Arts and Design

Art stirs the inner being, as images and sound tap into our deepest fears and joys. The unique capacity of the arts to map uncharted cultural and moral values makes them an essential tool for many human ecologists.

College of the Atlantic's arts and design program emphasizes interdisciplinary approaches to art and design issues. The program promotes a multidisciplinary approach to art and design as part of a general education in human ecology, while allowing students to specialize in a variety of unique concentrations.

Arts and design courses at COA — in music, painting, drawing, photography, video and film, graphic arts, landscape architecture and design, sculpture, museum studies and ceramics — enable students to explore the realms of self-expression and cultural dialogue and to learn to communicate through multiple media.

COA offers a vibrant curriculum in Arts & Design. The college's inspirational oceanfront campus, set amidst a local community with a rich cultural heritage, provides an excellent setting for students pursuing visual and performing arts, music, architecture, and design. 

Students focusing in Arts & Design usually choose a set of foundational courses providing them with a base of skills, techniques, and aesthetic and design principles. Studio courses are project and problem centered: the COA faculty guide students through experiences that develop technical and creative skills. Projects stimulate and refine the aesthetic vision of each individual student. The college also offers a wide variety of intermediate and advanced classes to prepare students interested in graduate or professional work in Arts & Design or related fields. Students frequently develop further advanced skills by creating independent study projects in which they work one-on-one with a faculty member.

The arts provide a unique vehicle for addressing and expressing issues in society, culture, and the environment. The expressive qualities of the arts, their ability to make a sophisticated analysis of fundamental problems, and their ability to encapsulate the values of every era, make the role of the artist an excellent option for students concerned about the environment and social problems. Through Arts & Design, students develop the technical and aesthetic skills necessary to express themselves and their insights through music, visual media, and designed environments.


AD009Architectural Design Studio

In this design studio students are introduced to the field of architectural design and the design process. We examine various aspects of this functional art including scale, texture, volume, void, light, rhythm, and form. Basic principals of architectural structures and a brief historical overview are presented. Students attempt to apply these principals in solving practical problems. They are expected to develop basic architectural drafting skills to represent three dimensional space in two dimensions. The course includes model building skills and an actual design project. Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: Recommended Introduction to Arts and Design and/or Two-Dimensional Design. Offered every other year. Class limit: 11. Lab fee: $25. *ADS*

AD055Improvisation in Music

This "hands on" theory/performance course for singers, instrumentalists, guitarists, pianists, drummers, etc., deals with improvisation, a spontaneous exchange or interplay of musical ideas and moods. It offers the musician the opportunity to utilize his/her technical ability to its fullest extent while enjoying the creative freedom of spontaneous composition. The class addresses technical and aesthetic aspects of improvisation in all styles of music (Jazz, Rock, Blues, Classical, Folk, etc.), including the elements of melodic development, melodic cliches, rhythmic and melodic embellishment, harmonic substitutions, and development of the ear. It is multilevel in format, allowing for students of all technical proficiency to participate. In addition to two class sessions weekly (where extensive time will is spent in performance situation), each student also meets with the instructor on a private basis. In short, this course enables students to use the "tools of improvisation" to be able to make a "personal musical statement" while playing, singing, "jamming," etc. Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Lab fee: $20. *ADS*

AD069Introduction to Keyboard/Piano

This is a learn-the-basics course in which the essentials of keyboard harmony are introduced in order for the student to be able to play functional piano. Areas of study include basic chords (major, minor, diminished, and augmented and their inversions), 7th chords, basic fingering and scale patterns, finger dexterity, rhythm drills, aural perception, and reading lead sheets/sheet music. This is a practical, hands-on course for those interested in playing not only piano, but also organ and synthesizers. Introduction to MIDI is also included. Keyboard II is a continuation of practical technique leading to keyboard fluency. Level: Introductory. Lab fee $20. *ADS*

AD077Jazz, Rock, and Blues: From Their Origins to the Present

This course is a survey of the particular styles of music that have had such a profound effect on America, as well as the world in the twentieth century. Students inquire of the social, cultural, and aesthetic elements that led to the creation of each style. The use of recorded examples provides a chronological examination of the principle musicians and composers as well as an analysis of the more influential soloists and groups. The course includes technical background into the various common musical "bonds of union" between Jazz, Rock, and Blues, as well as discussion concerning the permeation of these characteristics into secular and non-secular music of the 1900s. There is considerable study of the social significance of the music, exploration of the broad cultural and artistic aspects of the music, how these styles changed and evolved, and how their growth related to parallel changes in fine art music. Level: Introductory. Class is open to all students, regardless of musical experience. Lab fee: $10. *HY* *AD*

AD1010Ceramics I

This course is a mixture of design theory, critique, and actual production of pottery.  Class time is divided between handbuilding, including pinch, coil, and slab techniques, and the fundamentals of wheel-thrown pottery.  Assignments are occasionally supplemented by in-class discussion of the previous week's work.  Six hand-built and twenty wheel-thrown works are required, with reviews taking place during week five and week ten.

Level:  Introductory.  Offered every year.  Class limit: 16.  Lab fee $95.  Meets the following degree requirements: ADS

AD1011Introduction to Arts and Design

This course is the fundamental course for students pursuing studies in Arts and Design, offering insights into the range of issues addressed in the arts and design curriculum while also helping students investigate their own creativity. This course has both studio and theoretical components.  Major directions taken by artists, designers, architects, and planners are explored.  Areas of investigation include gardens, shopping centers, town planning, perspective drawing, small structure design, color, and aesthetics.  Studio work involves both individual and team efforts.  Students are expected to observe, document, analyze, and make recommendations for the improvement of the designed world.  Students are expected to submit examples of studio work and to participate in the class discussions.  Evaluations are based upon the above.

Level:  Introductory.  Offered every fall.  Class limit: 25.   Lab fee $20.  Meets the following degree requirements: ADS

AD1014Music Fundamentals: Intro to Reading/Hearing/Writing/Playing

This hands-on course deals with the aural, mental, and physical elements of music and its production.  It is divided into instructional segments including:  Ear Training and Aural Perception, Music Theory, Basic Keyboard Skills, Arranging and Composition, and Basic Guitar Skills.  [Detailed descriptions of segments available in Registrar's office.]  This course is open to all students, regardless of musical experience.  The sole prerequisite is a desire to make music or simply to enrich one's skills as a critical listener of music.  Efforts are made to accommodate the special needs of the musical novice, as well as to challenge the experienced performer.  Emphasis is on popular song styles, but analysis of Western Art Music forms are included for comparison purposes.

Level:  Introductory.  Lab fee $20.  Meets the following degree requirements: ADS

AD1018Introduction to Guitar

This course is a fundamental study in guitar chord construction, note reading, chord symbol identification, fingerboard facility, theory as related to guitar, chord inversions, and scale and mode work.  Students are expected to attain introductory improvisational skills and basic facility in practical guitar performance.

Level: Introductory. Students must provide own instruments (acoustic or electric). Lab fee: $10.  Meets the following degree requirements: ADS

AD1026Introduction to Photography

Photography is a common language spoken across cultural, economic and geographical boundaries used in new gathering, commerce and fine art.  Being able to use the camera as an effective tool for self expression or in the pursuit of a documentary project is a skill which is applicable to a large number of COA students.  A broad introduction to photography and digital printing,  this course will introduce the principles and applied techniques of contemporary photographic practices.  Designed to put the student in charge of their camera, we'll begin with basic camera controls such as aperture and shutter speed and progress on to more advanced topics such as the proper use of 'flash'.  Also covered will be an introduction to Adobe Photoshop and/or Adobe Lightroom as well as good printing practices in a digital environment. Students will be evaluated on the quality of finished prints included in a final portfolio, their participation in class exercises and critiques and individual growth over the course of the term.  

