This Introductory Open Studio course is about researching and developing new genres, multiple combinations and various multidisciplinary hybrids of art making into interdisciplinary art practices which convey contemporary thematic/metaphorical content. Methods of art practices may include options of integrating: installation, digital reproduction and time based work (blurring the boundaries between performance, video, sound, animation, book works) as components for each project.

Many of the student work examples presented below may not represent all the objectives for the Open Studio course but instead offer some initial ideas in combining various disciplines.

Often a single example of work presented on this blog may not demonstrate all the required objectives for a particular assignment. Instead students should collectively consider: the required objectives for each assignment, the examples presented on this blog and during in class presentations. As well ideas discovered through a student's independent research in combination with examples and various ideas presented by instructor will ultimately be the best approach for synthesizing ideas and reaching the requirements (and unique outcome) for any particular course project.

Open Studio 1 Course Syllabus and Outline - Fall 2015

University of Manitoba | School of Art: Studio 

Course Number: STDO 1450 (section A01)
Course Title: Open Studio 1 Credit Hours: 3hrs
Instructor: Derek Brueckner
Email: (response time to emails may require 24 hrs and on weekends emails may require 48hrs)
Office: 332A Art Lab
Office Hours: usually immediately after class or schedule another mutually agreeable time.

Open Studio Course Website
Pertinent information from course will be posted on the course blog. Updates will be made on a regular basis. It is advised that students check and consult the blog on a regular basis. If students have questions regarding course website information/assignments print out text and consult instructor with text in question.
Course schedule: Wednesday 11:30 pm - 2:20 pm Hours of out-of-class work: 6 hours per week minimum

Course Description
Expanding concepts and ideas developed in Visual Language, students investigate the nature of contemporary art and design. Prerequisite for further study in fine arts studio courses. May not hold with STDO 1200 (054.120) or STDO 1220 (054.122). Prerequisite: STDO 1410.

This Open Studio course will also be about learning to think and make art beyond historical notions and methods, which go beyond traditional materials and processes. (Post-studio and/or Post-medium practices) Emphasis will be placed on thinking and creating with various hybrid methods, interdisciplinary methods and non-traditional art materials in relation to layers of thematic content. Through exposure to a variety of contemporary ideas and art processes people will learn to synthesize innovative formal and thematic practices into personally directed projects.

Course Objectives/Outcomes
The objectives of this Open Studio course are:
  • Studio practice will offer experience with interdisciplinary and hybrid methods. This course will
    emphasize moving beyond heritage mediums and the singular disciplines of drawing/painting (handmade 2D work), photography and printmaking (etching, silkscreen, linocut, etc.) (mechanical process made 2D work) and ceramics/sculpture (3D)

  • Through research of various: texts, art examples and art processes people will progressively learn to expand a studio practice that emphasizes developed concepts/themes synthesized with an experimental art material practice.

  • Overall the studio work will strive for independent research, which uses a hybrid of materials, ideas and interdisciplinary methods to resolve each project at the highest formal and conceptual/thematic levels possible.
2015-2016 Course Outline: Studio 2015-2016 Course Outline: Studio

Open Studio 1 
Instructor: Derek Brueckner

Instructional Methods
Methods of instruction will include the presenting of art examples (artists and student work), hard copy and on line assignment texts and images, class discussions, individual discussions with students while studio work is in progress, one on one critiques, group critiques of completed work. See syllabus/course schedule for dates of group critiques.

During each in class work-day, each person’s art making processes of projects in progress will be an important in class contribution to the course. These contributions will be an important part of the learning experience for each person in the course. In class informal discussions with each other will be important.

Art making processes will entail thorough research of ideas and materials, an open mind, curiosity, risk taking and desire/confidence to resolve problems. Process will also involve a balance between craftsmanship and allowing for intuition, “mistakes” and unexpected directions to take place.

Often new discoveries during research while projects are in progress will cause the choices of concepts and materials to evolve and expand. Through this evolutionary process sometimes people will need to be open minded to take unexpected directions from the original plans. Often unexpected directions can be key to eventually clarifying subject matter and direction of thematic/metaphorical content at a later point in the art making process.

Overall instructional methods are used to facilitate each student’s independent research and art development in order to discover the power of their unique vision with in the parameters/objectives of each assignment.

Recommended Readings
A separate bibliography will be handed out later.

