Course Descriptions

Course descriptions

Introductory Studio Requirements

Fine Arts Diploma students select from first year courses. These courses run in two parts; Part I is offered in the fall term, Part II is offered in the winter term. All students take the introductory level studio courses (100 series). Students follow the same courses in the same order starting with the three mandatory courses. The student then adds two studio disciplines of their choice.

First year requirements are the same for Fine Arts Diploma and Portfolio Certificate Program studies. The first year foundation courses can be applied to building a professional portfolio for application to diploma and degree granting institutions. These foundation courses overlap the Portfolio year with the first year of the Diploma. The OSA structures these foundation courses as the building blocks for its intermediate and advanced studies in the second and third years.

Foundation Year Studies


Mandatory first year courses:
100 Visual Foundations I
This foundation course introduces the student to the basic aspects of two-dimensional and three-dimensional visual structure. Spatial concepts, materials and diverse approaches to visual order are investigated through assigned problems, lectures and critiques. Assignments are supplemented by gallery visits, films, etc.

101 Visual Foundations II
This course continues the study of two-dimensional and three-dimensional structure begun in Visual Foundations I. Prerequisite: Visual Foundations I.

110 Foundation Drawing I
This course emphasizes the fundamental skills necessary for representational drawing derived from observation. Various media are used to explore perspective, representation of light and volume, contour, proportion, figure-ground relationship.

111 Foundation Drawing II
This course continues the study of fundamental representational drawing skills with increased emphasis on the internal structure of a work of art. Prerequisite: Foundation Drawing I.

130 Intro Studio Painting I
This course introduces the student to various technical and aesthetic issues of representational painting. Diverse approaches to pictorial organization derived from observation are investigated through specific studio assignments in oil and water-based media on various painting supports. Subject matter includes still life, interiors, landscape, and the human figure. Slide lectures, discussions, gallery and museum visits supplement studio problems.

131 Intro Studio Painting II
This course continues the study of technical and aesthetic issues of representational painting begun in Painting I. Prerequisite: Painting I.

A total of four studio disciplines are needed to complete the first year. Students choose two from the following course offerings:

140 Intro Studio Sculpture I
In this course, students are introduced to the proper use of basic tools and techniques required for three-dimensional work. Course assignments develop greater awareness of potential dynamic sculptural relationships through consideration of form, volume, weight and mass. Attention is given to the relationship between process and form, as well as to representational issues in sculpture.

141 Intro Studio Sculpture II
This course continues the development of sculptural ideas and techniques begun in Sculpture I and introduces the student to basic additive and subtractive processes in sculpture. Attention will be given to the relationship between process and image within a contemporary context. Formal assignments are complemented with lectures, demonstrations, films and visits to galleries. Prerequisite: Sculpture I.

150 Intro Studio Printmaking | Relief
This course introduces the student to basic relief printing techniques and materials appropriate to linocuts, woodcuts and monoprints. Consideration will be given to the development of personal and structurally expressive works in this graphic media. The history of relief printing and its relevance in current contemporary practice is introduced. Studio assignments will be complemented by demonstrations, gallery visits and critiques.

151 Intro Studio Printmaking | Etching
This course introduces the student to basic intaglio printing techniques and materials appropriate to dry point, monotypes and etching. Consideration will be given to the development of personal and structurally expressive works in these media. The history of intaglio printing and its relevance in current contemporary practice is introduced. Studio assignments will be accompanied by demonstrations, gallery visits and critiques.

160 Intro Studio Photography I
This course provides an in-depth study and practical exploration of photography as an image making process. Basic camera and darkroom techniques will be presented with an emphasis on basic film developing, black & white printing techniques. Slide lectures, gallery visits, student presentations, technical discussions and advice supplement studio work and assignments.

161 Intro Studio Photography II
This course is a continuation of the development of technical and aesthetic ideas associated with photography that were explored in Photography I. Prerequisite: Photography I.

170 Intro Studio Ceramics I
This course introduces students to the basic concepts of creating 3-dimensional objects in clay. Emphasis will be placed on the basic properties of clay and hand-building techniques. Students will also explore techniques of wheel-throwing, basic glazing and kiln firing. Course work will include references to contemporary and historical examples.