Level: Introductory. Prerequisites: none. Lab Fee: $110.  Class Limit: 13.  Meets the following requirements: ADS

AD163Two-Dimensional Design I

This course is designed to give a basic working knowledge of visual language. Areas covered include: point, line, plane, volume, shape, size, texture, direction, space, and representation. Pencil, charcoal, ink, and collage are used extensively. The class period is divided into critique and work sessions with the major emphasis being placed on the group learning aspects of the critique. Twenty problems are assigned during the term with three to four days to complete each assignment. This course or its equivalent is a prerequisite for future work in arts and design. Level: Introductory. Offered every winter. Class limit 20. Lab fee: $50 *ADS*

AD2020History of Photography

This introductory course charts the history of photography from early nineteenth-century nascent technologies (Daguerreotypes and Tintypes) through to the diverse range of photographic media currently practiced by contemporary artists and photographers (Film and Digital).  In this art history course, we will consider how the new visual discourse of photography was informed by both technological and social developments.  Photography cannot be defined as a unified medium; therefore, this course investigates both discontinuous as well as coalesced conventions within its own history; in other words, how and why photographs look different from each other.  In addition to noting external influences upon the photographic object, we will explore how photography helped to shape a variety of visual disciplines from painting to zines.  Accordingly, our class will discuss formal photographic syntax (how they are composed and the forms they appear represent) and allied aesthetic practices as well as the wider social and political issues that influenced the content of its visual culture.  We will study how artists use photographic practices in the context of social and activist functions to examine a diversity of subjects: gender and class, ethnic and national identity, among others; and, how categorical distinctions between mass culture and avant-garde art, commercial and fine art photography are not always stable.  Course readings include writings by historians, artists, and critics that reflect the unstable status of the photographic object within the intersections of science, technology and culture, aesthetic discourse and everyday documentation.  We will look at many photographs.  Students will be evaluated on their participation in class discussions, short essay assignments, and a final project or paper.

LEVEL: Introductory/Intermediate. PREREQUISITES: none.  CLASS LIMIT: 12.  LAB FEE: $30.  Meets the following degree requirements: HY, AD

AD206Advanced Painting

This course deals with finding and applying advanced processes of oil painting. Emphasis is placed on studying painters of the 19th century to learn about composition, style, use of color, and learning various painting techniques. Evaluations will be based on the student's artistic output as well as her devotion to the learning process.

AD212World Percussion

This is a "hands on" class for learning and performing conga, snare drum, drum set, hand percussion techniques, focusing on the role of percussion in European, Latin American, African, and American music. In addition to enjoying themselves and having a better understanding of the world of percussion, students master rhythmic notation, counting and subdivision, time signature, and reading percussion music. Requirements include: test on notation, composition of a percussion ensemble solo that will be performed by the group, and a paper on a percussion topic of student's choice with approval of the instructor. Level: Introductory. Class limit: 12. *ADS*

AD217Landscape Design Studio

This studio course introduces students to the profession of Landscape Architecture, the design process and skills. Aspects to be covered include site analysis, program development, design concept, final site design and graphic representation. Evaluations are based on understanding and interpretation of the site program, application of the design process and articulation of ideas and concepts through graphics and oral presentation. Level: Intermediate. Prerequisite: Introduction to Arts and Design, Two-Dimensional Design, and Woody Plants, or signature of instructor. Offered every other year. Lab fee $25. Class limit: 11. *ADS*

AD232Documentary Video Studio

A documentary video or film purports to present factual information about the world. A documentary may take a stand, state an opinion, or advocate a solution to a problem. A documentary may function in the realm of art. Documentaries may compile images from archival sources, interview testimonies about social movements or events, record an ongoing event "as it happens", or synthesize these and other techniques. We will look at various documentaries both historic and contemporary, and a number of strategies and styles, including; video diaries/autobiographical works, cinema verite, propaganda, documentary activism, nature documentaries, and experimental genres. Students will learn the basics of video production, including, using a video camera, video editing, production planning, lighting, microphone use, and interview techniques. Students will make several documentary projects, both collaboratively and individually. Students will be evaluated on their participation in group discussions and critiques, and on the documentary projects they produce. Level: Intermediate. Prerequisite: any introductory level arts and design studio course or film history course (previous video production experience is not required). Lab fee: $30. Class limit: 12. *ADS*


This course explores animation as a form of creative expression, experimentation and personal vision. Various techniques, such as drawing, cut-out, painting on film, and under-the-camera collage, will be introduced. Students will create flip-books, video pencil tests and 16mm animated films. Students will be given exercises and assignments that guide them through processes for making art. Various artists' animated films will be screened and discussed. History and concepts related to animation and film will be introduced through screenings, readings and discussions. Level: Intermediate. Prerequisite: Introduction to Art and Design, 2-D Design or Signature of Instructor. Lab fee: $50. Class Limit: 12. *ADS*

AD238The History of Rock

The History of Rock......"We were just the spokesmen for a generation" A social history of Rock and Roll, from it's origination in the Blues, through the Rhythm and Blues of the 50's, into the era of Little Richard, Chuck Berry, and Elvis. From the British invasion to heavy metal, rap, and even Dylan and other poets like him that couldn't sing either. We've got it covered. You will listen to it, you will read about it, you will watch it happen on videos (no BeeGees or Tony Orlando)...we will connect it to the times......and what turbulent times they were. If you are interested in what happened culturally in this country between 1950 and today, you need not look any farther than this course. For "the music of the people", ROCK, accurately reflects the varying peaks and valleys of much of the events of the past half century. Level: Introductory. Lab fee $10. *AD* *HY*

AD247Intermediate Video: Studio and Strategies

This course explores more sophisticated forms of image making, editing, and theory. Students screen and discuss documentary and video art works, and study writing/criticism in the field, focusing on moving image theories, concepts, strategies, and a wide range of aesthetic concerns. The class will engage in various aspects of production and approaches to cinematography, sound and editing/compositing. Participants work on a project-oriented basis that includes critiques and training in video production skills. Students should be both self-directed and interested in developing a support system for producing each other's work. Students will be evaluated based on video projects (fiction or non-fiction), critical writings, class participation and presentations. Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Pre-requisites: Documentary Video Studio, or Introduction to Video Production. Class limit: 12. *ADS*

AD248Art of the Puppet

Puppetry is the art of designing, constructing, and operating puppets, usually for an audience. A puppet is an articulated figure controlled by external means. Puppets have been used for entertainment, education, therapy, spectacles and social/political demonstration. This course will explore both the construction and use of puppets, investigate the theory, history and practice of puppetry, and seek out the role and potential of puppets. Various types of puppets will be made, including hand puppets, rod puppets, shadow puppets, and large scale puppets. Students, individually and in collaboration, will create both original and adapted scripts and scenarios for their puppets, exploring relationships between text, story, character and movement of the puppet. In addition to live work, students may choose to develop puppets for use within film, video or multimedia projects. The course will include readings on puppetry, screenings, presentations, demonstrations, and group discussions. Students will be evaluated on 1) participation in class discussions and exercises, 2) quality and effort demonstrated through projects/presentations and, 3) understanding and study of readings and screenings as demonstrated in discussions and projects. Level: Intermediate. Recommended pre-requisite: at least one of the following: Intro to Art and Design, 2-D Design Studio, 3-D Design, Performance Art or The Sculptural Object in Performance. Class limit: 12. Lab fee $30. *ADS*


Soundscape may be defined as an environment of sound (or sonic environment) with emphasis on the way it is perceived and understood by the individual, or by a society. It thus depends upon the relationship between the individual and any such environment. The term may refer to actual environments, or to abstract constructions such as musical compositions and tape montages, particularly when considered as an artificial environment. In this interdisciplinary course we investigate a broad range of acoustic concepts, ranging from a scientific treatment of the nature and behavior of sound both in air and underwater, the biology of hearing, the use of sound by animals in communication, and the cultural applications of sound and music in human society. Students will explore methods of composition using sounds as materials for assigned projects. Various approaches to understanding and experiencing sound will be examined, including spoken word, radio shows, music, and experimental forms. Labs will focus on understanding the nature of sound, and practical application of sound equipment, technique and theory. Students will learn about microphones, sound recording, amplification, and the physics of sound. The course will culminate in a performance to the community of student presentations that expresses the wide use of sound as part of our culture. Evaluation will be based on class participation and a set of assignments, including a final project. Emphasis will be placed on an artistic interpretation of soundscape, although students will be expected to have a basic understanding of the scientific basis of acoustic phenomena.

Level:  Intermediate.  Prerequisites: One AD and one ES course. Class Limit: 12.  Lab fee $60.   Meets the following degree requirements: ADS

AD3021Cities: Past, Present and Future

This intermediate course focuses on the architecture and physical form of cities through time. Rome has had a profound influence on the design of architecture and cities. In preparation for a 9-12 day field trip to this remarkable city, students will become familiar with its layers of history, the classic orders, the writings of Vitruvius, and the works of Michelangelo, among others. They will experience firsthand the city's famous monuments, ruins, buildings, piazzas, gardens, and neighborhoods, documenting their field observations in sketches, photographs and notes. Upon returning the focus will shift to an examination of the history of several major American and European cities, conditions, policies and technologies that shaped them, and various historic and current urban design movements. We will conclude with examples of recent and emerging international strategies to improve urban public space, transportation, provide local food, reduce emissions, and address impacts of climate change. Students will be evaluated on quality of their field notes and sketches, assignments, class discussions and presentations.

