Issues in Contemporary Art – ARTS 515

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 12/12/2022

Course Description

This course presents an opportunity to conduct an in-depth graduate level study of issues in contemporary art as it relates to the Christian artist’s perspective. The precise subject matter and parameters of this course will be supplied as appropriate by the professor.

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


This purpose of this course is to broaden the student’s Christian worldview through the investigation of contemporary art from 1960 to the present. This course will enable the student to think critically about the nature of creativity and the notion of artistic genius. We live in a visual world. Art is everywhere—from graffiti on the streets, to architecture, monuments, film, advertisements, and in museums—and this course will help the student to decode and understand the meaning of visual culture throughout the ages. Understanding, looking at, and thinking about the way images communicate meaning is important to our understanding of the world in which we live. The critical study of the complex relationships between Christianity and contemporary culture reveals a unique opportunity to combine faith and academics in a meaningful and enlightening manner. The student’s Christian worldview will be enriched by studying the history of divine-inspired human creativity.

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.


Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, students are required to create an initial post (thread) based on the provided prompt. Initial posts must be at least 400 words, in which students support their assertions with at least one work of art.  In addition, students are required to reply to at least 2 classmates’ initial posts/threads. Each reply to a classmate must be at least 200 words and demonstrate a thorough understanding of the topic by sharing an analysis of an artwork relevant to the thread. See the assignment instructions for specific requirements.

Art History Article Analysis Assignment

The student will read and critique the assigned article using the provided Art History Analysis Sheet. The critique must be 1,000 - 1,200 words and be written in current MLA format. MLA Formatting - Quick Guide | Academic Success Center | Liberty University

Research Paper Assignments

This is a scaffolded Project comprising four assignments. Each assignment builds on the previous assignment as students move toward the culminating final paper. The 4 parts include: the Initial Bibliography Assignment, the Annotated Bibliography Assignment, the Introduction and Thesis Statement Assignment, and the Final Paper Assignment.

For the Final Paper Assignment, the student will write a research-based paper of at least 1,800–2,000 words in current MLA format that focuses on a contemporary artwork. The primary book for this project is “God in the Gallery. Enrique Martinez Celaya’s Thing and Deception: The Artistic Practice of Belief.” The final paper must include a bibliography (at least 10 sources in addition to the course textbooks and the Bible).

MLA Formatting - Quick Guide | Academic Success Center | Liberty University


Each of the 8 quizzes will cover the Learn material for the assigned module/week. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 5 true/false questions, and have a 60-minute time limit.

Issues of Conscience

This course requires the study of artworks and images that may include nudity, violence, sensitive content, and religious and political opinions that differ from your own Christian worldview. If you do not wish to engage with this material, it is suggested that you speak to your instructor and/or academic advisor as soon as possible to discuss how to proceed. There will be no alternative assignments offered in this course.