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VSA3004 Contemporary Art Practice 4

Semester 1, 2012 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Arts
School or Department : School of Creative Arts

Contents on this page


Examiner: Alexis Tacey
Moderator: Kyle Jenkins


Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: BCRA or BEDU


Creating and curating artworks is a fundamental component of practical studies in the Visual Arts. At level 2 students are required to focus their involvement to one practice area. They are Studio Practice, OR Arts Management. Studio Practice consists of a combination of studio workshops in Painting, Printmaking, Ceramics, and Spatial Construction and will be underpinned by history and theory lectures and tutorials. Workshops consist of lectures, demonstrations, and practice conducted each week. Drawings and a journal/visual diary will accompany the studio and extension work submitted for assessment. For Arts Management a supporting portfolio of documentation will be required for assessment. NOTE: Arts Management is the only area available to External students.


This course is concerned with building a range of visual arts skills and concepts within one of the two areas, either Studio Practice OR Arts Management. By investigating a variety of methods, materials and concepts students will be encouraged to further develop their technical, conceptual, observational and management skills. Studio Practice consists of a combination of workshops in Painting, Printmaking, Ceramics, and Spatial Construction. Arts Management will further develop theoretical and curatorial skills which meet gallery and museum industry standards. Studio Practice and Arts Management will be reinforced by discussion on contemporary arts/crafts practice and theory. NOTE: Arts Management is the only area available to External students.


On completion of this course students will be able to demonstrate:

  1. an understanding of materials and how to problem solve through practice and experimentation in each area undertaken;
  2. an ability to apply principles of design in an intelligent and original manner;
  3. the ability to apply analytical and critical insights and record or exhibit them appropriately;
  4. the ability to convey ideas conceptually or through materials and techniques;
  5. a growing appreciation of the nexus between theory and practice;
  6. skills in the correct, safe handling of materials and processes in each discipline;
  7. management, planning and organisation skills, including a capacity for self direction and work habits required for continuing studio practice;
  8. a responsibility for studio space including cleaning of work areas and development of studio/gallery ethics;
  9. an understanding of professional discourse and arts management;
  10. written communication skills appropriate to the task of producing a focused journal and portfolio;
  11. oral communication skills by providing a rationale for their project and project focus;
  12. creativity, initiative or enterprise skills by situating their work within wider contexts.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Students choose one of the following: Studio Practice (Available on campus only). The studio workshop - ceramics, painting, spatial construction and printmaking stream allows students to explore and experiment with materials and processes through their active studio involvement within both traditional and current experimental media. OR Arts Management (Available in External mode only) This course will develop practical and written skills. Students who undertake this study will be introduced to principals of theoretical and practical gallery and curatorial management. This stream allows students to develop their own independent approach to gallery management and the organisation of exhibitions and community based activities. Students study Topic 1.6

PAINTING Studies (On campus only) include (by way of Lectures, Demonstrations, Student Practice and Set Projects): (a) Approaches to painting techniques, processes and media, both traditional and contemporary; (b) Elements of composition, proportion, and colour theory; (c) Theory of historical and contemporary art practice.

PRINTMAKING Studies (On campus only) include: (a) Development of the history and nature or printmaking: 21st century; (b) Shaped plate etchings; (c) Resist stencil screenprinting; (d) Oversize print techniques; (e) Multi colour collagraphs; (f) Advanced experimental prints.

SPATIAL CONSTRUCTION Studies (On campus only) include: (a) The nature and language of object design both theoretical and practical; (b) An introduction to contemporary approaches to public art and spatial practice; (c) Exploration of materials, techniques and processes in the concept design, and development (d) Analysis of nationally and international artists.

CERAMICS Studies (On campus only) include: (a) Critical appraisal of ceramic practice; (b) Integration with other disciplines; (c) Analysis of contemporary artists' work. (e) Further development of ceramic processes.

