory. The online & outside of class portions may be done at the time and location of your convenience. Each Wednesday, except for Week 1, you’ll turn in a 4×6″ drawing of your CSULB ID Card for attendance.


  • Attendance: 14 weeks x 11 points = 154
  • Classmate Conversations: 9 x 15 points = 135
  • Artist Conversations: 10 x 20 points = 200
  • Activities: 11 x 20 points = 220
  • Discussions: 15 x 16 points = 240 points
  • Final: 51 points

Course Total Possible = 1,000 points.


  • 900 points = A
  • 800 points = B
  • 700 points = C
  • 600 points = D
  • 599 & below = F


  • 1pm Final is Monday Dec 12, 12:30-2:30 in the SOA Gallery Courtyard
  • 2:30 Final is Wednesday Dec 14, 2:45-4:45 in the SOA Gallery Courtyard

The Final will be: Art Games!

  1. Do not be late.
  2. Do not book an airline ticket for December 11

You can check the final schedule for Art110, or any other class here

For some reason BeachBoard will show you your points, but not add them up for you. There are some fancy switches inside BeachBoard that Instructional Technology has to flip to get it to show you what all your individual points add up to. If someone reminds me to set this near the beginning of the semester, then you can see totals all semester instead of waiting till the end.

Your Preferred Name

The University now allows you to set your “preferred” name. So if the name on your birth certificate is “Andrew,” but you go by “Drew”, now the university can refer to you as Drew. This makes it easier for me to find you on the roster, and better for your classmates who can refer to you by the name you choose.

  • Please set your University “Preferred Name” to be the same name that you’d like to use on our Roster, Email, Your Website, etc.
  • You can set your name on MyCSULB. Here’s How!

Alternate Name

The “real” reason we make websites / blogs in Art110 is not so there’s an easy way to “turn your homework in”. It is because I hope you will use this ability to create an ePortfolio that can showcase your work and abilities. You might convert your Art110 site to your ePortfolio, or you might make a new site from scratch, but I hope you’ll have an ePortfolio before you leave CSULB. I’m convinced that most of you are far better served by having a strong website online that can showcase your strengths and accomplishments. However, on occasion, you might not want to associate your classwork with your name. For example, one semester I had an actor in class who had been on several television shows. She didn’t want people searching for her as an actor to find her student work. So she posted under a pseudonym that we agreed on. If you need to not be identifiable online, LMK and we can set something up. Remember also that your website is yours. Once final grades are turned in, you can maintain, modify, or delete some or all of your website as you choose.

The Right to be Forgotten

Many weeks I will feature a few of your activities from the week before in my weekly blog posts. I will never show your work and say this is what not to do. I will only show your work and say Look at what a beautiful job Maddy did last week. I hope you feel good about this. But even if you do, it’s possible that you don’t want your photo or name on this website. If I ever post a photo of you, or your work, or list your name, or a link to your website, and you’d rather not have that here, just LMK. You can ask me to take something down today, tomorrow, next week, next year, or next decade. You never have to give me a reason. You only have to give me the URL where the item you’d like taken down is. It’s always up to you.

As you might know, I’m a big advocate of the Open Web and Free Culture. I believe that most students are best served by having a lot of great work online. I believe that most of you are best served by having links to and from each other’s websites. This is why I encourage you to create and maintain ePortfolios of your work. For most peeps most of the time I think putting up more content is more important than taking content down. Nonetheless, I want to be clear that I don’t want to post anything that you’d rather not have online. So please send me an email: if you’d ever like anything taken down.

Be Kind

Remember that you are posting to the live web. You’ve surfed the web, right? So you know that every day you’ll find the most sublime acts of kindness and generosity right next to crazy, unwarranted rage. The good news about your website is that it’s yours. You always have the ability to modify or delete content as you see fit. But remember also that when you write about a Student Artist or one of your Classmates, that you are publicly posting about a real person. You don’t have to gush that they’re wonderful or a genius. You can be honest. But you can also be kind. If the golden rule is do unto others as you would have them do unto you, then perhaps the golden rule of blogging should be blog about others as you would have them blog about you. If the classmate you talk to today seems a little aloof or inaccessible, who knows, maybe they’re having a bad day. Maybe they’re shy. You don’t need to write, “they acted like they were better than me.” Try to be kind in your writing. Or remember that you’ve got 60+ classmates! Just say thank you, go talk to someone else, and write up that conversation instead. The point of these is for you to meet your classmates. You should always be open to talking to one more person. Find someone cool that you can write something cool about. That you can write something kind about.

