Page banner for CSULB, College of the Arts, School of Art, Art 110, Introduction to the Visual Arts, Summer Session 2016 Students arranging "words" torn from magazines on a large table that has the stenciled words "CSULB SCHOOL OF ART" on it's surface. CSULB School of Art, Dutzi Gallery, May 2016.


• May 23 – August 12
• 100% online
• No tests, quizzes or term papers.
• Textbook: The Internet
• Materials: See weekly activity briefs for materials

Each week we’ll have 1 Activity to try, and 2 Videos to watch. The activity will be things like Drawing, Painting, and Photography. Each week we’ll have an “Art Talk” video between 5 & 19 minutes long, and an “Artist of the Week” video between 3 & 8 minutes long.


You’ll do your work in 2 places:Your Own website, and our class discussion space on

Each week you’ll do 2 blog posts, one a write up of your Activity experience, and the 2nd about our artist of the week where you’ll take what you learned in the video and add some of your own internet research.

Each week you’ll discuss 2 videos with your classmates on Slack. 3 comments on Artist OTW & 3 on Art Talk.

• Week Starts on Monday
• Due by Thursday Midnight: Slack Discussion (Artist OTW & Art Talk)
• Due by Sunday Midnight: Blog Posts (Artist OTW & Activity)

I’ll grade your work on Mondays and give you your weekly points not later than Noon Tuesday by private IM on Slack.


Schedule Overview

1. Plaster Casting (Sculpture 1)
2. Automatic Drawing (Drawing 1)
3. Graffiti Writing (Painting 1)
4. Sketching (Drawing 2)

5. Instagram (Mobile 1)
6. Landscapes with a Corpse (Photo 1)
7. Art Museum Visit (Museum 1)
8. Art Care Package (Assemblage 1)

9. Procedural Painting (Painting 2)
10. Snapchat (Mobile 2)
11. Fiber Art Wall Hanging (Sculpture 2)
12. Virtual Exhibition Design (Museum 2)

Each activity will use simple materials like spray paint, a box of plaster, some yarn or old t-shirts, etc. Sometimes just your phone. See the weekly Activity Brief for materials and details.


Optional Meetups

As a 100% online course, you’re never required to be at any specific place, and other than deadlines, you’re never required to participate on any specific day or time. This flexibility is probably part of why you chose this summer class.

Still, students do like the chance to meet each other. And while a few of you might be taking the class from Hong Kong, Stockholm, San Diego or Las Vegas, a lot of you will probably be around the Long Beach area.

So, for the 1st 4 weekly activities, we’ll have optional meetups. You can totally do these activities on your own anywhere! But here’s a chance to meetup with me and a few of your classmates if you’d like to:

1. Plaster Casting – Thu May 26, 10am – Noon, Seal Beach Pier
2. Automatic Drawing – Thu Jun 2, 6 – 9pm – Glenn’s Place
3. Graffiti Writing – Sat Jun 11, 10am – Noon, Venice Beach Art Walls
4. Sketching – Thu Jun 16, 10am – Noon, CSULB Japanese Garden

Full Syllabus

Art 110: Introduction to the Visual Arts:
• Section 1: Class No.10330
• May 23 – August 12
• 100% Online Course
• Instructor: Glenn Zucman
Office Hours:
• 24/7 on
• 24/7 on
• If all else fails:


  • 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:

  1. Art Activity
  2. “Art Talk” Video
  3. “Artist of the Week” Video

Art Discussion

Each week you’ll discuss the The Art Talk & Artist OTW on our discussion site.

Art Blog

Each week you’ll write a blog post documenting the week’s Art Activity and presenting your research & analysis of the Artist OTW.

Due Dates

• Discussion Posts by Thursday Midnight
• Blog Posts by Sunday Midnight

No Late Work

  • There will not be any late work accepted in this course.
  • You may do activities & blog posts early.
  • You hopefully can participate in discussions with a smart phone from most places on earth.

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.

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.


Participation online is crucial. Obviously as a 100% online course, you don’t ever have to be in any specific place or at any specific time.


  • Having the good sense to sign up for the class = 4 points
  • 12 Activities x 27 = 324 points
  • 12 Artist OTW Blogs x 20 = 240
  • 12 Artist OTW Discussions x 18 points (3 discussion comments x 6 points) = 216 points
  • 12 Art Talk Discussions x 18 points (3 discussion comments x 6 points) = 216 points

Course Total Possible = 1,000 points.


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

Rubric: Activities

Each Activity starts off with a perfect 27, and points are deducted from that if necessary:

  1. No Photos: -5
  2. Poor Post Naming: -5
  3. Too short: -5
  4. Not analytic enough: -5

Rubric: Artist OTW

Each Artist Blog Post starts off with a perfect 20, and points are deducted from that if necessary:

  1. No Photos: -4
  2. Poor Post Naming: -4
  3. Too short: -4
  4. Not analytic enough: -4


Photos of what? For your Activities, document your process! For Artist Blog Posts, see what you can find online. For most artists you should find many images of their work as well as images of the artist.

Post Names

What is “good” post naming?
Wk2 – Activity – Plaster Casting
Wk2 – Artist – Ana Mendieta

Analytic Writing

3 & 4 are a little subjective. But the idea here is that one paragraph that only states what the activity was or bare basics of the interviews is kind of short and not really analytic. 3-4 paragraphs each of decent length where you talk about your Activity Process, or Interview Conversations, and definitely try to analyze the ideas, is great!

By “analyze” I mean rather than restating facts, you try to make those ideas your own by seeing what truth you find in them, or alternative thoughts you have, or other artists that come to mind. Maybe this is art you’ve never even known about or thought about before: does it make sense? Does it expand your perspective on art and the practice of artists? Do you reject that this work even is art? Does it resonate with personal experiences in your own life or things you’ve seen in the world?

Your Name

The University now allows you to set your official 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 name and your Common / Email name to be the same.


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

Withdrawal Deadlines

  • Drop without ‘W’ deadline Jun 6
  • Withdrawal with ‘W’ deadline Aug 5


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.


Pretty much, if you participate in the discussions & put up 2 posts a week with Pix, Good Titles & nice Analysis, you should totally ace this class.

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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