ARTS209: Art as Communication

11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 02/01/2024

Course Description

This course serves to cultivate an understanding of the language, aesthetics and cultural impacts of visual communication. The focus is on discourse that fosters the development of ideational, analytical and rhetorical writing skills necessary for demonstrating critical thinking in the analysis and critique process concerning visual images. Two analytical papers based upon studies of the visual images focusing on the agency of the image, the social practices and effects of its viewing and the specificity of views taken by various audiences and a literary research paper, sequentially developed, are required. (Formerly ARTS 300)

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog


Visual art, in both traditional and digital form, has long been a means of human communication and expression. Individuals and groups use it to investigate, express, and communicate ideas, feelings, and experiences. Visual art is a language in its own right, being a major way of symbolically communicating. Research, analysis, and critique of contemporary and historical aspects of these visual communications will benefit the student by enabling accurate interpretations of visual art. Since this course is taught from a Christian perspective, the student additionally benefits from analyzing visual art as a means of communicating the full range of human experience.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussion: Faith and Art

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for the discussion. The thread must be 250 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. Each thread must be supported with at least 2 scholarly citations in current MLA format. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 150 words. This assignment aligns with the following FSLOs: CIL 2, 3 and 5.

Art Analysis Worksheet Assignments (2)

The student will begin a 2 step process for the analysis of a chosen piece of art. The Art Analysis Worksheet: Part One Assignment will walk the student through the analysis of the content of the artwork. The Art Analysis Worksheet: Part 2 Assignment will walk the student through the analysis of the context of the artwork, followed by a critical informed judgment. The two assignments will cover all aspects of a critical analysis of the chosen piece of art. This assignment aligns with the following FSLOs: CIL 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Visual Art Analysis Paper Assignments (2)

The student will work on two assignments which will culminate in a 750-word paper in current MLA format that presents a critical analysis of a work of art. The first assignment will consist of completing a worksheet that outlines the analysis process. The second assignment will be using the contents of the first assignment to write a paper in MLA format. The paper must include at least 3 references in addition to the course textbooks and the Bible. This assignment aligns with the following FSLOs: CIL 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Visual Art Project Assignments (3)

The student will create a work of art meant to communicate an idea or message to a particular audience. The first assignment will consist of a worksheet that walks the student through the planning process of creating a visual art message. The second assignment will be the creation of the piece of art, with accompanying documentation of the process. The third assignment will be a paper presenting the final product (determined by the student’s chosen medium) and will be accompanied by an explanation of the creative process and knowledge of the theories of visual communication, and application of visual literacy. This assignment aligns with the following FSLOs: CIL 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Quizzes (3)

Each quiz will cover the Learn material for the assigned Module(s): Week(s). Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain a variety of multiple-choice, true/false, short answer, and essay questions, and have a 2 hour time limit.

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