This course will be integrated with and requires co-enrollment in Advanced Food Policy. The third enrollment credit must be either Power and Governance or an Independent Study.

Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor.  Class Size Limit: 12.  Lab fee: $800.00.  Meets the following degree requirements: AD

AD3022Play Production Workshop

This course provides practical experience in the processes required to build a theatrical production. Students research, rehearse and produce a performance for the public in collaboration with a faculty director. The number of students enrolled in the course will vary depending upon the demands of the play. Students with any or no experience in theatre are welcome. In most cases, all assignments (cast and crew) will be made the previous term, through auditions and interviews. Those interested in non-actor aspects of production (set design, light and sound design, stage management etc.) are especially encouraged. The course meets 4 days a week and those enrolled must be available for a certain amount of additional collaborative work outside class time (additional rehearsals, construction and tech, and final performance dates). A production schedule will be available by week one. Evaluation is based on commitment to the particular demands of the project as well as a final reflective paper based on the experience. Default grading option is Credit/No Credit.
Level: Intermediate.  Prerequisites: Permission of Instructor.  Course limit: 15.  Lab fee:  $50.  Meets the following degree requirements: ADS

AD342Problems in Painting: Techniques, Skills and Vision

This course deals with the problems encountered in the development of the student's personal voice in painting. Emphasis is placed on encouraging students to develop the techniques, compositional and color sense, and thematic consistency necessary to the development of self-assured artistic sensibility. Evaluations are based on the student's artistic output as well as his or her devotion to the learning process. Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Prerequisites: Two-dimensional Design I or other drawing course or portfolio review. Offered every other year. Class limit: 12. Lab fee: $160. *AD*

AD353Land Use Planning I

In this course we will examine what key physical aspects make communities desirable places to live, work and visit and how principals of sustainability can be integrated into the planning process. New development often undermines a sense of place and poses threats to environmental resources such as water quality. Through analyzing a local town in terms of its natural resources, cultural history, scenic quality and the built environment, students determine how new development and conservation may be balanced. They learn how to use computerized geographic information systems (GIS) as a planning tool in developing their recommendations. Students present their final class project to local community decision-makers. Level: Intermediate. Previous coursework in GIS is not a prerequisite. Class limit: 12. Lab Fee $50.00. I. Mancinelli and G. Longsworth *AD* Offered every other year.

AD354Four-Dimensional Studio

This class gives students an opportunity to investigate time-based art. 4-D art draws on the vast and varied traditions of theatre, dance, media, and music, often crossing boundaries to create hybrid works. This course will focus on concepts and processes related to representing and experiencing events that take place in time. Strategies for planning, proposing, and producing work individually or collaboratively will be discussed and practiced. Some class periods will be workshop in style, and include physical and vocal exercises and improvisations. The course will include basic instruction and use of video cameras and sound recording devices. A majority of the learning in this studio course will happen as students make projects and reflect on their work and the work of others. Documentation and information about contemporary and historic time-based art will be presented. Students will be evaluated based on imaginative exploration of ideas and materials, extent and depth of work processes and research, completion of assigned projects, and participation in class discussions. Level: Introductory. Lab Fee $30.00. Class limit: 12. *AD*

AD363History of Western Music

This course covers the traditions of western "ART" music from the era of Renaissance (1450-1600) through Baroque (1600-1750), Classical (1750-1820), Romantic (1820-1900), Impressionism (early 1900s) and into the 20th century primarily in Europe. Through these five centuries of Eurocentric artistic development the areas of music, art, literature, philosophy, religion, and architecture continuously merge. Extensive study is devoted to how this "convergence of ideas' led to the advancement of the western society and its direct descendent, the Americas. Major composers covered include Gabrieli, Bach, Handel, Mozart, Schubert, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Wagner, Puccini, Chopin, Strauss, Liszt, Rimsky-Korsakoff, Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Debussy, Ravel, Ives, Copland. The course requires extensive reading, listening to recordings, and video observation. Level: Introductory. Lab fee: $10 *HY* *AD*

AD376Introductory Photography

Photography is a medium that has evolved significantly over the last 150 years. This course takes a step back from the fully automatic, "point-and-shoot" age and examines the fundamental aspects of photography in order to better understand quality exposure and creative techniques. Students will become comfortable with aperture, shutter speed, reading and metering light, depth of field, exposure, and printing. Students will also develop skills in composition, lighting, and creating content by examining photographers past and present and by completing weekly photo assignments. This course requires a camera with a manual control options, although students may use either digital or film. Students will be evaluated on class participation and the quality and completion of all assignments. Level: Introductory. Class limit: 12. Lab fee: $85.

AD378History of Filmmaking (1895-1945)

This course explores the history, production and meanings of motion pictures. Using various films as case studies, we will look at the development of film forms, techniques and genres, beginning in the 1890s and progressing through the first fifty years of cinema history. The films studied will include: narrative, avant-garde, documentary, and animation. Students will learn concepts of film analysis and criticism. Students will have opportunities to practice critical skills in class discussions, and in research and writing assignments. Students will be evaluated based on attendance, participation in class discussion, and written papers. Writing focus option. Level: Introductory. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: $35. *HY* *AD* *WFO*

AD380Intermediate Graphic Design Studio II

This intermediate level course offers students an opportunity for in-depth study of contemporary issues, applications, and techniques in graphic design. Course content will vary. Topics include typography, digital imaging, analog imaging, conceptual problems in information design, environmental design, promotional, publication, and editorial design. Level: Intermediate. Prerequisite: Signature of instructor, Graphic Design Studio I. Class Limit: 12. Lab fee: $85. *AD*

AD384Plants in the Campus Landscape

This course adopts a workshop format, focusing on the management of living plant collections on the COA campus. Emphasis will be on planting and maintenance of woody plants, but some attention will be paid to perennial herbaceous ornamentals. Class activities will include hands-on projects, e.g. pruning campus trees, shrubs, and vines, planting new accessions for the campus-wide arboretum, identifying and labeling plants, developing a map and tour guide for campus plants, studying planting design principals and site requirements, and developing a plan for future additions to the campus-wide arboretum, strategies for dealing with invasive exotics, and replacement of specimen trees. This course may be especially appropriate for those interested in horticulture and landscape architecture. There are no course prerequisites, but some background in design or horticulture is helpful, such as a prior course in plant taxonomy, gardening, arts and design, or architecture. Students will be evaluated on class participation, completion of assignments and an individual project. Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Class limit: 16. Lab fee: $40.


Dance courses are offered on a regular basis by visiting instructors (typically one course per year). These courses vary in the type of dance taught, but are all performance-based workshops stressing aspects of dance forms, choreography, improvisation, and formal disciplines. Past dance courses have included: Afro/Caribbean, world folk dance, contact improvisation, and contemporary/modern dance. Level: Introductory/Intermediate/Advanced

AD390Graphic Design Studio I / Visual Communication

Visual communication is one of the most pervasive means of human communication. Graphic design, within the realm of visual communication, is a process used to effectively convey ideas and information visually through print, electronic media, products in the marketplace, and structural elements in the built environment. Its application may be promotional, editorial, informational, expositional or instigational. It may cater to, or critique -- commercialism, colonialism, capitalism, and advertising -- or alternately be used to organize information and visualize complex data, or concepts. Is it possible to construct a visual message that will be received through the din and noise of our overstuffed media environment? Past other competing messages? What are some of the contemporary issues surrounding design and the roles and responsibilities of graphic designers in the workplace and in their communities? In this introductory/intermediate level studio course you will become familiar with visual rhetoric and the basic elements, principles, and processes of graphic design that will help you to construct effective visual messages. You will work on a variety of conceptual visual communication projects in the realms of information design, editorial design, and promotional design. Lectures, demonstrations, assignments and critiques will offer a balanced framework for developing skills in creative perception, critical thinking and visual communication. An emphasis is placed on these elements and evaluation will be weighted more heavily in these areas than technical expertise on the computer. You will however, be required to learn the basics of several computer graphic applications (Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe InDesign and/or Quark) in order to complete coursework. You will receive basic instruction in these programs in class, but will be expected to refer to computer manuals and guide books for specific tools and techniques that may be required to

