Thursday, April 26, 2012

Project #4: Culinary Design Blog

Due: 5-17
For your fourth project you will take-on the role of culinary designers! Whether you consider yourself a true foodie, or your meals are just a means to survival, food is a topic that is central to our daily lives. There is a long history of fine artists who have worked with the subject of food in their own work. Review my Food Art blog on our course site to whet your appetites.

For this project you will use Blogger to contribute to a community recipe book. You will be made an author on the site . This means that you have permission to post directly to the site.

To begin, pick a recipe that you feel defines your culinary life. This may be a family recipe that has been passed down through the generations, it may be a selection from your favorite cookbook, or it may be a recipe that you invented yourself. Write a paragraph describing the recipe & how it relates to you. You may discuss the occasions that you have used this recipe (holidays, entertaining guests, Monday’s lunch, etc…), as well as potential food or beverage pairings that you would suggest. If you have chosen a recipe from a cookbook, you must still come up with your own description…do not copy one from the book. Along with the descriptive paragraph, you will also include an ingredients list and cooking instructions. These need to be clear, concise and easy to follow.

The next step is to prepare and document your recipe. What fun is a recipe if it doesn’t get made? This is when you will need your digital camera handy. As you prepare the dish, I want you to take a series of 4-5 photographs. The first 3-4 should document the cooking process (what you consider crucial moments in the recipe), and the final image should be a documentation of the finished dish. You can either take the photos yourself, as you prepare the food, or you may ask someone else to help. Try to make an appealing presentation for your final image. As the designer, you don’t want to just document the dish…you want to make it look good! Things to consider: Where is the best light in your home for the image? Should you present it on certain dishware or with certain place settings? Should you use any garnish or table props?

If you do not have access to a good quality digital camera, you may take your images with a film camera, and have the photo-lab make you a digital image cd. You may also scan your printed photos on campus using a scanner in the library or in the B-333 lab. As with the written description, your images must be original.
Finally, name your blog with the name of your recipe, and add the label “food art 1105” along with any other labels that relate to your post.

 Layout Order: First, your written statement, next, the ingredients list and cooking instructions, then the 4-5 images. When you upload your images, set the image size to “medium.”

-camera (digital or otherwise)
-favorite recipes
-food for cooking
-access to our Blogger site,

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Field Trip #3: Design in Our Lives

DUE: 4/26

Whether or not we are aware of it, the design arts infiltrates our lives on a daily basis. Design influences everything around us from the products we use, to the clothes we wear, to the food we eat, to the spaces we inhabit. The Museum of Modern Art has a special interest in the field of design. They have an entire floor of their museum and a stand-alone design store to prove it!

For our third field trip, we will go to the various exhibits on the third floor of the MoMA. The design galleries feature an eclectic sampling of artists and designers who blur the lines between the two fields. Some of the objects are made for real world utility, and some of the objects are…well…less practical. The study of functionality in design is called Ergonomics. It may help to research this topic before writing your response.

For your paper, you must write about four different works from this exhibit. Two of the works must have “high functionality” and two works must have “low functionality.” Since there is no such thing as “perfect design,” your opinion about functionality will be somewhat subjective. In your writing, compare and contrast the varying degrees of utility that you assign to the works you choose. Consider the following questions: How do you define these categories? What do your “high functionality” objects have in common? What makes them so ergonomic? What do your “low functionality” objects have in common? How could you alter these objects to make them more ergonomic? Does an object need to be highly functional to be good design? Are art and design always two separate ideas? If not, where do they meet?

Your finished writing needs to be at least 350 words. It should have an introduction, three body paragraphs and a conclusion. Post the writing on your Blogger page under the title, “Design in Our Lives”, and label the post “Field Trip 3”.

