Self Paced

Art Appreciation and Techniques (

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This course is an exploration of visual art forms and their cultural connections for the student with little experience in the visual arts. It includes a brief study of art history, and in-depth studies of the elements, media, and methods used in creative thought and processes.

In this course, you will learn how to develop a five-step system for understanding visual art in all forms, based on the following:

1. Description: A work of art from an objective point of view – its physical attributes, and formal construction.

2. Analysis: A detailed look at a work of art that combines physical attributes with subjective statements based on the viewer’s reaction to the work.

3. Context: Historical, religious, or environmental information that surrounds a particular work of art and which helps to understand the work’s meaning.

4. Meaning: A statement of the work’s content. A message or narrative expressed by the subject matter.

5. Judgment: A critical point of view about a work of art concerning its aesthetic or cultural value.

After completing this course, you will be able to interpret works of art based on this five-step system; explain the processes involved in artistic production; identify the political, social, cultural, and aesthetic issues that artists examine in their work; and explain the role and effect of the visual arts in societies, history, and world cultures.