Texas A&M University - Commerce

Online Class


Through the careful study of artworks and art historical texts, students will be engaged in an extended, historically-based examination of the development of public art across the US and abroad in the contemporary landscape. Not only will students read seminal and important works that have shaped public art history, but students will take part in the construction of a piece of public art on the campus of Texas A&M – Commerce. Additionally, students are going to research public art organizations and spaces to see different types of opportunities to pursue public projects. This will culminate in the creation of their own artistic proposal for a public piece of art, following existing submission guidelines.   

-    discuss and explain historically significant works of public art, with emphasis on works that are site-specific as well as ignited controversy
-    become acquainted with the characteristic features of public art, in particular, what distinguishes it from other types of art
-    learn to analyze the relationships among content, context, and style
-    analyze and discuss significant theoretical and art historical texts
-    develop research skills
-    enhance visual literacy and critical thinking skills
-    prepare an appropriate, authentic, and ready-to-submit submission for a piece of public art
-    engage and work with a internationally recognized public artist, and help to create a piece of public art on campus. 

Students’ ability to meet the course objectives and learning outcomes will be evaluated by written assignments, class participation in original posts as well as engaging in discussion threads, research projects, and written responses to experiences. 

Harriet F. Senie & Sally Webster, eds., Critical Issues in Public Art: Content, Context, and Controversy, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1992. (any edition will work, just note the page numbers might be different)

***additional readings will be posted on ecollege ***

-    internet access
-    access to eCollege, course documents (including pdfs of the slides shown in class) will be uploaded here

Our campus is optimized to work in a Microsoft Windows environment. This means our courses work best if you use a Windows operating system (XP or newer) and a recent version of Microsoft Internet Explorer (8.0). Your courses also work with Macintosh OS X along with a recent version of Safari 2.0 or better. Along with Internet Explorer and Safari, eCollege also supports the Firefox browser (3.0) on both Windows and Mac operating system.

This is a web based course through eCollege, the Learning Management System used by Texas A & M University-Commerce. To use the eCollege features associated with this course go to: https://leo.tamuc.edu/login.aspx. You will need your CWID (Campus Wide I.D.) and password to log in to the course. If you do not know your CWID or have forgotten your password, contact technology services at 903-468- 6000 or helpdesk@tamuc.edu. This course will use most of the features in eCollege including email, announcements, threaded discussion, assignment drop boxes, and the grade book. Students can also find the syllabus and other necessary materials posted in the course space. 

Technical Support: Texas A & M University-Commerce provides students technical support in the use of eCollege. The student help desk may be reached by the following means 24 hours a day, seven days a week:
 Chat support: Click on ‘Live support’ on the tool bar with the course to chat with an eCollege representative.
 Phone: 1-866-656-5511 (Toll free) to speak with eCollege technical support representative.
 E-mail: helpdesk@tamuc.edu to initiate a support request with eCollege technical support representative.
 Help: Click on the ‘help’ button on the toolbar for information regarding working with eCollege.

Each assignment must be handed in on time.  For each class period late (and if not handed in at the start of class), the grade will be deducted one letter grade.  Assignments will NOT be accepted over ONE week late.  

All formal written assignments must be typed using the following guidelines: 12 pt. Times New Roman font, 1” margins, double-spaced, with page numbers. Failure to format properly will result in a lower grade.  Artwork titles MUST be italicized.
Participation: Each person is expected to be prepared for the class, which means having completed the reading and/or viewing the film screening and completed the assignments.  Responding to classmates entries and discussions is a pivotal and key part of each of the assignments for the course.

Discussion Responses:
Throughout the course, you will be asked to respond to various reading assignments. Make sure to answer the prompt fully, and follow the specific formatting guidelines. Then, make sure to engage in conversation, responding to comments on your posts and commenting on your peers’ posts. 

Each student will take on one of the class periods and write a prompt for the reading assignments. This should include a number of questions that are specific to the articles and work to make connections between each of the readings as well as larger class goals.

