Fall 2020 - CA 160 D200

Introductory Studio in Visual Art I (3)

Class Number: 7628

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo, We 9:30 AM – 12:20 PM

  • Instructor:

    Kathleen Slade
    Office Hours: By appointment.



A hands-on studio course modeled on the progressive development of artistic practice from simple mark-making to full scale installation. Through a process of continuous transformation, an original idea is developed in a sequence of methods, materials and scales. Some research is required. A course materials fee is required. Students with credit for FPA 160 may not take this course for further credit.


CA 160 is a studio-based course that provides a practical and theoretical foundation for contemporary visual art.  The course is organized through a series of projects concentrating on the fundamental aspects of the visual art process and the nature of materials.  The projects guide the student through experimentation in a range of mediums in both two and three dimensions.  Each project is a logical development from the one preceding it.  The course text and in-class discussions focus on developing the student’s ability to discuss art works with a critical awareness of issues pertaining to materiality and representation. The work of a variety of contemporary artists is introduced through in-class presentations.  As an integral part of their creative activity, students are expected to contribute to class discussions and critiques of each project through engaged, informed and constructive criticism.  In addition, students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with contemporary art through assigned readings, individual research of contemporary art journals and visits to galleries, museums and other exhibition sites either in person or digitally.


  • Class projects 60%
  • Artist Presentation 10%
  • Gallery Report 10%
  • Sketchbook Documentation 10%
  • Participation in Class / Discussion 10%


CA 160 emphasizes the studio process as an important element in the production of art. In other words, this class focuses on the evolution of projects, rather than merely their outcome. Each project is the basis for the next project, and thus projects become steps or increments in a whole studio approach, leading to the end of the semester. Thus evaluation for this course is not on a project-by-project basis, but is based on an accumulation of each student’s work, as well as each student’s approach to working. Students will be given a provisional grade in the middle of the semester as a form of feedback about their progress and assigned a final grade at the end of the semester. If a student is perceived as not meeting the expectations of this course, the instructor will inform the student during the semester.

Special Notes on the Online Delivery of the class in Fall 2020

Teaching and studying studio art remotely is a new situation, we hope to focus on the positive potentials of this temporary, configuration. We realize there will be individual situations that present challenges or differences. We are dedicated to being flexible when needed, and we imagine students will take on the same ethos. The class time will be structured around in class presentations, discussions, workshops and with regular breaks for working on assigned studio projects in class time. Break out groups with class mates and on one sessions with faculty and teaching assistants will also form part of the structure.

Note that CA 160 course components will be held synchronously, please be available at the times listed.


The minimal technology requirements for successfully completing this course are: 

  • a stable internet connection;
  • video camera for online meetings;
  • a laptop or desktop computer no older than five years old;

This course will also require access to the following software:

  • Zoom (Free)

This course recommends you access the following software as you may find it useful in some projects.

  • Adobe Suite (currently available for free use)

Students are encouraged to become familiar with SCA's more technical guidelines and suggestions for required computing resources http://www.sfu.ca/content/sfu/sca/events---news/news/computer-help--sca-online-.html

If this course is a requirement to your degree and you are unable to meet one or more of the technology or synchronous time frame requirements, please contact the course instructor for possible alternative arrangements.



The projects have been designed to use inexpensive and mostly recyclable materials.  SOME materials will be supplied by the School, however you will need to accumulate some additional materials for use in the construction of your projects.

  • you will need a table space for working/drawing/ painting, a surface that can get a bit wet or dirty, and a surface to cut on (could be a large inexpensive kitchen cutting board, a couple of linoleum tiles, or a self healing cutting mat available at art supply stores.)
  • Access to a camera (you can use your camera phone provided you can download the images onto your computer and they are a good resolution )
  • utility knife with retractable snap-off blades.  We recommend a good solid one. 
  • scissors
  • paint brushes, inexpensive, acrylic brushes, small, medium, large (for instance ½”, 1”, and 2”).
  • a ruler for measuring and cutting (a metal ruler or metal edge is best)
  • glue gun (and glue sticks)
  • masking tape or painters tape
  • sketchbook (recommend wire bound, at least 8.5” x 11” size)  
  • Start collecting some materials, recycled cardboard, paper, tin foil, sticks, objects, etc. things that might come in handy/ your box of potential materials.
  • A basic set of acrylic paint such as : https://store.opusartsupplies.com/sagro/storefront/store.php?mode=showproductdetail&product=25611, but we won’t need this right away so if you want to talk about it before purchase, you don’t need it for the first class or two.
There will be other materials that you may be requested to pick up (but you will not have to pay extra for them) please keep an eye on your email for further information about this.



The course is guided by a series of canvas postings where relevant readings will also be posted and assigned.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2020 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).