AD3913D Studio: Introduction to Three-Dimensional Art and Design

This course is an introduction to three dimensional design and sculpture. Through a variety of projects students will analyze and apply the classic organizing principles of three dimensional design work. Elements of form, space, line, texture, light, color, scale and time (including sound, sensory perceptions, movement and natural processes) will be explored -- with attention paid to how a work functions, involves a viewer, activates a space, or impacts an environment, physically, psychically or socially. Projects in the class will progress from the creation of objects, to investigations of the sensory and objective aspects of space. Students will experiment with subtractive and constructive processes using traditional as well as contemporary materials such as found, recycled and natural objects. A diverse range of materials and techniques will be introduced and demonstrated. Discussion of historic and contemporary artists' work will augment the course. Students will be evaluated based on completion of projects, participation in class discussions and individual/group critiques. Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Class limit: 15. Lab Fee $75. *AD*

AD393Constructing Visual Narrative

Narrative: n. & adj.  N. a spoken or written account of connected events in order of happening. The practice or art of narration.  Adj. in the form of, or concerned with, narration (narrative verse).
How is meaning shaped by the images we create? In all cultures, throughout time, artists have sought ways to tell stories about far ranging topics -- the unknown, the success of a hunt, gods and goddesses, historical events, wars, court tales, biblical themes, social instruction, morals, politics, product promotion, and personal imaginings.  Historically, artists have adapted visual story telling techniques to exploit evolving technology and changing social concerns, from ancient wall markings, tomb inscriptions, scrolls, illuminated manuscripts, pottery decoration, carved totems, pictorial painting, to sequential engraved prints, comic books, graphic novels, graffiti and the web. In this studio course, students will investigate "visual language", symbolism, and some of the pictorial devices, materials, and techniques employed by artists to tell stories visually -particularly through sequential composition in the graphic arts. 

Through focused assignments, discussion of artists' works (historic and across cultures), and guided demonstrations in a variety of materials and techniques, students will respond to select historic forms of visual narrative to create unique contemporary forms in which to tell their own relevant stories. "Case Study" studio projects will be selected to focus on key points in world history that mark technological transition in material, technique and pictorial devices employed by artists to render visual narratives.  Projects will range from the hands-on exploration of ancient wall painting and low relief carving technique, through non-press printing techniques such as linocut, image transfer, and potato prints, to collage of found images, xerography, Polaroid print manipulation, digital prints and "synthetic" imaging on the computer. Students will be encouraged to explore and invent new forms of sequential composition and utilize new or previously unexplored materials or techniques.  Concurrent investigations in visual studies will focus on the meaning created through the use of pictorial devices, signs and symbols, and the creation of narrative structure through repeated image/duplication, sequential composition, and visual allegory. Students will be evaluated on writing assignments, level of completion and analysis of assigned readings, research and presentation, quality and completion of projects, and participation in class activities and discussion. There are no prerequisites, however, the following courses are recommended: Intro to Arts and Design, or 2D courses in drawing, painting, printmaking, or graphic design, photography, or writing and/or literature courses.

Level: Introductory/intermediate.  Class Limit: 15.  Lab Fee: $85 to cover basic materials necessary for assignments. *AD*

AD394Curiosity and Wonder: Design & Interpretation in the Museum

From "cabinet of curiosity" to "exploratorium", this studio course surveys contemporary museum activities and methods of communication through visual display, space, and interaction. Students will engage in a project development process to refine "big ideas", determine educational goals, and learn techniques to design and build their projects. Class participants will gain an understanding of factors that influence learning, media and modes that may be utilized to communicate complex content, and how meaning is constructed by the selection, organization and layering of intellectual material through the use of object, text, image, and experiential devices. Projects and hands-on workshops will provide an opportunity to gain skills and techniques in visualizing ideas by developing concepts in the form of plans, sketches, models, and narrative description. Students will have an opportunity to evaluate and create interpretive material for the George B. Dorr Natural History Museum at the College of the Atlantic. Students will be evaluated through participation in class discussion and critiques, attendance, and for completion and quality of assigned projects. This course is appropriate for all students interested in informal education in the museum environment, design, and visual communication. Level: Introductory/intermediate. Prerequisite: One or more courses in Arts and Design OR Educational Studies. Class limit: 15. Lab Fee: $75 *AD*

AD396Advanced Graphic Design Studio II: Graphic Attack

The name of this course, "graphic attack", refers not only to the power of image and text within our visually saturated physical and virtual environments, but to the need to evaluate and respond critically to mass media. Students will explore and discuss the roles and responsibilities of designers as primary crafters of visual messages through promotion, advertising and identity design and investigate the work of artists and designers who appropriate tools of advertising to construct alternative messages outside of, and often in critique of, the commercial realm.
This advanced level studio art course combines critical examination of contemporary graphic design practice with studio projects in creative problem solving. Practice in design research, layout and composition, typography, digital imaging and text/image composition will be combined with hands-on studio projects in image generation such as block print, silkscreen, monoprint, instant photography, xerography and collage techniques.

Projects will range from investigations of personal identity and branding to advertising and package design in the retail and socio-political environments. Through studio visits, students will have an opportunity to meet professional artists and designers to discuss first hand process and ethical issues related to their work. Students will be evaluated on conceptual problem solving ability, effectiveness of design solutions, understanding and practice of the incremental process of design, timeliness and quality of work, and thoughtful participation in class discussion and critique.

Level: Intermediate.  Prerequisite: Signature of instructor, Graphic Design Studio I.  Class limit: 12.  Lab Fee: $85  *AD*


AD399Instrumental Music

This tutorial offers individual or small-group instruction in a particular musical instrument. Students taking this tutorial will meet weekly for at least 1 1/2-hours of individual instruction. Students will also devote at least 8-10 hours a week to independent and group work. Students taking this tutorial must complete an end-of-the term project or performance. This tutorial is offered upon demand to interested and qualified students. Over the past several years the College has offered tutorials in a wide range of instruments, including but not limited to: flute, mandolin, cello, violin, percussion, piano, alto saxophone, guitar, bass guitar, upright bass, and woodwinds. Level: Introductory/Intermediate/Advanced, See instructor. Prerequisites: See instructor. Lab fee: $20. *AD*

AD4011Life Drawing

This course attempts to create a reasonable fusion of technical accuracy and creative expression.  Each student is encouraged to develop his or her own style and mode of expression through the use of varied media such as pencil, charcoal, collage, and paint in both color and black and white.  Two class critiques are scheduled during the term.  Evaluations are based on progress made and overall quality of each student's portfolio.

Level: Intermediate/Advanced.  Prerequisite:  Previous studio art course or signature of instructor based on review of portfolio.  Offered every year.  Class Size: 16.  Lab fee $75.  Meets the following degree requirements: ADS

AD4013Activating Spaces: Installation Art

"space in active dialogue with the things and people it contains..."  -RoseLee Golberg, from Space as Praxis
Installation art is one of the most original, vigorous, and fertile forms of contemporary art.

It often involves working in specific non-art sites where the activation of the place, or context, of artistic intervention is concerned not only with art and its boundaries, but also with the fusion of art and life. Installation art extends the area of practice from the studio to public space. Architects, urban planners, and environmental designers consider similar formal and social aspects of space in the creation of city plans, buildings, and public spaces. Through hands-on projects and a survey of historic and contemporary art and design work, this intermediate level 3D studio course offers an opportunity to explore formal aspects and social contexts of space and time as a medium for making art.

Students will create interior and exterior installations that may incorporate sculptural elements, everyday objects, light, sound, or other devices. Course work will investigate the objective and subjective qualities of space, material, and form, and the meanings created through their juxtaposition. In addition to studio work, we will survey a variety of historic and contemporary contextual art works including: spaces laid out by architects and designers, installation itself as an art form, public art projects, sacred spaces, the work of visionary artists, historic sites, and monuments.  Students will be evaluated on their participation in class activities and critiques, their timely completion of projects, and attendance.

