ART 101 : Introduction to the Visual Arts

Transcript title

Intro to the Visual Arts



Grade mode

Standard letter grades

Contact hours total


Lecture hours



Introduces approaches to the understanding and appreciation of the visual arts. Provides a foundation in the basic concepts, vocabulary of the elements and principles of design as well as materials, methods and processes. A wide variety of artworks are explored. May include some hands-on experience with various mediums.

Learning outcomes

1. Display ability to discuss formal and aesthetic qualities through identification of Elements and Principles of Design in approaching and describing works of art.
2. Identify and explain various materials and methods/processes used in the creation of various mediums of two-dimensional and three-dimensional artworks.
3. Demonstrate knowledge of the historical development of self-chosen or assigned mediums and/or processes of the visual arts.
4. Demonstrate critical thinking skills and use research sources in evaluating and analyzing a work (or works) of art with consideration of art and the larger context—
historical, cultural and sociological.
5. Interpret a work (or works) of art in terms of content/meaning – what the artist intended, the interpretation of others, and one’s own personal interpretation.
6. Participate in aesthetic engagement by way of a museum visit (virtually online OR actually on location).
7. Attain a wider appreciation of human expression through exposure to and consideration of a wide variety of art forms. (Hands-on art projects may be included.)
8. Gain enthusiasm for pursuing further art experiences – gallery and museum visits (such as planning a trip to Europe), hands-on studio art practice (such as taking a studio art class) and/or studies in the History of Art, Art Theory or Art Criticism (such as signing up for a History of Art class).

Content outline

1. Formal principles and elements of fine art
2. Basic terminology to describe works of art
2. Art media and artistic technique
3. Introduction to color theory
4. Symbolism and iconography
7. Historical, social, and political context
5. Social and Cultural influences, some topics include:
Other peoples and their histories, values, and culture
Art and economics
Art and the social fabric
Art and religion
Art and politics
Art and gender
6. Basic art making projects

Required materials

May require a textbook. See syllabus for details.

Grading methods

Grading will be based on a number of factors, including but not limited to in-class writing, discussions, critiques of completed art-making assignments, (online) textbook quizzes, gallery reports and day to day level of engagement with the material.

General education/Related instruction lists

  • Arts and Letters

Outside of

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