Rubric: Artist Conversations

Each Conversation starts off with a perfect score of 20. Points are deducted from that if necessary. Because Art110 is a large class with about 130 students in the 2 sections, it is difficult to provide detailed feedback on your writing. I’m happy to discuss your writing at any time and to help you develop better ideas and better form. To help with a quick understanding of your work, we will grade with “Coded Points”. I hope you have no mistakes in your work and receive a full 20 points for each Artist Conversation Essay. If there are mistakes your points will quickly show what your mistake was. If you’d like further details, just send me an email and we can discuss it more fully.

  1. Misspelled Artist Name: 20 -10 = 10
  2. No Artist Tag, or incorrect tag: 20 -9 = 11
  3. No link to artist website (if they have one) 20 -8 = 12
  4. Not analytic enough / too short: 20 -7 = 13
  5. Poor Grammar: 20 -6 = 14
  6. Poor Post Naming: 20 -5 = 15
  7. No Photos: 20 -4 = 16
  8. Other misspellings: 20 -3 = 17

Rubric: Classmate Conversations

Each Conversation starts off with a perfect score of 15. Points are deducted from that if necessary:

  1. No Photos: -7
  2. Poor Post Naming: -6
  3. Too short: -5
  4. No link to classmate website: -4

Rubric: Art Experiences

Each Art Experience starts off with a perfect score of 20. Points are deducted from that if necessary:

  1. No Photos: -10
  2. Poor Post Naming: -8
  3. Too short: -6

Rubric: Art Talk Discussion

Your 2 (or more) weekly comments are worth a total of 16 points. For each 8-point comment, deductions are:

  1. Can’t figure out who you are: -8
  2. Shorter than a paragraph: -4
  3. Not analytic enough: -3

Did I really get a 0?

Sometimes students check points while an Activity is still being graded. Or occasionally during the semester it might take longer than normal to finish grading an Activity. If you look at BeachBoard before we’re done grading you might see a “0” for your points. Don’t panic! “0” means “still being graded!” To make this clear, if you turn nothing in, I’ll give you “1” point. So if you see “1”, then you know I couldn’t find any work for you. If you see “0” that only means “still being graded, check back later.”


Photos of what? For your Art Experiences, document your process! For Classmate Interviews, a photo with your classmate would be great. For Artist Interviews, a photo of the artist, or their work would be ok. Photos of both would be great.

Post Names

Please use this format:

  • Wk2 – Art Experience – Plaster Casting
  • Wk2 – Artist Conversation – Brianna Allen
  • Wk2 – Classmate Conversation – Geri Weckstein

This standard format really helps me get through grading 129 x 3 posts every Monday. You can use 1 variation if you like. I’ve noticed that many of you like to use more creative titles for your Art Experiences – which is awesome! So please do use the above formats for your Weekly Conversations, but for your Art Experience, you can also use:

  • Wk 1 – Demise via Kidnapping

Artist Essays

  • Your Art Experience and Classmate Conversation posts can be casual.
  • Your Artist Conversation writing must be college level.

The Artists you will meet in the SOA Galleries are mostly young artists just beginning their careers. They’ve typically worked for many months to put up the work we see in the galleries, and you are very likely the 1st person ever to write about them and their work! That’s awesome! But it also gives us the responsibility to be accurate and informed about the work.

Your 4 paragraph Artist Conversation post should have:

Post Title: use the form:

Wk 9 – Artist Conversation – Maccabee Shelley

Exhibition Information

Artist: Maccabee Shelley
Exhibition: No Redemption Value
Media: Ceramics, Glass, Mixed-Media, Installation
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
Instagram: maccabeeshelley

About the Artist

In this paragraph you can provide a little background information on the artist. Are they a Graduate or Undergraduate student? Which Program from the CSULB School of Art are they in? What are their interests? What ideas does their work explore?