Short Research Assignments:
There will be two short research assignments, where you will be asked to research a piece of public art or organization. You will turn in a fact sheet which has the important, need-to-know information, that will be shared with the entire group.  

Public Art Proposal: 
Design a public art project! Submit a PDF of all the requirements in the proposal for public art submissions for Art on the Llano, Sculpture Installation at Lubbock Texas (see attached document). Think about the location and the target audience for this type of work. Make sure to read over the requirements and advice. Upon completion of the project, your proposals will be judged by a panel of guest judges, who will determine what projects that want to theoretically build. The winner gets a fun prize. 

Volunteering: 1/17-2/5. You must volunteer for a total of 24 hours. Must complete 6 written responses (no less than 500 words) across the course of the volunteering. 2 should be written each week and posted online. At the completion of Doughtery’s project, you should also write a 1,000 page reflection on your experiences volunteering and with the art itself, making sure to the place the project in the context of what you have learned over the course of the class. 

Grade Breakdown:
20% - Participation and Prompts
10% - Short Research Projects
30% - Public Art Project Design
20% - Responses to Dougherty Volunteering
20% - Volunteering

Statement on Student Behavior:
    All students enrolled at the University shall follow the tenet of common decency and acceptable behavior conducive to a positive learning environment (See Student’s Guide Handbook, Policies and Procedures, Conduct). 
    All students must show respect toward the instructor and the instructor’s syllabus, presentations, assignments, and point of view.  Students should respect each others’ differences.  If the instructor determines that a student is not being respectful towards other students or the instructor, it is the instructor’s prerogative to ask the student to leave, to refer the student to the department head, and to consider referring the student to the Dean of Students who may consider requiring the student to drop the course.  Please refer to pages 42 – 46 of the Texas A&M University-commerce Student guidebook’s Codes of Conduct for details.

Academic Dishonesty: There is no tolerance for any kind of academic dishonesty in this course. This includes, but is not limited to, plagiarism, cheating on exams, theft of instructional material or exams, representing the work of someone else as one’s own, and misrepresenting absences. Academic dishonesty is a severe transgression in college and may result in referral to the Dean of Students, expulsion from class and/or the University, and a failing grade.

Discussion: In this class, we will look at a wide array of artwork, some of which might include nudity, intense language, violence, etc. Each person will bring their own experiences to the art, and should feel comfortable expressing their opinions and vulnerabilities. The classroom and online space is a safe environment, and each student should behave with integrity and treat their peers with respect. 

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact:

Office of Student Disability Resources and Services, Texas A&M University-Commerce, Gee Library, Room 132
Phone (903) 886-5150 or (903) 886-5835, Fax (903) 468-8148

After contacting the Office of Student Disability Resources and Services, it is the student’s responsibility to notify the instructor of what accommodations are needed IN ADVANCE of when they are needed (for example, if testing accommodations are necessary, please inform the instructor with appropriate documentation at LEAST one week before the test date).

Public Art Schedule

12/17 – Introduction
-    Suzanne Lacy, “Cultural Pilgrimages and Metaphoric Journeys,” Mapping the Terrain: New Genre Public Art (1994), 19-30.
-    Miwon Kwon, “Introduction,” One Place After Another: Site Specific Art and Locational Identity (2004), 1-9.
-    Cher Krause Knight, “Introduction: A Short History of the United States ‘Official’ Public Art,” Public Art: Theory, Practice and Populism, 2008, 1-21.

12/22 – Monuments 
-    Kirk Savage, “The Self-made Monument: George Washington and the Fight to Erect a National Memorial,” (1987) Critical Issues in Public Art, 5-32.
-    Donna Graves, “Representing the Race: Detroit’s Monument to Joe Lewis” (1992) Critical Issues in Public Art, 215-227.
-    Danielle Rice, “The ‘Rocky’ Dilemma: Museums, Monuments, and Popular Culture in the Postmodern Era,” (1992), Critical Issues in Public Art, 228-236.
-    James E. Young, “The Counter Monument: Memory against Itself in Germany Today,” Critical Inquiry, 18, no. 2 (Winter 1992): 267-296.