Level: Intermediate/Advanced.  Prerequisites: 3D studio classes in art, architecture, environmental design, performance art or signature of instructor.  Class limit: 10.  Lab fee: $75.  Meets the following degree requirements: ADS

AD411Film Sound and Image

This hands-on course will explore sound composition, editing, and mixing to create soundtracks for video and/or film. Students who take this course must have a background in music composition and/or sound and video production in order to collaborate on creative video/sound projects. Sound recordings will include music and voice as well as everyday sounds and special sound effects. The class will incorporate a number of group projects as well as individual exercises to illustrate sound recording and mixing strategies. We will also study sound in relation to video/film through readings and screenings. In addition to class assignments, students will start developing sound tracks for their independent projects. Students will be evaluated on their success in creating compositions, recordings, and mixes for video/film projects; and their ability to bring together moving pictures with a soundtrack to create a whole that is more than the sum of its parts. Students will also be evaluated on their participation in class discussions and exercises. Level: Intermediate/advanced. Prerequisites: Background in music composition and/or sound and video production. Class limit: 12. Lab fee: $40. *AD*

AD416Advanced Life Drawing

Drawing the human figure is regarded by many visual artists as the most frustratingly challenging and sublimely rewarding of all artistic undertakings. Long and devoted practice is required for the integration of all of the complex elements that go into a drawing that is at the same time technically accomplished and emotionally or spiritually evocative. This tutorial will offer the student with introductory life drawing experience the opportunity to continue the learning process with a structured, studio based exploration that takes up where Fundamentals of Life Drawing left off. In addition to attending all three weekly studio sessions, students are expected to do independent work in anatomy that includes the study and drawing of historical precedents. Students will also be expected to present an illustrated oral report to the Fundamentals of Life Drawing class on one master artist. Advanced students will be encouraged to assist beginning students from time to time. Level: Advanced. Class limit: 6. Lab fee: $70. *AD*

AD438History of Filmmaking (1946-Present)

D. W. Griffith, pioneer of early cinema, prophesied in 1924 that by 2024 cinema would have been instrumental in "eliminating from the face of the civilized world all armed conflict". Where have things gone wrong? Cinema is a powerful medium that in many ways is still struggling to find its place among the other arts; there are many promising byways that have been overlooked or under-explored. This course explores the histories, production and meanings of motion pictures. Using various films as case studies, we will look at the development of film forms, techniques and genres from 1946 to the present - the second half of cinema history. Films studied will include examples of narrative, documentary, animation, and the avant-garde. Students will learn concepts of film analysis and criticism, and will have opportunities to practice critical skills in class discussions and in research and writing assignments. Evaluation will be based on attendance, participation in class discussion, written papers, and research presentations. Film gives us the opportunity to, in the words of David Lynch, "get lost in another dream in the dark". Who decides which dreams we will see? Through an understanding of where cinema has been we can more effectively shape its, and our, future. Writing Focus option. Level: Intermediate. Lab fee: $35. *AD* *HY* *WFO*

AD443Animation II

The class further develops ideas, skills, and animation projects through a mix of: in-class projects/demos/skill based activities, readings, discussions, screenings, presentations, and individual meetings with the instructor. Students will write a production plan that will serve as an outline of each student?s project(s) for the term. The instructor will provide useful activities, information, resources, critiques and guidance. A schedule of presentations of student works-in-progress will be created. Readings will address ideas and theories related to animation studies and processes. Advanced animation techniques may include camera work and sound design. Work completed over the term may be a single longer animation or a series of animated shorts depending on the student?s preference and animation goals. However, all students will be expected to produce advanced level work and encouraged to experiment and push their work to the highest level. Students will be evaluated on their projects, participation in critiques and discussions and overall level of engagement with the course material and class. Level: Advanced. Lab fee: $80. Pre-requisite: Signature of Instructor. Class size: 12 *AD*

AD451The Reality Effect: Art and Truth in the 19th Century

There are myriad realities described by artists and authors. This course concerns itself specifically with the development of visual Realism from 1800-1945 in Europe and America. We will examine the origin of artist methodologies of production as they relate to modernity. Our concerns will include the relation of art to significant political, sociological, and psychological programs of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The new realities created through revolutions in political and social structures, and in our understanding of the physical composition of the world itself are made evident in art that pictures social class, large historical moments, and a specific instant of time in a way that changes how we visualize reality and challenges our understanding of actuality. Students will be evaluated based on class participation, class discussion leadership, reading notes, and written paper. Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Pre-requisites: none. Class limit: 16. Lab Fee: $30. *AD*

AD455Theater Workshop

A theater course at College of the Atlantic involves the full production of a play. Class time is spent on readings, performance skills, and rehearsals. The piece that will be performed is chosen by the instructor or with student input from information provided by the instructor. Students are evaluated on their attendance, participation and their involvement in group dynamics. There is ample opportunity for production work though not necessarily within the framework of the course.

AD456Art Since 1900: Harmony and Conflict

The artworks of Pablo Picasso and Hannah H? both the well-known and lesser-known artist made paintings and sculptures that facilitate our understanding of how people experienced the twentieth century. Cubism, Surrealism, Expressionism, Minimalism, and more - these artist movements were initiated through group declarations of common aesthetic purpose. This art history survey looks at how their varied concerns with theories of the unconscious, radical political programs, social upheaval, and scientific discoveries were expressed through artistic production. Anxiety, joy, curiosity, and activist predilection combine to formulate a rich amalgam of fresh and challenging visions of the world. Level: Introductory. Prerequisites: none. Lab fee: $65. Class Limit: 18 *AD* *HY*

AD457The Wilderness in Landscape Art I: Proto-Ecological Visions

This course is concerned with the visualization of what is wild in the landscape and how artists pictured that which others saw as untamed. Course readings will engage with a variety of texts written by art historians, geographers, historians, writers, and theoreticians that address the invention of the modern idea of wilderness. Assumptions governing what constitutes wilderness and how artists have shaped our perception of it are among topics which we will consider. Landscapes contain life that seems to fluctuate between haggard or feral states of nature. We will investigate how an artist distinguishes between that which is cultivated and that which is natural; what images evoke nostalgia for a lost past or suggest the preference for a human dominance over those origins we have isolated ourselves from. Students will examine visual evidence in the fine arts that indicates a growing awareness of the effect of the Industrial Revolution in North America and in Europe. Although we look at ecologies through the eyes of artists, students interested in the science, history, and literature are encouraged to take the course. Evaluation will be based on a research paper and class presentation. There will be a class trip to view art and/or sites relevant to our discussion. Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Permission of instructor required. Lab fee: $50. Class limit: 12. *AD* *HY*

AD459Contemporary Artist as Researcher and Activist

The student will be introduced to the post-modern stream of visual culture that places nature and our relationship to it within the context of pressing global issues. These artworks engage with nature by their placement in site-specific locations, through new modes of picturing, and/or through the appropriation of natural materials. Many of the artists we will examine make use of new tools designed for industrial purpose, medical, technological or scientific research. Other artists utilize organic materials to craft their designs. These artists appropriate the role of "researcher" in order to bring attention to ecologies that human beings have disrupted or will disrupt. How these artists bring us to a deeper understanding of our relationship with nature through new media is our concern. Evaluation is based on class participation, evidence of completion of weekly readings, and a final paper and a class presentation. The class will take at least one field trip. Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Prerequisites: none. Lab fee: $50. Class limit: 15. *AD* *HY* 

AD460Journeys in French Film

This course will use the theme of the journey to select French language films for study that span the history of filmmaking-from The Lumiere Brothers, Georges Meilies, Chris Marker, Agnes Varda, and Jacques Tati to films of the 21st century. We will use these films to study the ideas of crossing cultures and geographies (real or imagined). Students will choose a director or sub-theme that they wish to research and present-either as a presentation or a project; and students will write on topics related to the films presented in the course and other films of their choosing. We will use the film study collections at College of the Atlantic and at CAVILAM, as points of departure and discovery. Various readings will accompany the films that are presented. Students will be evaluated on their participation in discussions, on the expression of their research projects, and on several short response papers. Level: Intro/intermediate. Prerequisites: permission of instructor; this course is intended to complement a term of language and film study in Vichy, France. Class limit: 12

AD461Carnet de Voyage: The Illustrated Travel Journal

In this advanced interdisciplinary arts course you will explore the form and nature of the illustrated travel journal or Carnet de Voyage and create a personal record of travel abroad. The nature of the Carnet de Voyage expresses a coherent narrative or aesthetic beyond the logging of dates and events as found in a field book or a ship's log. Because of the advanced nature of the course, you will be invited to draw on previous courses and experience in the arts to choose a media; drawing, sketching, painting, digital word and image, photography, video, or sound, to create a comprehensive visual response to, and documentation of, your travels that constitute an illustrated journal. You will be asked to focus your carnet on a particular aspect of culture. For example topics as broad as food, politics, industry, or as narrowly defined as body marking or human/animal interactions or the idea of waste. Class presentations and discussion will surround the visual display of culture, and the history of the travel journal. We will survey the illustrated travel journal as an art, and as a record of cultural interaction through historic and contemporary examples shown in class, and through first hand observation in museums and other cultural institutions in France. Readings will include travel literature, Carnet de Voyages, and critical readings surrounding the representation of culture. Class participants will be given technical guidance as needed on their projects and will share their work during in-progress and final critiques. Students will be required to create a copy of their work in final form for submission and evaluation. Evaluation will be based on participation in class discussions and activities; and in the thoroughness, level of thought, creativity, and artistry in visual research projects. This course is designed for students have demonstrated ability to complete independent work in the arts and are expected to have previously completed intermediate/advanced level courses in the arts.  

