Course code:



IM - Introductory/Intermediate

Class size limit:


Meets the following requirements:

  • ADS - Arts & Design Studio

Lab fee:


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.



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