As you know, CSULB consists of a number of Colleges. One is The College of The Arts (COTA). COTA in turn is composed of a number of Departments, like The Theatre Department or The Film & Electronic Arts Department. Occasionally when a Department reaches a large size and national reputation, it is renamed from Department to School. So the former Art Department is now the School of Art. The former Music Department is now the Cole Conservatory of Music. Within the School of Art there are many Programs:

• Art Education
• Art History
• Ceramics
• Drawing & Painting
• Fiber
• Graphic Design
• Illustration / Animation
• Metal
• Photography
• Printmaking
• Sculpture / 4D
• Wood

If a student is studying Ceramics, then you might correctly say that Andrea L. Williams is a student in the School of Art’s Ceramics Program. Or you could also say something like CSULB undergraduate Andrea L. Williams is working toward her BFA degree in the School of Art’s Ceramics Program.

You are probably familiar with the degrees BA or BS, MA or MS, and PhD. In The Arts, like Theatre, or Dance, or Art, the standard degrees are BA, BFA, MA, MFA. (Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Master of Arts, Master of Fine Arts) The BA & MA are sometimes thought of as academic degrees and the BFA & MFA as professional degrees. The BFA & MFA tend to involve more units than the BA or MA degree. You can debate whether the MFA is or is not equal to the PhD, but either way the MFA is a terminal degree, as in you’ve obtained the highest degree in your field. With an MFA you can teach at a university and participate in other professional and academic activities.

Formal Analysis

What is it? Describe the work. The “formal” qualities. The media or materials. The nature of the line, shape, color, rhythm, scale, texture, cadence, and so on. Is it straight? Jagged? Undulating? Sinuous? Staccato?

Content Analysis

What is it about? Relate the ideas you get from your conversation with the artist here. What’s on their mind? What are they thinking about? What ideas are they trying to explore?

Synthesis / My Experience

What does it mean? In this last section it’s about you! Synthesize the gestalt of this exhibition and how it resonates for you. How do the formal nature of the work and the artist’s ideas resonate with your own ideas, perceptions, and perspectives? Do things from your life experience, your academic experience, and other sources resonate here?


IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT YOU READ WHAT YOU’VE WRITTEN BEFORE YOU CLICK PUBLISH! Almost everyone makes small typos, awkward phrases, and other simple but distracting mistakes. Proofread! Proofread!! Proofread!!!

Artist Tags

The CSULB School of Art Student Artists are generously sharing their art and their time with us. Dealing with a big class like ours can be stressful for the artist and for their carefully assembled exhibition. Lets try to thank them for their hospitality. One great way to do this is to TAG your post. This gives them a tag they can click on to see all the posts we’ve written about them. The tags for your Artist Conversations are:

Each week when we visit the SOA Galleries, you’ll pick 1 of the shows for your Artist Conversation & Blog Post. This will almost always be in 1 of the 5 Galleries: Gatov West, Gatov East, Merlino Gallery, Werby Gallery or Dutzi Gallery. There may also be work installed or performed in the SOA Courtyard on occasion.

Screen capture of categories and tags edit window

When you’re editing your post, Expand “Categories & Tags” to access the TAG BOX. Then just type your tag, like werby-gallery, in the tag box. Be careful to spell your tag correctly.

Another nice way to respect these artists is to try to have a real conversation with them about their work and their ideas first, and then ask to take a photo of them or their work. When 65 of us rush in with cell phones snapping all at once, the artists can start to feel like victims of paparazzi rather than appreciated artists.

Art Gallery Etiquette

Art Galleries and Art Museums have some things in common with places like Libraries, but also a lot that is different. They’re all great cultural resources where you can enrich your life. In a library, except for a few rare items like Special Collections, you can mostly touch everything. And usually you’re supposed to be quiet or talk in a whisper.

Art Galleries are the opposite. Sometimes people feel like they’re supposed to be quiet, but actually there’s no such “rule”. Talk! Discuss! Interact! Make the space and the experience yours! On the other hand, in Art Galleries and Museums, PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH! The vast majority of work you will see should not be touched. Art is often fragile. Popular art can be seen by many millions of people. Many artists go through great effort and expense to create archival artworks that can endure over many centuries. All of this fragile art and human culture can be damaged by acid from your hands, by accidental mechanical damage from touching, by being bumped into by your backpack when you walk around or take a step back to take a photo.

