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Final Piece: Your call

October 31, 2016

ARTS 372 Intermediate Sculpture ~ Fire Arts

ARTS 670-02 Advanced Sculpture ~ Fire Arts

fall 2016


Final Piece


Drawings and written statement /description of the problem due: November 7

Pours: November 28, December 5 (more can be arranged before these dates but only one can happen after December 5)

This piece is due at our class final the week of December 12-16


The intermediate level studio courses in our department usually begin with assignments that model the structure of creating and solving a conceptual problem. I’m sure you’ve gathered this in the first two assignments I’ve given you. By the end of the semester, in preparation for next semester’s classes, you need to work on deepening your art practice through finding your own sensibilities and languages. As a means towards this end, it’s useful to learn to pose your own assignments. In so doing, you should confront your own blind spots, your strengths and weaknesses. The next problem will require you to take stock of your imagery, your mindset, your way of being in the world and move things forward in the form of a work of art that asks the questions that you are mulling over. The juicy problems — the ones that take us places we didn’t think we could go — are the most rewarding.


I have placed the book, “Photographer’s Handbook” on reserve in the Ira Latour Resource Library. Although this book is written primarily for photographers, its 307 assignments will be of great assistance to you in modeling how to lay out a problem. I have marked just one page in particular because it emphasizes the role of RESEARCH in creating a pathway for your thinking. You won’t have to use that particular assignment but DO notice how it (and many, many others) can help you to ask significant questions and go about developing your project.


Look through the assignments in“Photographer’s Handbook”, liberally substituting sculptural solutions for photographic ones. Mainly, you will see that most of the assignments demand a leap of faith — going into unfamiliar thought-territory. You can choose one of these assignments, altered for your purposes, or use the format of research that they propose and write your own. Give credit where credit is due.


Do not spend more than 24 hours to decide the direction for your project!!! The details will come as you start to draw and collect information/research. Do this immediately. On November 7, hand in a copy of the description of your approach, a statement of concept, how you will go about researching your ideas and the drawings that you’ve done in preparation for beginning the work. The 307 examples should give you an idea as to how you might organize this inquiry. Your piece should pull you out of your comfort zone. If you already know the conclusion, why ask the question?


I had offered the following general topics and you can feel free to use them but you must still encase these in your personal swarm of questions — i.e., if you are working with a body protection/extension idea, you might ask what it means to be made out of flesh and then research the ensuing fragility that it therefore dictates in our daily lives. Your final piece can be mixed media, meaning the use of fabrication will become your modus operandi. Some options… but remember to think of the bigger questions that you can pose with these prompts!

  • Strap on/body piece w/ carrying case
  • Body protection, extension
  • A “working” useless machine

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