AD462Drawing Mineral and Botanical Matter in the Forest of Maine

Viewed as a regular practice, the descriptive power of drawing can intensify the experience of observational fieldwork, provide the draughtsperson with a richer understanding of the cycles within a landscape, and deepen our relationship with the natural world. The primary setting for this studio course is Mount Desert Island. The subject matter of our visual attention includes trees, rock features, and other indigenous plant life of the island. Students will learn a variety of drawing methods in order to document the natural history of a specific place. Coursework includes: maintaining a field sketchbook, graphically recording the development of a singular botanical life-form over the course of the term, and producing visual notations in the sketchbook during a bi-weekly slide lecture on the history of artistic representations of the natural world. Evaluation is based on class participation, evidence of completion of weekly assignments, and final project. Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Prerequisites: None. Lab fee: $65. Class limit: 12. *AD*

AD468Introduction to Violin

This course is a fundamental study of the violin. Topics covered will include bowing, fingerboard development/fluency, fingering/position work and facility, note reading, theory as related to violin, and scale and mode work. Students are expected to develop physical facility, mental facility, and aural facility through class instruction in twice-weekly one and a half hour classes, weekly one-on-one sessions with the instructors, and daily individual practice. Evaluation will be based on progress as demonstrated during class and individual sessions and an end of term project or performance. Level: Introductory. Prerequisites: Students must provide their own instruments, or may rent them for the 10 weeks of the term. Lab fee: $10. *AD*


Photography courses are offered on a regular basis by visiting instructors (typically 1-2 courses per year). These courses vary in focus but are intended to introduce the principles and applied techniques of contemporary photographic practices. Recent courses include Intro to Digital Photography; Documentary Arts: Telling True Stories through Photo Essay; Photographic Syntax: Visual Seminar. Level: varied, Introductory to Advanced

AD475Prints and Printmakers: A Natural and Cultural History

Prints and Printmakers introduces students to the history and culture of printed images. The course is organized chronologically and develops by way of geographic location. The advent of reproductive technology in the fifteenth century (printed books, woodcuts, and engravings) coincides with dramatic developments in the natural sciences, theology, and political institutions of the Western world - the images from this early modern era still hold an emblematic place in our imagination and remain concealed within current popular culture. The class will be concerned with unique images, multiples, and reproductions from the fifteenth through the eighteenth century that serve as substitutes for objects of art, topographical describers, as well as pictures that serve as paradigms of cultural ideas and illustrations for scientific discourse. We will explore the way in which nature and culture are envisioned before the popularization of photography and digital image revolution. Theoretical associations with these reproductive technologies will be brought forward to deepen our understanding of artistic practice. Anyone studying the development of human ideas over time would benefit from this course. Students will be evaluated based on class discussion, short writing assignments, and a final research paper. Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Prerequisites none. Class Limit: 12. Lab fee: $65 *AD* *HY*

AD483Elements of Theatre

What is theatre, how does it work and why does it matter? This course explores these questions through practical hands-on experience in each of the major elements of theatrical production. It also introduces students to the range of disciplines covered in the Theatre curriculum and encourages students to investigate ways to effectively use theatre and theatre making skills to express themselves in other disciplines. The course provides a brief overview of the origins of theatre, some basic logistics and vocabulary and a practical understanding of the uniquely collaborative relationships involved in this process. Students actively investigate the most traditional elements of production: acting, playwriting, direction and design and are expected to research, observe, analyze, and produce their own creative work independently and collaboratively. Evaluations are based on participation in class discussion and activities, the effective completion of a series of small creative projects and a final project/paper based on their findings throughout the course. 

Level: Introductory. Prerequisites: None. Class limit: 12.  Lab fee: $20. *AD*

AD484Movement Training Basics

An introduction to a wide variety of physical skills useful for anyone interested in investigating their own physical potential for self-expression. Techniques used will be derived from classical ballet, clowning, mime, sports, acrobatics and improvisation. The work will promote a greater sense of physical awareness and imaginative possibility and will focus on mental and physical stamina, flexibility and agility. Together we will challenge our own preconceptions about body image and body language and work creatively and collaboratively to clarify abstract concepts through physical action. Evaluation is based on class participation and engagement with introduced topics and concepts. Students with any or no movement experience are welcome.  

Level: Introductory. Prerequisites: none.  Course limit: 15.  Lab fee: $20  *ADS*

AD485Dramatic Mechanics: The Dynamics of Difference and Power

The psychology of power dynamics is the fundamental core of dramatic literature. This course will focus on plays that deal with particular issues of class, gender, race etc. and how modern playwrights have used the medium to explore relationships inherently based in power struggle. It's also about understanding the unique architecture of texts written for performance and finding meaning within specific historical and societal contexts. Playwrights will include Howard Barker, Amiri Baraka, David Mamet, Sarah Kane and others. Students will develop ideas for staging possibilities, learn the basic language and concepts of dramaturgy and explore the unique ways theatre artists can investigate the nature of power dynamics. We will go on at least one field trip. Evaluation is based on participation in class activities and discussion, a series of short playwriting assignments and a final presentation and paper.

Level: Introductory/Intermediate.  Prerequisites: none.  Course limit: 12.  Lab fee: $55  *ADS*

AD486Acting I

This course is geared toward students who may or may not have any experience with performance. Together we will establish a common language to define the most important tools of an actor. Through a series of games and exercises, students develop new skills and practice making bolder, clearer choices within improvised, devised or established scenes. The goals are to create confidence in any sort of performance situation and to find ways to apply acting skills to other academic and outside experiences. Evaluation is based on participation in class activities and discussion, successful completion of a course topics response portfolio and a series of in class performance projects. 

Level: Introductory/intermediate.  Prerequisites: none.  Course limit: 12.  Lab fee: $20  *ADS*

AD488Watching Globally: Intro to Contemporary Cinema of the World

What happens to us when we walk into a movie theater? What are our expectations? To what degree are we prepared to be challenged or confronted by something new or different? Of approximately 5000 films produced yearly worldwide, fewer than 5% are given a general U.S. theatrical release. Of these 250, fewer than 30 come from outside the Hollywood system. There are wonderful, unique movies being made every day that most of us will never know exist. This is largely due to entrenched ideas of how to play it commercially "safe," but also has a great deal to do with a national isolationism which Hollywood films support and perpetuate. What are filmmakers in other countries focusing their attentions on? What stylistic choices are they making? How does one find out about these other films, let alone see them? In this class we will watch movies made within the last twelve years in Austria, Belgium, Burkina Faso, Canada, China, Greece, Hungary, Iran, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand and many other countries--films made by directors the rest of the world acknowledges as masters but who are virtually unknown in the U. S. Critical and theoretical essays from a variety of sources will offer detailed readings on the individual films as well as give a clear picture of how Hollywood functions to silence other voices and the ramifications of these practices on world finance and culture. Among topics covered will be: new media, the digital revolution, the changing face of copyright law, how movies can mask cultural assumptions and reinforce stereotypes or reveal new ways of seeing/perceiving. Evaluation will be based on class participation, weekly response papers, and a final paper/presentation.