Materials List
Due to this course having a large variety of material options for individual projects no supply list will be given. To start anticipating material needs it is suggested that students start looking at examples of artists and assignments given on the course website and in general researching artists.

Evaluation/Grading for Each Assignment
Each Assignment will be broken down in terms of: Concepts/Layers of Themes 40 Formal/Visual Language/Technical Skill 40 Synthesis of the concepts with formal/visual language 20
Each assignment will be weighted in course according to the number of days spent working in class on each assignment and for number classes spent on for group critique.
Evaluation and feedback of work in course will be provided to student prior to the voluntary withdrawal deadline of November 18, 2015.

Notification of Grades for Art Assignments
Grades for all assignments will be will posted on UM Learn
Link to UM Learn:
Students must ensure they are registered with UM Learn in order to access their art assignment grades.

2015-2016 Course Outline: Studio 2015-2016 Course Outline: Studio

Open Studio 1   
Instructor: Derek Brueckner 

Syllabus/Course schedule

2015-2016 Course Outline: Studio 2015-2016 Course Outline: Studio

Open Studio 1 
Instructor: Derek Brueckner


Group or Individual Critiques (Crits) will become a very important component in the student’s learning process for this course. The group critique is loosely structured in a way that allows the class as a group to discuss and build a consensus as to what each artist or art student's work is conveying to the viewer (classroom audience). Not attending a group critique is equivalent to missing a test – grades will be deducted. The individual critique will involve an intensive one on one consultation.

During a group critique usually the audience (class piers) will view and be required to speak first about the presented work. The artist who is presenting work then responds to remarks made by classmates and may also discuss ideas that were missed by their classroom peers. Usually group critiques will last approximately 10 minutes per student. Each critique will offer advice and constructive criticism regarding such ideas as intent, level of formal and conceptual content, context and overall professionalism. Critiques of work (Group and Individual) will offer as many options as possible to strengthen the artist’s/art student's work. There are many variables and possible solutions, a person will be required to research, explore and investigate many options to discover the applicable solution(s).

Due to the instructor having more experience than the students within the visual arts at times during group and individual critiques the instructor will strongly challenge a student’s or a student group’s value systems, preconceived ideas and interpretations of various course issues.

Ultimately the purpose of group critiques and individual critiques can be pared down into these following points: generating ideas and new ways of thinking, creating a class culture that has a positive and productive dialogue, and assisting the person to grow, expand and improve their work. As well the group critiques and discussions are also about developing a person’s attention span and their ability to focus on discussions.

Note that the work presented during group critiques will not be given a final evaluation (grade) until the work is videotaped at the end of each quarter. However it is still extremely important and compulsory to have the work completed for group critiques. If the work is deemed too incomplete the work will not receive a group critique and the student’s grade will be penalized. Students are strongly encouraged to continue to utilize comments from the group critiques and individual critiques with the instructor. Following any critique, students will always be required to rework and quite often significantly modify assignments outside of class until it is time to videotape work for final evaluation. (See course syllabus for videotaping/documentation dates)

During the group critique students will be evaluated on your class participation, this evaluation will be part of your overall class participation grade. This class participation includes complete attention to all discussions during crits, general professional and respectful behavior, actively viewing work at a very close range and offering comments. Due to the nature of most assignments, group crits will be emphasized more for the latter part of the course.

Please keep in mind the instructor’s criticisms during individual and group critiques is always intended to assist the artist/student in improving their work. The ability to apply these criticisms is also firmly connected to a student’s evaluation (grade) in the course.

2015-2016 Course Outline: Studio 2015-2016 Course Outline: Studio

Open Studio 1 
Instructor: Derek Brueckner 

Evaluations and Grading

Projects/assignment evaluations are based on the following grading rubric:

Letter Grade Matrix
All School of Art students are expected to maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5. If the student’s term or degree GPA falls below 2.5 the student will receive a warning letter from the student advisor indicating they have one year to improve or they will be placed on Academic Probation. Students in the BFA Honours Degree Programs must maintain a GPA of 3.0.

Grading Rubric

A+/A: Reserved for Exceptional performances and normally achieved by a minority of students. These grades indicate a student who is self-initiating, exceeds expectation and has an insightful grasp of the subject matter.

