Fall 2018


Personal Expression in Art History

How have the emotions and life experiences of renowned artists shaped the sculptures and paintings we’ve come to know and love? In the first half of each class, we will look at how artists from the 18th century onward communicated their grief, fear, jealousy, anger, joy and passion in their art. In the second part of each class, you will do hands-on work with clay and oil pastels to explore your own feelings and experiences. What do you feel compelled to express? What happens when you get it onto the page for you and others to witness? What images, colours and shapes would you use to bring form to your life’s stories, struggles and celebrations?

This course focuses on creative expression rather than technique, so no previous art experience is necessary. A playful, open attitude is all that’s required.

A $62 discount will be applied automatically for adults 55+.

This course is available at the following time(s) and location(s):

Campus Session(s) Instructor(s) Cost Seats available  
Vancouver 6 Calla Power $177.00 5 Register

What will I learn?

Week 1: Play is FUNdemental

We look at Dada art and how play was used to reimagine the post-war world. In the second part of class we explore how play, humour and absurdity can open us up to new creative possibilities.

Week 2: The Soul of the Earth

From Canadian Indigenous artists to the Impressionists to the Land Artists of the '60s, we explore those who looked to Mother Nature for their inspiration. In the second half of class we use clay and other artistic means to explore how our own identity is intertwined with our birthplace.

Week 3: Exploring the Felt Sense

We consider artists such as Frida Kahlo, Joseph Beuys and Louise Bourgeois, who used their own somatic and life experiences to explore what it is to be a vulnerable human being. In the second half of class we explore ways in which to employ our own senses, making art from the inside out.

Week 4: Love and Relationships

We discuss artists who created from the joy, pain and depth of love—whether romantic, platonic or familial. In the second half of class we each consider a relationship of our own and explore its essence through drawing, writing and sharing.

Week 5: The Monster

We look at monsters in art history and how they express the darker side of human emotion, evoking fascination and wonder. In the second part of class we give form to our own fears to see if we can gain new insights about their power, necessity and maybe even their beauty.

Week 6: Self-Portraiture and Mask

We look at the many artists throughout the ages who have explored identity and emotion through mask-making and self-portraiture. In the second part of class we each create a mask of our own, and shine a bit of light on a part of ourselves that may be in need of attention. What does this part want and what do the eyes behind the mask look to? 

How will I learn?

  • Lectures
  • Discussion (may vary from class to class)
  • Participation in hands-on creative artistic activities
  • Papers (applicable only to certificate students)

How will I be evaluated?

For certificate students only:

Your instructor will evaluate you based on an essay, which you will complete at the end of the course. You will receive a grade of “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory.”

Textbooks and learning materials

Reading material (if applicable) will be available in class. Some course materials may be available online.

If you're 55+, you may take this course as part of

Look at other courses in