Level:  Introductory. Prerequisites: none. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: $45 *AD*

AD492The Science of Comedy

This course explores the nature and history of modern comedy and investigates the tools and techniques of great comic performers. We'll cover the evolution of comedy aesthetics from vaudeville and silent film to contemporary stand up and television and we'll explore what, if any sort of 'funny' is timeless. The course uses film, video, live performance and readings. Students gain practical experience through  work on classic routines, physical comedy skills and sketch development as well as experimenting with the peculiar mathematics of comic timing. Together, we will try to pinpoint what actually makes something funny and as importantly, why people crave laughter so much in the first place. There will be at least one field trip. Evaluation is based on participation in activities and discussion as well as a portfolio of short topic responses and a final presentation/paper.

Level: Introductory/Intermediate.  Prerequisites: none. Course limit: 12.  Lab fee: $55.  *AD*

AD496Art & Culture in Northern New Mexico

This course is part of a three-course sequence entitled "The Unexpected Journey:  Art, Literature, and History on the Road in Nuevo Mexico."  This course examines the art and architecture of Northern New Mexico including: painting, printmaking, photography, and other forms of cultural production (e.g. ceramics, textiles, ritual dance) from the 12th century to the present.  We examine New Mexico as both a coalesced and contested historical and geographical site and as the subject of representational, non-representational, sociopolitical, and symbolic imagery. How have artists depicted its varied landscapes, both natural and cultural, as well as its complex history of indigenous dwelling, colonial occupation, environmental stewardship, natural resource exploitation, ethnic tension, and social discord?  New Mexico's art is neither as singular nor unitary as the tourist industry would like us to think.  Much of this course is field-based.  We will be visiting numerous places from large urban cities (Albuquerque), to mid-sized cities (Santa Fe), to towns (Taos), villages (Trampas, San Jóse), and Native American homelands (Taos Pueblo).  Sites of interest include the sacred (Santuario de Chimayó) and secular (Ghost Ranch), educational (Hispanic Cultural Center) and agrarian (Pecos River Valley).  Students will learn to apply a range of methodological strategies utilized by art and cultural historians to examine, research, analyze, critique, and interpret cultural objects.  Course readings will engage with key primary and secondary sources written by selected historians, cultural geographers, artists, and storytellers.  Our work in this course will demonstrate how art practice along with disciplined scholarship can generate a critical awareness of an object's ideological context.   Evaluation will be based on class participation, an oral presentation, and a research paper.  Each student will produce a research paper relevant to his or her own critical and/or historical interests and concerns.  

All three courses must be taken concurrently: Native American Literature:  A Case Study of the Development of Literary Traditions with a New Mexico Focus (Waldron), Art and Culture in Northern New Mexico (Clinger), Processing the Unexpected Journey:  Aesthetics, Experience, and the Creation of an Interdisciplinary Project  (Clinger and Waldron).

Level: Intermediate/Advanced.  Prerequisites: Permission of Instructor. Class Limit: 8  *AD* *HY*

AD5013Advanced Projects: Art Practice and Concepts

This course is designed for students who have taken at least two previous arts and design related courses and are prepared to pursue an in-depth project. This seminar combines academic study and studio work, and explores theory and practice related to various visual arts disciplines. The course will provide individual guidance and group critiques for students from various disciplines to meet, present and discuss their work.  Contemporary critical issues are addresses through readings, screenings/slides and discussions.  We will explore how an artist builds a body of work, and discuss working processes and issues in art and society.  The course will include field trips and visiting artists, when available and pertinent. Students will be evaluated on their progress towards their goals, and participation in discussions and critiques.   Students may work in video, painting, photography, installation, sculpture, 2-D, or hybrid forms, but students should already have the basic skills required for their chosen project(s).

Level: Advanced.  Prerequisites: Permission of instructor.  Class limit: 12.  Lab fee: $100.  Meets the following degree requirements: ADS

AD502Form of the City

For the first time in history the majority of the Earth’s population lives in cities. Through books, films, lectures, and student presentations this advanced seminar will examine the evolution of several major cities and how key individuals from Louis-Napoleon to Jane Jacobs, Kevin Lynch, and contemporary critics continue to influence the design of urban centers. Students will undertake individual research projects on particular cities or aspects of planning and design such as public parks and open space, urban agriculture, or strategies to address climate change and issues arising from rapidly expanding informal urban settlements which they will document and present to the class. This course is open to students who have completed at least two courses in planning or design and are prepared to pursue in-depth research. Evaluations are based on documentation and presentation of individual research and participation in class discussions. 

Level: Advanced. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Class limit: 10. Lab fee: $40.  *AD*

ES480Introduction to Collections Care: Saving all the Parts

Natural history museums are major players in the great human enterprise that was started by Linnaeus over 250 years ago: to catalog all of Earth's species and understand the inherent order of these organisms. While the Earth's biotic inventory is far from complete, natural history collections presently held by reputable institutions represent extremely valuable and, in some cases, irreplaceable sources of knowledge regarding life on our planet. This course introduces students to current principles and practices of caring for and organizing collections through hands-on work with the holdings of the Dorr Museum. This course will focus on the proper storage, handling, and exhibition of collections, and cataloguing collections in accordance with currently accepted evolutionary relationships among represented taxa. Through individual and group projects, students will research and pilot practices that address short- and long-term needs of collection material. Students will be evaluated on level of class participation and successful completion of class projects, including a final project that will form the basis of a strategic plan for collections care at the Dorr Museum. This course is suitable for students interested in the study of natural history, vertebrate biology, educational studies, and exhibition in museums and galleries. Level: Introductory. Class limit: 14. Lab fee: $30.00.

ES561Sustainable Material Design

This course will look at designing safe, environmentally friendly materials from renewable resources. With a focus on polymers, we will delve into how one would begin the practice of developing a new product from initial raw material selection through processing/fabrication and into its afterlife as new material. Students will learn in-depth aspects of the chemical structure-property relationship of renewably sourced polymers (plastics), like natural rubber, starch/cellulose, poly(lactic acid), and poly(hydroxyalkonates). We will also examine the recent expansion of biorefineries and microbial fermentation as a means for the production of biobased commodity chemicals. By the end of the course, students should be able to evaluate target applications for renewably sourced materials and understand their potential human health and socioeconomic impacts. Chemical structures will be presented; therefore students will be expected to learn small portions of organic chemistry throughout the course. Evaluations will be based on class participation, a mid-term examination, and a final report and poster presentation. Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: Chemistry I; a general course in economics concurrently or prior to enrollment will also be helpful. Class Limit: 20 Lab fee: $20. *ES*

HE1010Human Ecology Core Course

Human Ecology is the interdisciplinary study of the relationships between humans and their natural and cultural environments.  The purpose of this course is to build a community of learners that explores the question of human ecology from the perspectives of the arts, humanities and sciences, both in and outside the classroom.  By the end of the course students should be familiar with how differently these three broad areas ask questions, pose solutions, and become inextricably intertwined when theoretical ideas are put into practice.  In the end, we want students to be better prepared to create your own human ecology degree through a more in depth exploration of the courses offered at College of the Atlantic.  We will approach this central goal through a series of directed readings and activities.

Level:  Introductory.  Lab fee: $25.  Meets the following degree requirements: HE

HS654Film Theory

How do motion pictures express ideas? Why do we respond to them in the ways we do? Film theorists have approached these questions from contexts as diverse as formal composition (sound, mise-en-scene, color, cinematography and editing), signs and symbols (semiotics), cultural and/or gender concerns, and psychoanalysis. In this class, we will practice using these and other theories to understand and analyze moving pictures. Each week we will screen one or two feature length movies as well as a number of short films. Screenings will be complemented by source texts from critics, theorists, artists/filmmakers and cinephiles. Students may choose to take this course as writing intensive; those who do will be required to write and revise three or four critical response essays based in analytical frameworks covered in the course. All students will be required to complete a final research paper and presentation. Students should expect to spend 7-9 hours a week in class meetings, labs and screenings (in addition to writing, research). Students will be evaluated on papers, final project and participation in discussions. Writing Focus option. Level: Introductory/intermediate. Previous art class recommended. Class limit: 12. Lab fee: $30 *WFO*

HS669Philosophy at the Movies

The enormous success of movies has proven their entertainment value, but movies have also been used to explore concepts and situations that are on the frontiers of imagination and serve as a unique medium for articulating the limits of human possibility. Films can not only be taken as illustrations of various philosophical issues but can also be seen as a unique way of working through philosophical issues that can hardly be stated in other media. This class will examine a series of films that raise issues dealing with the nature and limits of the human and natural worlds. Besides the usual discussion classes, there will be evening "lab" classes each week devoted to screening films of conceptual interest. A series of short analytical papers will be required. Level: Introductory/intermediate. Class limit: 20.