At the end of your post, cite the four artworks that you chose in the following format. This information is generally available on the wall near the artwork:

Artist’s Full Name

“Title of Work” written in quotations*


Year Completed

*When referencing the work in the body of your writing, also be sure to write the titles in quotations.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Project #3: Illustrate a Story

DUE: 4/19

For your third project, you will take on the role of an illustrator. An illustrator is a commercial artist who brings somebody else’s story or idea into the visual world. For this scenario, you have been hired by the non-profit organization StoryCorps to illustrate one of their archived stories. Since its founding in 2003, StoryCorps has worked with the Library of Congress to record and catalog more than 35,000 oral stories. The participants in this project are Americans from all walks of life. The stories that they tell run the gamut of human emotions and experience. To begin, start listening to some stories at the StoryCorps website: . Click “Listen to Stories” from the left-hand menu, and you can browse by category.

Select any one story to illustrate. Your illustration may be created by hand (drawing, collage, etc…) or you may create a digital collage using Adobe Photoshop. Either way, your illustration must convey the essential nature of the story. I expect a minimum of four hours invested in this project. As with your digital collage project, do not include text in your illustration. Instead, use your understanding of formal analysis to tell the story with visual language alone.

When you are finished, upload a digital image (.JPG) of your illustration to your blog under the title, “Illustrate a Story”, with the label “Project 3”. Include a brief description about what you found interesting about this particular story, and what elements of the story are represented in your illustration. You will also need to embed the original StoryCorps recording into your post. Here is how to do this:

· On the StoryCorps webside, click the “Share” link next to the story.

· From the share menu, click the orange “Embed” button.

· Highlight and copy the embed code.

· In your Blogger post, click the “Edit HTML” tab.

· Paste the embed code into this field.

· Make sure to switch from “Edit HTML” to “Compose” when you upload your image and write your description.

Remember that Adobe Photoshop is available to you on any Mac computers in the library or in the lab B-333. Scanners are available in both locations too.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Field Trip #2: MoMA PS1: The Good, the Bad and the Misunderstood

DUE: 4/05

For our second field trip, we will be visiting MoMA PS1. Unlike its larger affiliate, the Museum of Modern Art, PS1 does not have its own collection of artwork. Instead, this institution shows the work of younger, living artists, who may not be as established in their professional careers. This creates a dynamic museum-going experience, where you are likely to see experimental work that challenges your personal understanding of art.

For this writing, I want you to expand upon the themes from your first blog post “Good Art/Bad Art”. From all of the work currently on view at MoMA PS1, I want you to write about three artworks. I want you to find one artwork that you like, one artwork that you dislike, and one artwork that you do not understand. Consider the following questions: What do you appreciate about the piece that you like? Does it remind you of any other artworks, or experiences from your life? What turns you off about the piece that you dislike? Is it possible to appreciate something, even if it isn’t your personal taste? What do you find confusing about the piece that you do not understand? Does good artwork need to give you all of the answers?

Your finished writing needs to be at least 350 words. It should have an introduction, three body paragraphs and a conclusion. Post the writing on your Blogger page under the title, “MoMA PS1: The Good, the Bad, and the Misunderstood”, and label the post “Field Trip 2”.

At the end of your post, cite the three artworks that you chose in the following format. This information is generally available on the wall near the artwork:

Artist’s Full Name

“Title of Work” written in quotations*


Year Completed

*When referencing the work in the body of your writing, also be sure to write the titles in quotations.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Field Trip #1: Art and Identity: The Museum of Modern Art

DUE: 3/29

For our first field trip, we will be visiting the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). The MoMA is one of the world’s premier institutions for exhibiting Modern and Contemporary Art. They boast an impressive permanent collection, as well as rotating list of special exhibitions.

For your first field trip reaction, you will consider the topic of identity in art. Art making is a personal endeavor that communicates the experiences of the artist. The best kind of art has the ability to transcend an artist’s individual experience, and communicate to the experiences of a broader audience. An artwork can relate to the identity of an individual (the artist, or his/her subject), it can relate to a specific cultural identity (nationality, ethnicity, gender, interest group, etc…), and it most certainly relates to the identity of the time during which it was created (historical). At the museum, we will concentrate on two exhibitions: “Cindy Sherman” and “Contemporary Galleries: 1980-Now”.