Break for Holiday

12/29 – Memorials
-    Erika Doss, “Introduction,” Memorial Mania: Public Feeling in America (2010), 1-15.
-    Adam Gopnik, “Stones and Bones: Visiting the 9/11 Museum,” The New Yorker (July 7/14, 2014), 38-44. 
-    James E. Young, “Holocaust Memorials in America: Public Art as Process,” (1992) Critical Issues in Public Art, 57-70.

12/30 - Create two PDF info sheets about ONE memorial that you have visited and ONE memorial you would like to visit (If you have not been to ANY memorial, then just choose two). This should include an image, information about artists, fact sheet about how/why it was created, who funded, etc. (excluding 9/11 museum). Both memorials should not be from the same location (i.e. do not write about two from D.C.).

-    Suggestions, but not limited to: Oklahoma City National Memorial, Lincoln Memorial or any of the D.C Memorials, Chamizal, Coronado, Flight 93, Jefferson National Expansion (St. Louis Arch), Johnstown Flood, Mount Rushmore, Arlington House, Civil Rights Memorial, Strawberry Fields Memorial, USS Arizona Memorial (Pearl Harbor), Confederate War Memorial, JFK Memorial, Houston Police Officer’s Memorial, San Jacinto Monument, Stevie Ray Vaughan Memorial. If you have not been to ANY memorial, then just choose two. 

Break for Holiday

1/4 – Site-Specificity 
-    Robert Morris, “Earthworks: Land Reclamation as Sculpture,” (1979) Critical Issues in Public Art, 250-260.
-    Jane Kramer, “Whose Art is It?” The New Yorker (December 21, 1992): 80-107.
-    Colette Meacher, Excerpt from "Impish Acts of Sabotage" Surface Tension (2003), 27-29.
-    Harriet Senie, “Richard Serra’s ‘Tilted Arc’: Art and Non-Art Issues” Art Journal, 48, no. 4 (Winter 1989): 298-302.

1/6 – Temporary
-    Patricia C. Phillips, “Temporality and Public Art,” (1989), Critical Issues in Public Art, 295-304.
-    WATCH Making Public Art (2008) – 45 minutes
o    http://www.thirteen.org/sundayarts/the-waterfalls/the-waterfalls-making-public-art-chapter-1/109/
o    http://www.thirteen.org/sundayarts/the-waterfalls/the-waterfalls-making-public-art-chapter-2/110/
o    http://www.thirteen.org/sundayarts/the-waterfalls/the-waterfalls-making-public-art-chapter-3/111/

1/8 - Business
-    Harriet F. Senie, “Baboons, Pet Rocks, and Bomb Threats: Public Art and Public Perception,” (1992) Critical Issues in Public Art, 247-46.
-    Regina M. Flanagan, “The Millennium Park Effect: A Tale of Two Cities,” The Practice of Public Art, 133-151.
-    Janet Kagan and Marc Pally, “Making the Public Art Selection Process Artist Friendly,” Sculpture 26, no. 1 (January/February 2007): 12-13.

1/9 - Research one public art organization from the list below and create a fact sheet including information on where they do business, what is their process for creating/commissioning art, who is involved, major past projects. 
-    Options: Creative Time, Public Art Fund, Percent for Art NYC, The Fourth Plinth, Art in Odd Places, Northern Lights, Story Corps, IN:SITE, Prospect New Orleans, Public Art Lab – Berlin, Skulptur Projecte Munster, inCUBATE, Powerhouse Productions Detroit, Situations – Bristol, Common Field.

1/12 – Locality
-    Susan Larkin, “From Scapegoats to Mascots: The New York Public Library Lions,” (1992), Critical Issues in Public Art, 189-198.
-    Michael Kimmelman, “In Houston, Art is Where the Home Is,” The New York Times, December 17, 2006.
-    Edward Lucie-Smith, “Eco-Art, Then and Now,” John K. Grande, “True to Nature,” and Patrick Dougherty, “Yardworking,” Art Nature Dialogues, 2004, xi-24.

1/15 – PROJECT DUE at NOON, comment on everyone’s by 1/16