HS756Post Colonial African Cinema

Africa was the last continent to develop a culture of filmmaking controlled by its indigenous peoples; 1966 saw the first African film to be produced independent of Colonial control (although still largely in an oppressor's language, in this case French). The fact that African film was nascent at a time of worldwide revolution, at a time in which most other filmmaking regions were entering second or third waves of creative renewal, combined with a historical lack of financial support for the filmmaking enterprise - a symptom of ubiquitous financial and political instability - has resulted in some of the most unique, diverse cinema of the past fifty years. Ranging from the established, artistic, state-regulated cinema of Burkina Faso to the populist, truly independent movies coming out of Nigeria (home of the second-largest film-producing industry in the world), the African continent has given birth to new voices and new models of production and distribution that challenge established norms. These models may offer a new paradigm for a worldwide industry which is struggling in the face of fragmented audiences and new, potentially more egalitarian, technologies. Although African films have been receiving worldwide acclaim for decades, it is only recently that many of these ground-breaking films have received attention or been available for viewing in the United States. Course texts, screenings and discussions will be supplemented by individual research projects. Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Recommended prerequisite: a course in film studies or anthropology. Class limit: 20. Lab fee: $40. *HS* *WF* optional

HS778Introduction to Screenwriting

This class explores the craft of writing for the screen. We will read a wide range of screenplays and teleplays, examining approaches for projects varying in length and dramatic scope. A study of basic Hollywood three-act structure will be balanced against a range of alternative strategies. Plot, character, dialogue and format will all be covered. Students will write throughout the term, and will have the option of focusing on several short (5-15 minute) scripts, one mid-length (30-45 minute) script, or the first half of a feature-length (90 minute) script. All writing will be reviewed in group critiques, allowing students to benefit from multiple perspectives and to hear their dialogue in the mouths of others. Students will be expected to revise each piece through several drafts. Workshop sessions will be augmented by weekly screenings. Some background in creative writing or narrative theory is helpful but not essential. Evaluation will be based on class participation, overall conceptual coherence, and quality of written work. Level: Introductory/Intermediate *HS* Limit 12. Lab fee: $30

HS782Tutorial: Advanced Seminar in Human Ecology

The purpose of this tutorial is to review the many uses of the term ?human ecology?. It begins with an historical review of the academic and intellectual origins of human ecology. From these foundations, we proceed through the development of more interdisciplinary approaches to human ecology --- working with primary source materials (e.g., books, articles, position papers, academic program descriptions and related documents). We will further explore the activities of various regional, national and international associations and the aims of leading educational institutions. Assignments and discussions will revolve around several current problems that face human ecology. In particular, we will focus on: various theoretical controversies within and between biological and human ecology; issues and proposed methods of inter-disciplinary problem-solving, planning and application; and the growth of professional opportunities in human ecology worldwide. Evaluations will be based on careful reading and review of assigned materials, participation in discussions, individual papers and a collaborative group project. Level: Advanced; Permission of instructor required; Class limit: 3 Permission of instructor required.

MD033Biology Through the Lens

Photography is one of the primary means through which scientific observation and research is conducted and presented to the public. The most provocative images of the natural world don't just happen; they are made by individuals skilled in both photography and the life sciences. In this course, students will develop technical, observational, and aesthetic skills to extract relevant information from the natural world and organisms collected from nature. Through acquired skills, students will be expected to conceive methods to document the biological world and communicate concepts using strong visual imagery. Photographic techniques and historical examples will be learned and applied. Students will be evaluated based on their successful completion of a series of project-based assignments, participation in discussions and critiques, and their ability to effectively convey biological principles through photography. Pre-requisite: at least one introductory-level biology course and one photography course or permission of instructor. Students will be expected to provide their own camera for the course; a digital camera with interchangeable lenses is recommended. Level: Intermediate. Class limit: 12. Lab fee: $95.00.

MD037Islands Through Time

14,000 years of Human Ecology on the Coast of Maine:  The coast of Maine is an ideal location for studies of the effects of changing ecologies, landscapes, and cultures on the human experience. 14000 years ago, the entire area was covered with a dense ice sheet, and at present we are facing the uncertain future of Global Warming. Between these points, the coast and islands have experienced flood, fire, earthquakes, and an enormous range of human and non-human occupants. This team-taught course will use the inter-disciplinary lens of Human Ecology to examine the consequences, implications, and potential meanings of our dwelling within both this particular landscape and other landscapes perhaps initially more familiar to students. A strong emphasis will be placed upon developing a "sense of place" through the examination of a novel, scientific writing, music, and experiential venturing upon the land and seas, learning about the history, culture, ecology, oceanography and geology of the Maine coastline, both in and by the ocean. Although a substantial element of each day's work will take the form of field trips, students will also be responsible for readings, attending a series of lectures by faculty and local experts, and working with multimedia forms. Interest in music, writing, and ecology are strongly encouraged. Students will be evaluated based on class participation, a daily log of their experiences plus several short "response pieces" to assigned readings, and a multi-media presentation capturing some aspect of their learning. Students will receive narrative evaluations and a grade of CREDIT or NO CREDIT.

Level:  Introductory.  Prerequisites: Signature of Instructor.

MD053National Park Practicum: Designing the ANP Nature Center

This trans-disciplinary, project-based course is for students interested in imagining creative and effective ways to convey science-based information to a diverse audience. Participants will engage in a collaboration between students, Acadia National Park staff, and COA faculty to create a conceptual plan for the redesign of the nature center in Acadia National Park. With over 50,000 visitors annually, The Sieur de Monts Nature Center has long served as an important space for natural history interpretation in the park. Students will work both on- and off-campus to examine current research in ecological change over time and concurrently explore innovative approaches in the design of educational environments.  Students interested in the life sciences, arts and design, experiential and informal education, and science education/interpretation will work together to outline educational goals, generate ideas and potential plans for exhibits and activities that will shape how visitors perceive and interact with Acadia National Park.

Each student will build on their interests and background while participating in a creative team process that follows national park guidelines for the development of interpretative media. While engaging in this work, students will hone skills in translating research, writing and editing for exhibits, employing visual communication, and designing educational spaces. Evaluation will be based on level of collaboration and class participation; ability to effectively communicate in writing and/or visual terms; on quality of class projects and presentations. 
Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Prerequisites: permission of instructor and one or more of the following: Curiosity and Wonder; Experiential Education; Creating Effective Environments For Learning; Biology Through the Lens; Advanced Graphic Design; or at least one *ES* course.  Class limit:  12.  Lab fee: $45.00

Arts & Design Faculty

  • Nancy Andrews
    B.F.A. Maryland Institute College of Art
    M.F.A. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago
    » Course areas: time-based arts: video, film studies, performance art, puppetry, sound, and animation
  • Jodi Baker

    B.A. California State University, Fresno

    M.F.A. National Theatre Conservatory, Denver

    » Course areas: performance, theater

  • Colin Capers
    B.A. College of the Atlantic, 1995
    M.Phil. College of the Atlantic, 2008
    » Course areas: film history, film theory, regional & political cinemas, screenwriting, literature, writing & composition.
  • Catherine Clinger
    B.F.A. University of Kansas
    printmaking and painting
    M.A. History of Art, University of New Mexico
    M.Phil. History of Art, University College London
    Ph.D. Art History, University of London
    » Course Areas: visual culture, art history, reception theory, art in natural and cultural environments. Studio art courses include: drawing, printmaking, and advisement on emergent practices.
  • Dru Colbert
    B.F.A. Auburn University M.F.A. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago
    » Course areas: graphic design, three dimensional art and design; museum issues, practice, and interpretation
  • John Cooper
    B.A. Trenton State College
    M.A. Music, Trenton State College
    » Course areas: music fundamentals, aesthetics of music and improvisation
  • Isabel Mancinelli
    B.S., Catholic University of America
    M.L.A. Landscape Architecture, Harvard University
    » Isabel is the Charles Eliot Professor of Ecological Planning, Policy and Design. She teaches courses in architecture, community and regional planning, and landscape architecture.
  • Ernie McMullen
    University of Maryland, Portland Museum School, Portland State University, 1965-1970
    » Ernie's emphasis is on the teaching of a firm foundation in the basics of the visual arts. Course areas include drawing, painting, and ceramics.