OR ARTS MANAGEMENT (External only)

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • There are no texts or materials required for this course.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Benjamin, a & Osborne, P (eds) 1991, Thinking art: deyond traditional aesthetics, Institute of Contemporary Art, London.
  • Bryson, N, Holly, M A & Moxey, K (eds) 1991, Visual theory: painting and interpretation, Polity Press, Cambridge.
  • Collinson, D 1988, Fifty major philosophers: a reference guide, Routledge, New York, London.
  • Cooper, D 1996, World philosophies: an historical introduction, Blackwell, Oxford, Cambridge, MA.
  • Danto, A C 1986, The philosophical disenfranchisement of art, Columbia University Press, New York.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Practical Classes or Workshops 39.00
Private Study 126.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
STUDIO WORK IN PROGRESS 100 30 26 Mar 2012
STUDIO ALL COMPLETED WORK 100 60 11 Jun 2012 (see note 1)
STUDIO RESEARCH 100 10 11 Jun 2012 (see note 2)

  1. .
  2. Students will have three progressive assessments throughout the semester regardless of the studio they have chosen to undertaken. Students need to obtain a 50% total overall (total of all three assessments added together) to achieve a pass grade.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students? responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration. Students must attend and complete the requirements of the Workplace Health and Safety training program for this course where required.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Given the details under (6) above, there are no deferred exams for this course. However, if any deferred/makeup work is granted, it would have to be submitted by a date set by the examiner.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner.

  2. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be despatched to USQ within 24 hours if required by the Examiner.

  3. In accordance with University Policy, the Examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

  4. If electronic submission of assessments is specified for the course, students will be notified of this in the course Introductory Book and on the USQ Study Desk. All required electronic submission must be made through the Assignment Drop Box located on the USQ Study Desk for the course, unless directed otherwise by the examiner of the course. The due date for an electronically submitted assessment is the date by which a student must electronically submit the assignment. The assignment files must be submitted by 11.55pm on the due date using USQ time (as displayed on the clock on the course home page; that is, Australian Eastern Standard Time).

  5. If the method of assessment submission is by written, typed or printed paper-based media students should (i) submit to the Faculty Office for students enrolled in the course in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail to the USQ for students enrolled in the course in the external mode. The due date for the assessment is the date by which a student must (i) submit the assessment for students enrolled in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail the assessment for students enrolled in the external mode.

  6. The Faculty will NOT normally accept submission of assessments by facsimile or email.

  7. Students who do not have regular access to postal services for the submission of paper-based assessments, or regular access to Internet services for electronic submission, or are otherwise disadvantaged by these regulations may be given special consideration. They should contact the examiner of the course to negotiate such special arrangements prior to the submission date.

  8. Students who have undertaken all of the required assessments in a course but who have failed to meet some of the specified objectives of a course within the normally prescribed time may be awarded one of the temporary grades: IM (Incomplete - Make up), IS (Incomplete - Supplementary Examination) or ISM (Incomplete -Supplementary Examination and Make up). A temporary grade will only be awarded when, in the opinion of the examiner, a student will be able to achieve the remaining objectives of the course after a period of non directed personal study.

  9. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded IDS (Incomplete - Deferred Examination; IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

  10. Students may be assigned an "Incomplete" grade to signify that all the requirements of the course have not yet been met. Students who are graded "I" can pass the course by successfully completing such additional work as prescribed by the examiner by a given date. Students who have been awarded an IM, ISM, IDM or IDB grade must access information regarding further work to be completed, in the Student Centre of U Connect. The Grades Page in the Student Centre contains information about further work to be completed. Students who have not completed the additional work to the satisfaction of the examiner by the given date will receive the appropriate Failing grade.

Other requirements

  1. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in the course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect to achieve the same grades as those students who do possess them.

  2. There will be regular studio critiques to review students' work in progress.

  3. Students will be expected to satisfactorily complete all studio requirements in order to pass the course.

  4. It is essential from the point of view of sequential learning and an understanding of workplace, health and safety issues and practices that students aim at full attendance in all workshops. Medical certification or appropriate documentation must be produced in cases of non attendance.

  5. All required assessment items must be presented a scheduled assessment times for a student to be considered for assessment.