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VSA1001 Contemporary Art Practice 1

Semester 2, 2020 On-campus Toowoomba
Short Description: Contemporary Art Practice 1
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Creative Arts
Student contribution band : Band 1
ASCED code : 100301 - Fine Arts
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: David Usher


This course is offered in ON-CAMPUS mode as STUDIO PRACTICE and EXTERNAL mode as STUDIO RESEARCH. Intensive Studio Practice in Painting and Drawing only offered at Springfield.

For 1st Year courses: Students are concerned with an ongoing development of technical, conceptual, practical and observational skills related to the central topic, Alterative Studio Practices which develop traditional and experimental approaches. Through independent and / or collaborative learning, this course will effectively emphasize some of the professional issues associated with visual arts practice within the visual arts industry. In addition, historical, traditional and contemporary visual arts practice is addressed and students are made aware of cross-disciplinary studio and hybrid practices.

The student will be introduced to the various career pathways within the visual arts industry. This includes professions such as: practicing artist; curator; gallery administrator; art education officer; art teacher and art writer. This course thereby enables the student to cater the learning to their career aspirations. This course is integral to further understanding of Locality within VSA2002 Contemporary Art Practice 2 and VSA Studio Project 2.


Students develop their understanding of materials, processes and technical skills within a diverse range of media within the visual arts studios. All students' study will be supplemented with workshop demonstrations and will be complemented with lectures and discussions on contemporary art and craft practice. In addition to this, studio lectures analyse the work of established professionals in order to increase student insight into their own practice.
The visual language and studio research used at this level will be commensurate with skill and studio research development. This will be underpinned by history and theory lectures in associated visual arts courses.
Students are offered a combination of studios including; printmaking, sculpture, painting, ceramics and drawing.
Student will be encouraged to research contemporary art in order to gain an awareness of the potential career pathways within the visual arts and the broader creative arts industry. This includes cross-disciplinary studio and hybrid practices.

For ON-CAMPUS mode, students will undertake WH&S induction and continue to employ the safe handling of materials, processes and equipment.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. demonstrate foundational skills related to professional studio practices (concepts, processes, theories and techniques) related to artistic concerns within the visual arts industry (including historical, contemporary and hybridised artistic outcomes;
  2. research historical and contemporary art practice to evaluate and analyse the reflexivity and criticality of ideas constructed by artists;
  3. use materials to generate creative ideas, experimental works and to problem solve;
  4. communicate visually and/or in writing by clearly and logically expressing ideas pertaining to practices and concepts inherent within traditional and hybridised artistic outcomes.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Selection of one or more studios from painting, ceramics, printmaking, sculpture, drawing and hybrid practice for students who are undertaking ON-CAMPUS study for this course. For Springfield students, they will be undertaking painting and drawing that follow on from VSA1002 Introduction to Contemporary Art Practice.

Students undertaking EXTERNAL study for this course, there are two options to choose from. Option 1: Students undertake self-initiated research (in consultation with the course lecturer) developing the topic area that will be discussed for the three assignments. Option 2: Students undertake studio work in painting and drawing through both online lectures and self-initiated research/studio work

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 specific texts or materials required for this course. Students are required to research various sources as a way of demonstrating the varied and wide range of options. The list of reference materials below will assist with answering all assignments.

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.
Birnbaum, D, Butler, CH & Cotter, S 2011, Defining contemporary art: 25 years in 200 pivotal artworks, Phaidon Press, New York.
Bochner, M, Antoni, J , Golub, L & Muniz V 2004, Inside the studio: talks with New York artists, Independent Curators International, New York.
Jacob, MJ & Grabner, M (eds) 2010, The studio reader, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
Lind, N 2013, Abstraction (Whitechapel: documents of contemporary art) series, MIT Press, Cambridge.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 65.00
Practicum 52.00
Private Study 48.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 100 45 24 Aug 2020
ASSIGNMENT 2 100 10 26 Oct 2020
ASSIGNMENT 3 100 45 26 Oct 2020

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    Students must attend and complete the requirements of the Workplace Health and Safety training program for this course where required.

    External and Online:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students’ responsibility 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.

    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.

  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:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  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 for this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There is no examination in this course, there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations.

  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

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

Date printed 6 November 2020