A+           93-100         Exceptional
                                           Works in this range:
                                           - challenge the current boundaries of the field
                                           - show evidence of a high level of contextual awareness (themes     and concepts)
                                           - show full command of chosen materials / technology and formal language
                                           - present a remarkable example of progress and development
A              88-92.9       Excellent achievement
                                           Works in this range:
                                           - show awareness of the current boundaries of the field 
                                           - show thorough contextual awareness (themes and concepts)
                                           - show confident use of chosen materials/ technology with formal   language
                                           - present an excellent to outstanding example of progress and development

B+/B: indicate a Very Good performance. Normally achieved by the largest number of students. These grades indicate a good grasp of the subject matter or excellent grasp in one area balanced with satisfactory grasp in the other area.

B+           80-87.9       Very Good achievement
B              75-79.9       Good achievement
                                           Works in this range:
                                           - are consistently within the current boundaries of the field
                                           - reveal commendable awareness of context for evaluation 
                                             (themes and concepts)
                                           - show a reasonable ability with chosen materials / technology with formal 
                                           - present a good to very good example of progress and development

C+/C: indicates Satisfactory, or minimally satisfactory performance. These grades indicate a satisfactory performance and knowledge of the subject matter.

C+           68-74.9       Satisfactory
C              60-67.9       Adequate
                                           Works in this range:
                                           - readily accept known boundaries of the field 
                                           - reveal partial contextual awareness (themes and concepts)
                                           - show limited ability with material / technology with formal language
                                           - are intermittent in its progress during the term

D: indicates Marginal performance. A student receiving this grade demonstrated a superficial grasp of the subject matter.
D              50-59.9       Marginal Pass
                                           Works in this range:
                                           - provide very limited understanding of limits of the field
                                           - have unsubstantial contextual awareness (themes and concepts)
                                           - have low level of competence with materials / technology with formal      
                                           - very limited development of work within the term

2015-2016 Course Outline: Studio 2015-2016 Course Outline: Studio

Open Studio 1
Instructor: Derek Brueckner

Grading/Evaluation Criteria used for Course Credit  (continued)

Letter Grade System
All School of Art students are expected to maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5. If the student’s GPA falls below 2.5 the student will receive a warning letter from the student advisor indicating they have one year to improve or they will be placed on Academic Probation. Students in the BFA Honours Degree Programs must maintain a GPA of 3.0.

Letter Grade             Grade Point Value              Percentage

A+                                4.5                                        93-100%                         Exceptional

A                                  4.0                                        88-92.9%                        

B+                                3.5                                        80-87.9%                        
Very Good

B                                  3.0                                        75-79.9%                         

C+                                2.5                                       68-74.9%                          Satisfactory

C                                  2.0                                       60-67.9%                           Adequate

D                                  1.0                                       50-59.9%                           Marginal

F                                     0                                     Below 50%                           

Assignment Deadlines:
1) Any work not presented during documentation and final evaluation will receive a zero.

2) Any assignment missing or incomplete during group critiques will receive one letter grade deduction.

3) Missing any group critiques or documentation for the evaluation of work in a studio course is equivalent to missing an exam or test in lecture courses..

Please note that the School of Art will not accept assignments at the office. Arrangements have to be made with the instructor in advance of assignment deadlines to submit late assignments.

For an exception to the late deduction or a zero grade a Doctor’s note with signature must be submitted clearly indicating specific dates effected by illness, which should obviously include and encompass any pertinent assignment deadline. If the Doctor’s note does not specify and encompass the pertinent dates the assignment will not be eligible for an extension without repercussions of a zero grade or deductions.

If there are any questions or comments regarding the above grading criteria feel free to talk to the instructor during class, or after class, or schedule a meeting outside of class.

Return of Student Work
The retention period for unclaimed student work is as follows:

Studio Projects for the Fall Term: December 9, 2015

Unclaimed studio projects and art assignments after the deadline will become property of the School of Art and will be disposed of at its discretion.

University communications will only be sent to a student’s U of M account. The full policy is available at

It is mandatory that all students maintain and regularly monitor a University of Manitoba email account. Critical information from the registrar, instructors, and the School of Art will be relayed to you through the Web mail, Jump, and Aurora electronic notification systems.

To get your free U of M account visit: For more information, visit:

Students without personal computers can use computers in Information Services and Technology labs in a variety of locations on campus including the Dafoe Library. More information is available in your orientation package or by calling IST at 474-8600. It is your sole responsibility to continually monitor your class site(s) for information such as class announcements and email correspondence.

