Art Project and Essay Assignment Description ARTS 1301, Backer, Spring 2023 Requirements: One original artwork and one 400-600-word explanatory essay Due: 2/21

 Introduction At this point in the semester, we have covered the elements of art and the principles of design. They will be the focus of your essay that accompanies your artwork. 400-600 words is about two double-spaced pages. This will be plenty of room for you to fully explore the elements and principles as they relate to your artwork. As a class, we will create an educational art gallery on D2L. You will post an image of the artwork you create and the essay that explains both your intentions with the artwork and how the elements of art and the principles of design are at work in your artwork.

 The Artwork You have two options for creating an artwork for this assignment:

1. Recreate a famous artwork out of household materials.

Last spring, the Getty Museum, a famous museum outside Los Angeles, issued a challenge to its Facebook followers in response to the outbreak of the coronavirus and shelter-in-place orders. The Getty challenged its followers to recreate famous artworks. Check out their page for inspiration. You can take up the challenge yourself for this assignment, except your artwork can be any artwork from a museum collection, including any image from the textbook. The Google Arts and Culture site is an especially good place to find works of art to recreate, including from the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

2. Create a symbolic self-portrait out of household materials.

Think about how you could represent your identity visually. Many artists choose to represent themselves visually, and you can see some examples of that in the textbook, in a section starting on page 680. Some artists choose to make their self-portraits more abstract, like Chuck Close’s painting on page 163. Still other artists choose to represent themselves through objects, like Charles Sheeler did in this drawing. You can choose to pursue any of these options. The main requirements here are that you create the art out of household items and that you’re able to explain how the artwork represents your identity in the essay. In any of the options, be careful to keep the elements and principles in mind as you compose your artwork.

 The Essay As you write your essay, keep the audience of your fellow classmates in mind. They will appreciate an explanation of the meaning of the elements and principles that you use in the essay before you describe how they are at work in the artwork. They will also appreciate an explanation of your intentions. I recommend that you begin the essay by writing about your intentions. Follow that with

an explanation of the elements and principles. You are required to discuss at least three elements of art and three principles of design in the essay. The elements and principles are:

The ten elements of art Color




Motion and Time






The ten principles of design Balance



Focal Point







I do not recommend that you devote one paragraph to each element/principle in your paper. This may result in very short paragraphs. Instead, think of ways that different elements and principles fit together, and write about those elements/principles in the same paragraph. You may also wish to make comparisons to other artworks to explain what you mean about a certain element or principle. For example, you may want to argue that your composition has conceptual unity. You could refer to image 1.6.8 and explain how your conceptual unity is similar to or different from Joseph Cornell’s conceptual unity. I recommend that you write your introduction last, after you have written the body of the paper and can look it over to see what main themes emerged in your writing.

After you have written the introduction, look it over, and identify the main idea in your introduction. Use this to develop a title for your paper. The title for your paper should be unique and it should make readers want to read your paper.

The paper should be formatted according to MLA Style. Here is a link to an MLA format guide from Purdue’s Online Writing Lab.

Remember to edit your paper. If possible, have a friend, family member, or tutor look over the paper with you. CyFair’s tutoring program is available here. If those options are not feasible, try reading your paper aloud to yourself. You may be surprised at how this technique will help you to catch errors, awkward phrasing, and that sort of thing.

 Research This paper requires no research, except looking at examples of artwork to reproduce or examples of self-portraits. The only citations in the paper should be your textbook and the artwork that you reproduced (if you chose option 1). The citation for the textbook and the artwork should follow the rules for MLA formatting.

 Turning in the Paper Go to the Galleries Module on D2L. Open the Art Project and Essay Gallery Discussion and follow the directions there.

 Rubric for the Art Project and Essay • In order to do well on this assignment, your artwork should show that effort was

required to complete it. Very little effort Clear effort 4 8 12 16 20 In order to do well on the essay portion of the assignment, you should do the following things:

• Include an introduction that makes your intentions with the artwork and the most important elements and/or principles clear

Weak intro Strong intro 4 8 12 16 20

• Fully explain what your intentions were with the artwork and how viewers can or cannot see your intentions in the finished artwork

Missing explanation of intentions Thorough explanation of intentions 2 4 6 8 10

• Thoroughly explain how at least three elements of art are at work in your artwork Missing elements/poor explanation Thorough explanation of 3 elements 4 8 12 16 20

• Thoroughly explain how at least three principles of are at work in your artwork Missing principles/poor explanation Thorough explanation of 3 principles 4 8 12 16 20

• Use accurate mechanics: grammar, spelling, punctuation, neatness, MLA formatting Poor mechanics Exceptional mechanics 2 4 6 8 10 Total: /100