171 Intro Studio Ceramics II
In this course, students will explore in greater depth the fundamental techniques and concepts developed in Ceramics I. Attention will be given to the relationships between materials, process, form and function within a contemporary context. Formal assignments will be complemented with lectures, demonstrations and visits to galleries. Prerequisite: Ceramics I.
Second Year Studies
Mandatory second year courses:

200 Intermediate Drawing I
Primarily concerned with drawing clothed/nude models. Issues of anatomy, proportion and expressive gesture are considered. Continues investigation of composition and the elements of design. Various media are explored. Prerequisite: Foundation Drawing I & II.

201 Intermediate Drawing II
This course assumes that the student has achieved an adequate level of representational skill. Using a variety of media, students will explore drawing based on observation as well as abstract and non-representational approaches to drawing. Greater emphasis is placed on improvisation, large-scale formats, and the investigation of unconventional materials. Drawing as the visualization of an idea will also be considered. Prerequisite: Foundation Drawing I & II and Intermediate Drawing I.

210 Art History Survey I
This course traces the history of art from antiquity to the Middle Ages, with a concern for visual analysis.

211 Art History Survey II
As a continuation of Art History Survey I, this course considers the history of art from the Renaissance to the 20th Century with special attention given to visual analysis. Prerequisite: Art History Survey I.

220 Contemporary Art History
This course considers the significant approaches to art since 1865 and includes discussions on the relevant theories associated with major artistic movements. Prerequisite: Art History Survey I & II.

221 Canadian Art History
This course presents students with a comprehensive survey of the art of Canada from the 17th century to the present. Prerequisite: Art History Survey I & II.

Students choose two from the following intermediate studio course offerings:

215 Colour Theory I
This course provides the student with an in-depth study and practical exploration of the effective use of colour in art, design and the environment along with various theories and approaches related to their creative use. Studio work and assignments involve colour mixing using both pigment and light. Classes will be supplemented with a review of effective and distinctive use of colour by artists and designers.

216 Colour Theory II
This course provides the student with continued study and practice in the use of colour in art making.

230 Intermediate Painting I
This course provides students with a more in-depth consideration of representational conventions of painting as well as an extended investigation into various modes of abstract and non-objective painting. Attention will be given to materials and techniques related to these approaches. Slide lectures, discussions, gallery and museum attendance complement studio assignments. Prerequisites: Painting I & II.

231 Intermediate Painting II
This course continues the study of technical and aesthetic issues of representational painting begun in Intermediate Painting I. Prerequisites: Intermediate Painting I.

240 Intermediate Sculpture I
This course further explores the aesthetic and technical concerns of sculpture developed in Sculpture I and II. Greater attention will be given to the development of individual sculptural sensibilities as well as a more rigorous understanding of abstract and non-objective sculptural form. Course assignments are complemented with lectures, discussions, demonstrations, visits to galleries, etc. Prerequisite: Sculpture I & II.

241 Intermediate Sculpture II
This course continues the study of technical and aesthetic issues undertaken in Intermediate Sculpture I. Prerequisite: Intermediate Sculpture I

250 Intermediate Printmaking I
This course further explores and expands the aesthetic and technical concerns of printmaking dealt with in Printmaking I and II. Greater attention will be given to the development of individual sensibilities and to the relation between process and image in assignments. Course problems are complemented with lectures, discussions, demonstrations, visits to galleries, etc. Prerequisite: Printmaking I & II.

251 Intermediate Printmaking II
This course continues the exploration of technical and aesthetic concerns undertaken in Intermediate Printmaking I. This course is offered in the spring session. Prerequisite: Intermediate Printmaking I

260 Intermediate Photography I
This course assumes that the student has acquired an adequate level of basic darkroom and camera skills and, as such, emphasizes photography as an image making process and medium of expression. Students work on thematic problems of their choice. Studio work and assignments are supplemented with slide lectures, student presentations, gallery visits and technical discussions and advice. Prerequisite: Photography I & II.

261 Intermediate Photography II
This course continues the study undertaken in Intermediate Photography I. This course is offered in the spring session. Prerequisite: Intermediate Photography I.