Occasionally you might see a sign that says something like “Please Touch” and in that case you can touch. If you ever think the artist might intend for you to touch something, it is best to ask. Occasionally artists do intend for you to touch, but we must presume that everything is no touch! Just because a work of art might look like a chair or a couch or a floor tapestry, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can sit on it or walk on it. Unless you see a sign giving you permission, always presume everything is no touch.

At a large Art Museum the security guards won’t breathe down your neck so much if you don’t look like you might damage the art. At a smaller exhibition like the SOA Galleries, an individual artist might give you permission to touch their work if you talk with them for a while and ask their permission. Just don’t presume you can. The default is no touch!

Classmate Conversation Blog Posts

By contrast to the serious, academic writing of your Artist Conversations, your Classmate Conversations can be shorter and informal. Try to have a real conversation with them. Try to meet someone new and learn something about them. Be sure to ask them the Question of the Week. Be sure to include a photo of you and your classmate!

Art Activity Blog Posts

Art Activities are mostly about experience. But you should still analyze your experience. How did it go technically? Aesthetically and creatively, what possibilities do you see? How would you like to do it differently in the future? Be sure to include photos of your process! Be sure YOU are in at least 1 photo!


Pretty much, if you participate in the Art Talk Discussions & put up 2 blog posts a week with Pix, Good Titles, nice Analysis, and a TAG for the artist, you should totally ace this class.

Other Details


The School of Art grants “incompletes” rarely and only for the most extreme conditions.

Withdrawal Deadlines

  • By MyCSULB – September 5, @10pm
  • Deadline to drop without “W” grade: September 5
  • w signature, Director, School of Art – November 18
  • w signature, Director, School of Art and Dean, College of the Arts – December 9
  • CSULB Dropping & Withdrawing Policies

No Grade Begging

At the end of every semester I receive long emails in florid prose explaining to me how important a student’s grade in Art110 is. That for [ insert excuse here ] reason, they are worried they won’t be getting the “A” or “C” or other grade they desired, and that considering how important the grade is to this student, is there any way I can help or anything they can do?

Please do not send me this email.

I hope the learning, knowledge, and experience of Art110 is more important to you than a letter on your transcript. But whether you care about actual learning, or only grades, in either case, if it is important to you, then don’t express that importance by begging at the end, express it by:

  • Doing solid work all semester
  • Turning everything in on-time or early
  • Checking your points on BeachBoard regularly so you know exactly where you stand all semester


CSULB will make reasonable accommodations for any student who has a disability. It is the student’s responsibility to notify me in advance of the need for special accommodations. This course utilizes many activities and many tools. Most of you should have no trouble with any of this, however if anyone has challenges with any course aspect for any reason, please be in touch ASAP and we can work to find suitable alternatives. A sincere effort should result in real learning and a good grade, so never be afraid to ask for any accommodations you need, but do make a sincere effort.

Alternate Activities

I’ve worked hard, refining over the years, to find a set of activities that will introduce you to a wide range of art media, ideas, and practices, and also to challenge you to think about art and life. So I’d encourage to give the activities a real try if you can, even if a given activity doesn’t sound that fun or seems like a hassle. However there may be cases where you just aren’t comfortable with an activity. If an activity is problematic for you, let me know and we’ll come up with an alternative activity for you.

Have Fun!

I hope Art110 will be a fun, relevant, and useful class for you. Most of you won’t go on to be artists per se, but I believe you will find creative thinking useful in any career. I also hope that art can make your life more enjoyable.

The words "Art 110, Summer '16" superimposed on a photo of students standing in a grassy area between building Fine Art 4 and the Art Gallery Courtyard, at California State University, Long Beach, School of Art, May 2016

Written by Glenn Zucman

BA, Psychology, University of Hawaii, MFA, Intermedia Art, Long Beach State. Host of American Public Media's "Border Patrol." Host of KBeach Radio's "Strange Angels." Interested in Identity Art that explores our Oracle-at-Delphi-like straddling of corporeal and virtual realms in our new media century. Civil rights in online space. 10 years...
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