What are the three or four most important things you have learned or re-learned from your work in this course?
This Introduction to Visual Thinking class covered a lot of material about the concepts of art, but it was much more interesting because it focused around the element of time. Out of all the topics we have discussed, I really enjoyed learning about how time can affect an artist’s work. Time is something most people tend to overlook and not think about. I also liked learning more about a wide variety of famous artists. This half of the semester helped me broaden my conceptual thinking even more, especially since we applied what we had learned in discussions into decoding and interpreting artwork. I really enjoyed the exercise of looking at the art pieces in Monty because I never really took the time to look at them outside of class. It is crazy how the art pieces in the hallway are usually ignored because people are so focused on getting to class, but if you take the time to stop and look it is very rewarding. It is exciting to figure out what meaning that piece was trying to portray. This class has really taught me to think more outside the box and to pay attention to things that normally are ignored.
If you could have your instructor do two things differently, what would they be?
I thought this class was run quite well for the most part. The only thing I would suggest is a more detailed description for assignments such as the artist research paper and Powerpoint presentation in particular. We did not know exactly what the instructor was looking for in the paper and presentation. We were unaware of the format that it was supposed to in until after it was graded. Other than that, the course went pretty smoothly.
Are there things you feel you never got from this course that you really wished you had?
This course already surpassed my expectations. I thought it was just going to be discussion-based throughout the semester, but I am glad we got a lot of studio time in. I liked how the class was divided half and half with conceptual discussions about meaning and how different elements of art affect a work in addition to studio work as a response to the discussion or artist we were talking about. This semester was definitely filled with surprises. I never expected to draw from a nude model so soon! That was definitely an interesting experience. I will admit I was uncomfortable at first, but then I got used to it and learned how to focus on the negative and positive space more so than the model herself. It definitely taught my eye to be aware of the lines and contour around an object and the shapes that are created because of the negative and positive space.
If you were asked to give advice to students taking this class in the future, what would you say?
I would definitely recommend this class to everyone, even if they are not going to be art majors or minors. This class is definitely beneficial to anyone because it teaches students to become more open-minded when looking at just about anything. It really changes how you think in a positive way and forces you to look at something in multiple perspectives to find the underlying meaning. As for advice, I would suggest for students to walk in with a very open mind and to take the time to really look at the art pieces, digital images, or films that will be shown throughout the semester. I would also like to add that students should definitely listen on the discussions in class. It is so intriguing to hear what other classmates are thinking and have to say. You will be surprised how their views can shape your thinking too and make you see things differently. There is not just one way at looking things.