270 Intermediate Ceramics
This course continues the exploration of the aesthetic and technical concerns dealt with in Ceramics I and II. Students will be encouraged to develop more rigorous individual sensibilities to the concepts of form and function. Formal assignments will be complemented with lectures, demonstrations, visits to galleries, etc. This course is offered in the spring session. Prerequisite: Ceramics I & II.
Third Year Studies
All third year level courses are reserved for students who have completed 60 credits of the Fine Arts Diploma Program.

350 Research Methodologies in Drawing
In this course we probe the specificity of drawing as an investigative, reflexive and expressive practice. By investigating the different stages of research and understanding with scope and function, the successful student has acquired the necessary skills to initiate research methodology and identify key aspects from which to frame and systemize a drawing project.

351 Integrated Processes
This course provides students with more advanced study and builds on what was learned in intermediate studio practices. This course is designed as a laboratory for an interdisciplinary approach to art production. Experimentation and critical analysis are presented as tools for the exploration of ideas and of materials.

360 Media Studies I
This course focuses on new technologies and their creative use to produce challenging and creative works. Students will be introduced to the technical possibilities of various media, which may include designing a web page and working in video and audio within the framework of digital and electronic art. This course of study can develop an interdisciplinary approach towards studio practice.

361 Media Studies II
This course is a continuation of studies undertaken in Media I. Prerequisite: Completion of Media Studies I.

370 Advanced Studio I
Although this is a studio course, the focus moves away from a perceptual/technical position to include conceptual/critical development. It provides advanced students with the opportunity to develop a consistent body of work under the guidance of an instructor. Students are provided with studio space and are expected to pursue their work with a high degree of motivation, independence and capacity for critical analysis.

371 Advanced Studio II
This course provides advanced students with the opportunity to develop a consistent body of work under the guidance of an instructor. Students pursue their work independently but meet with their instructor one afternoon a week for individual and group critiques. Students are expected to demonstrate a high level of self-motivation and capacity for critical analysis. Participation in complementary activities such as the attendance of visiting artist lectures is required. Prerequisite: Completion of Advanced Studio I.

375 Apprenticeship I
Apprenticeships are a traditional method of training a new generation of skilled arts and crafts practitioners.

This course provides practical experience working in a selected professional artist’s studio or cultural institution. Students are required to submit a written project outline after identifying the artist/institution willing to accept responsibility of working closely with an individual student. Together with the project outline, the student must submit a written proposal to the chosen artist or institution. The student ensures that all necessary paperwork has been filled out and given to the Diploma Program Coordinator for approval prior to registration. Prerequisite: Third year standing and prior approval of the Diploma Program Coordinator.

An alternate option for Apprenticeship I is becoming an intern for the Ottawa School of Art Gallery. Writing, publicity, artist relations and web design practice are some of the skills and experience involved with this position. Approval of the Diploma Program Coordinator and Gallery Director are required.

As part of the third year student’s apprenticeship, and as a way of experiencing the demands of being a professional artist, the student is required to exhibit the works produced in the apprenticeship. The time and site of the exhibition is decided in consultation between the student and the mentor/instructor. However the Lee Matasi Gallery (OSA’s student gallery) reserves two-week time slots for third year students.

376 Apprenticeship II
The second apprenticeship may take two forms: it may provide the student with the opportunity to develop a new project with the same or with a different mentor/instructor; or it may offer an opportunity to continue the project undertaken in Apprenticeship I.

380 Art & Criticism
This advanced course undertakes a study of the artist in contemporary society. Students are introduced to the history and development of aesthetics, culture and theories of art practice principally from the second half of the twentieth century. Issues of theory and practice, of art and politics and of feminist influences will be considered. Lectures, readings, discussions and video and slide viewings will complement this course.

381 The Business of Art
This course provides the student with an introduction and investigation into the business of being an artist, including the methods and principles surrounding the preparation of grant requests, taxes, exhibition contracts, etc. The seminar involves lectures, discussions, readings and practical assignments.

385 Graduation Review
This mandatory non-credit course is a prerequisite for graduating students. It involves regular meetings with the Diploma Program Coordinator to prepare students for the June graduation exhibition and diploma presentation event. Students will be expected to demonstrate a high level of conceptual and organizational skills.

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