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Open Studio 1 page7image976
Instructor: Derek Brueckner

Statement on Student Participation in the Presentation or Discussion of Art
At the School of Art, numerous required and elective courses contain content that includes working from the nude model and some language, imagery, or dialogue that may offend students. In particular, the School of Art provides comprehensive art training that requires use of the nude model in some courses. In viewing and discussing works of art, the School of Art encourages the broadest possible tolerance consistent with Canadian law.

Class Attendance Policy
Regular attendance is expected of all students in all courses. Letters of warning may be issued for unexcused absences of three classes in one term reminding the student of academic consequences of not attending classes. Students who do not attend or submit assignments but do not withdraw will receive a final grade of F.

Material and Process Restrictions
Flammables, poisons, potentially bio-hazardous materials, aerosol sprays, and high-temperature processes are strictly prohibited in the School of Art classrooms, adjoining hallways, and the vicinity of the ARTlab. The instructor must be consulted before any materials or processes not on the class materials list are used. If there is any doubt as to the safety of work to be undertaken, work must be halted until the instructor has been consulted.

Plagiarism and Cheating Policy
To plagiarize is to take ideas or words of another person and pass them off as one’s own. In short, it is stealing something intangible rather than an object. Obviously, it is not necessary to state the source of well-known or easily verifiable facts, but students are expected to acknowledge the sources of ideas and expressions they use in their written work, whether quoted directly or paraphrased. This applies to diagrams, statistical tables and the like, as well as to written material, and materials or information from Internet sources. To provide adequate and correct documentation is not only an indication of academic honesty but is also a courtesy that enables the reader to consult these sources with ease. Failure to do so constitutes plagiarism. It will also be considered plagiarism and/or cheating if a student submits a term paper written in whole or in part by someone other than him/herself, or copies an answer or answers of another student in any test, examination, or take-home assignment. Plagiarism or any other form of cheating in examinations, or term tests (i.e. crib notes) is subject to serious academic penalty (i.e. suspension or expulsion from the faculty or university). A student found guilty of contributing to cheating in examinations or term assignments is also subject to serious academic penalty.

Similarly, to copy parts, or to reproduce everything from an artist’s individual artwork and pass them off as one’s own is also considered a form of plagiarism. When completing assignments or presenting work done in self-directed studio art projects, students should avoid this practice, since it is expected that you will originate the ‘look’ or ‘style’ of the work from your own responses to the subject or ideas in question. To do otherwise, through the knowing use of printed or internet reproductions of published artist’s work, would be academically dishonest, except in cases where making a direct copy was a requirement of the assignment by an instructor, or that an idea required such a response. In those cases it is clear as to the intent to copy and is a public aspect of the meaning of the work.

Policies Related to Student Discipline
Policy on Respectful Work and Learning Environment

Inappropriate and Disruptive Student Behaviour

Accessibility Policy for Student with Disabilities

2015-2016 Course Outline: Studio 2015-2016 Course Outline: Studio

Open Studio 1 page8image992
Instructor: Derek Brueckner

Students wishing to appeal a grade given for term work are expected to discuss matters relating to the grading of that work with their instructor first, as an attempt to resolve the issue without the need to submit a formal appeal.
For further information on grade appeals, please go to the Appeals Policies, Procedures and Regulations on the School of Art website at:
More information related to appeals can be found at:

Academic Accommodation
Please approach your instructor as soon as possible should you need some form of academic accommodation. Students with disabilities should also contact Accessibility Services, located at 155 University Centre (Phone: 204 474-6213; TTY: 204 474-9790; Fax: 204 261-7732; E-mail:

Important Dates Calendar

FALL 2015

September 8 to 9
New Student Orientation  

September 16 
Last day to pay fall term fees without financial penalty

September 10
First day of classes for most faculties and schools

September 23
Last day to add fall or spanned courses
Last day to drop fall or spanned courses for full refund

October 12
Thanksgiving Day – University closed

October 21-24
First Year Field Trip to Minneapolis

November 11

Remembrance Day – University closed

November 18

Last day to VW from fall term courses (no refund) 

December 9

Last day of fall term classes

December 11 to 23

Exam period

December 24 – January 4
University closed for seasonal break 

Jan 6, 2016 (to be confirmed)

Fall term grades due 

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