For your writing, discuss three works of art, from either show or from both. One work should embody the idea of individual identity, on work should embody the idea of cultural identity, and one work should embody the identity of a historical time or place. Here are some questions to consider in your writing: How does each work of art embody its classification of identity (personal, cultural or historical)? How do these notions of identity differ between the works of art that you chose? In what ways do they overlap?

Your finished writing needs to be at least 350 words. It should have an introduction, three body paragraphs and a conclusion. Post the writing on your Blogger page under the title, “Art and Identity: The Museum of Modern Art”, and label the post “Field Trip 1”.

At the end of your post, cite the three artworks that you chose in the following format. This information is generally available on the wall near the artwork:

Artist’s Full Name

“Title of Work” written in quotations*


Year Completed

*When referencing the work in the body of your writing, also be sure to write the titles in quotations.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Narrative Digital Collage

A visual narrative is a work of art that tells a story. Narratives can consist of anything from simple, visual motifs (elements that repeat) to complex systems of signs and symbols. For this project, you will use photo editing software to create a narrative digital collage. This collage will pay special attention to the visual element of space.

The general theme of this project is “That Reminds Me of the Time When…” I would like this collage to tell a narrative about yourself. The narrative can illustrate a real event from your life, or it can be a pure fantasy. You may use images of yourself and familiar people & places, or you may find images of other people & places as stand-ins. One of the only parameters is that I don’t want you to include text in your collage. Instead of placing the word “Happy” in the center of your project, for example, try to make a scene that conveys a visual sense of happiness. Because this collage explores how things visually appear in space, you will use the principles of overlap, diminishing size and vertical placement. Consult the diagram “Cues to spatial depth” for ways to establish this illusion.

To make this digital collage, you will need to utilize the professional photo editing program Adobe Photoshop. Photoshop is available for you to use on any Mac computer on campus (including those in our classroom, the library and the B-333 computer lab). I have filmed a brief tutorial about using Adobe Photoshop for this project. The tutorial is available to watch in the Project #1 folder under the Assignments tab.

You will need to create an 800 x 600 pixel Photoshop PSD file (as outlined in the tutorial), and save it as (your) lastname_firstname_collage. I want to see at least 10 separate layers in your collage. This includes the background, extra landscape elements, individual figures, etc… You will use the Lasso tool to cut-out images that need to be cut-out, and you will use the Edit->Transform functions to resize the scale of images that need to be resized. Save the file often to ensure that nothing gets lost.

To submit, convert your document into a .jpg file (as outlined in the tutorial), and save the .jpg as (your) lastname_firstname_collage. You will then create a new post on your blog entitled “Narrative Digital Collage”. Upload the .jpg image to this new post and write a brief paragraph describing the scene that you have created. Label the post “Digital collage” along with any other relevant labels.


-Access to a computer with Adobe Photoshop

-Digital image files

-Flash drive for saving files

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Good Art/Bad Art Post

For your first blog post, you will consider the topic “Good Art vs. Bad Art.” To begin, watch the video below.

One of the greatest qualities of art is that everybody is entitled to their own opinions. We are all individuals who come from unique backgrounds and experiences. So, why should we agree on what makes one thing “good” and another thing “bad”? For this prompt, tell us your opinion about what makes good art good and bad art bad. There are no wrong opinions. All that I require is that you present a thoughtful analysis of why you appreciate a certain type of art and not another.

The writing should be at least two paragraphs in length. One paragraph devoted to good art, one paragraph devoted to bad art. After your writing, upload two works of art that best describe your two viewpoints. Google Images is a great search engine for finding work:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a searchable image database:

And so does the Museum of Modern Art:

If you still have a hard time finding examples to talk about, feel free to use works of art that I discuss in the lecture videos (just be sure to describe them in your own words!). To upload your images, follow the instructions in the “Adding Images and Links to Your Blog Posts” document.

Before you publish your post, write "good art bad art" into the labels field.