Week of April 19-22:

Class on Monday/Tuesday April 19/20: DEARTS on the Rocks. We’ll look back over the semester, make connections between major themes and present new relevant material.

Grade Update

All grades (with the exception of Test 4 and the last few blog posts) will be updated on eLearning by:
Monday, April 19 at noon for the M/W class,
Tuesday, April 20 at noon for the T/R class .

You will have two days to dispute any scores.  The cut-off for grade disputes is:
Wednesday, April 21 at noon for the M/W class,
Thursday, April 22 at noon for the T/R class.

Blog Comment Deadline:
The cut-off for all graded blog comments is noon on Wednesday, April 21.
Any blog comments added after this time will not be eligible for points.

Test 4 (Final Exam)

The final exam/test 4 will be held Wednesday/Thursday, April 21/22.
We will administer the test in the following two shifts.  You must take the test at the specified time listed below:

2:00-2:50pm if your last name begins with L-Z
2:55-3:50pm if your last name begins with A-K

Review Information TEST 4
200 points

(referred to by some as the Final Exam)

April 21/22, 2010

Format: There will be 40 multiple choice or matching questions.  Some questions may relate to specific images or clips that will be shown during the test.

This test is both a comprehensive review of the semester with new material presented since Test 3.

The questions will be based the following:
All in-class information, clips and discussions from January 11/12 through April 19/20,  all performance/films viewed in this time, the DEARTS blog, class handouts, and show program materials.  The descriptions below represent a simple outline of highlights only.  For details on previous classes, you are encouraged to consult prior review sheets and tests.

Faith, Beauty, & Iconography, April 7/8
Architecture from classic to contemporary; analysis of art and the intent of the artist; Warhol and Pop Art, artists’ use of personal histories as inspiration; violent depictions in Renaissance art.

Walking Tour, April 12/13
Architectural concepts as reflected in downtown Kalamazoo and walking tour handout.

What You’re Getting Into, April 14/15
Guest presentation by musician Shannon Curfman.

DEARTS on the Rocks, April 19/20
Art and censorship as seen in new and old material during this class.

Performances/Events: Shannon Curfman Concert

Glossary Words you need to know:
(see Test 1&2 Review Info Sheets for more)
Blues, irony, modern art, negative space, modernism, Pop Art, popular culture, Postmodernism.

Other Advice:
Study the DEARTS blog including all images and text posted for key topics. You should also be familiar with the range of conversation by having read all comments that have been posted.


8pm at the State Theatre
This one-night only concert will be our final evening performance as a class!

Please check-in between 7:00-7:15pm.  Seating is General Admission, so the earlier you arrive, the better seat you will get!  There will be a separate line for DEARTS students (apart from the general public).  You may also need your Driver’s License.

You are welcome to bring guests, but we will not have extra tickets.  The State Theatre has graciously offered a $10 student ticket, which is available for purchase now or the day of the show.

Be sure to bring your DEARTs ID Cards! Instead of a stamp, you will turn in your card to us at the end of the evening to get credit.

re Shannon Curfman concert: DEARTS students will check in before the concert beginning 7:00 pm. There will be a separate line and entrance for us. Your friends can buy tickets at the State Theatre now – or the day of the concert. $10.00 and meet you inside. Seating is General Admission so you’ll be able to sit wherever you want.

Shannon’s myspace page

Shannon’s website


DEARTS TEST 3.150 points   April 5/6, 2010

Review Information

Format: There will be 30 multiple choice or matching questions.  Some questions may relate to specific images or clips that will be shown during the test.

The questions will be based the following:

All in-class information, clips and discussions from March 8/9 onward,  all performance/films viewed in this time, class handouts, and show program materials.  The descriptions below represent a simple outline of highlights only.

Dancing with Architecture, March 8/9

Introduction to alternative movement performance with Kristi Spessard: Rudolph Laban and dance/movement exploration; body space politics; how she makes a career in NYC.

So You Think You Can’t Dance (Movement Choir), March 10/11

Creating and performing the Movement Choir with Kristi Spessard.

“I know a spot where the gin is cold and the piano’s hot”, March 15/16

Introduction to Chicago by director Jay Berkow: history of musicals; vaudeville; theatre-in-the-round; role of the director and choreographer; musicals of Kander & Ebb and Bob Fosse.

Visit with director, cast and designers of Chicago, March 17/18

Introduction to the story and style of Chicago, roles of the Stage Manager, costume and lighting designers.

The Jazz Age, March 22/23

Guest presentation by Prof. Scott Cowan and performances by the WMU Jazz Orchestra:  origins and history of Jazz music (Ragtime to Bebop).

The Economics of Art, March 24/25

Discussion of As You Like It, the Movement Choir experience, Chicago, and the Jazz Orchestra performance; levels of participation in performance; discussion of the economic demands and difficulties of being an artist.

Graphic Novels and Comics Today, March 29/30

Guest presentation by Michael Bonesteel:  the history of alternative comics, censorship and the Comics Code authority, development of the graphic novel and key artists/writers; distinguishing features of alternative comics. Also: background information on Persepolis including the history of Iran.

Comics: The Sequel, March 31/Apr 1

Continued guest presentation by Michael Bonesteel: contemporary graphic novels and artists – with a focus on works that Bonesteel read to the class.

Performances/Events: Chicago (including information from the printed program), Persepolis

Reading Assignments: Jazz Handout, .

Glossary Words you need to know:  (see Test 1&2 Review Info Sheets for more)

Theatre-in-the-round/arena theatre, blues, empathy, expressionism, icon, iconoclast, jazz, metaphor, narrative art, proscenium, satire, site-specific art,

Other Advice:

Study the DEARTS blog including all images and text posted for key topics. You should be familiar with the range of conversation by having read all comments that have been posted since the last test.

Week of March 29-April 1:

This week we will welcome Michael Bonesteel to

Next Evening Performance:  Persepolis
Monday (M/W Class)
Tuesday (T/R Class)

WHEN:  Check-in starts at 7:30
film begins 8pm

WHERE:  The Little Theatre, East Campus
for Bronco Transit map/schedule, click here

Week of March 22:

Monday/Tuesday, March 22/23: Class will meet in the Dalton Center,  at the regular time.  We will have a guest presentation by Prof. Scott Cowan and the University Jazz Orchestra.

Wednesday/Thursday, March 24/25:
TEST 3 POSTPONED to April 5/6!

We’re back in the classroom with a very important class where we will recap the events of the past two weeks, extend our discussion about art-making, and review Test 2.
We will also discuss the exciting upcoming events in DEARTS.

Week of March 15:  Happy of Ides of March; Valsaki, St. Patrick’s Day and Spring!

1. Mid-term grades are posted. We had some technical problems that were resolved. Your grade should be accurate. If you think there is an error please email you TA who will investigate.

2. Ask a TA: Please use it for general questions. If you have a question specific to you –email Alyssa or Brendan.

Mon & Tues: The very entertaining and expert Jay Berkow, WMU theater professor and director of Chicago.
Weds & Thurs:  Class meets @ Williams Theatre.

4. CHICAGO on stage: Weds & Thurs nights

March 10/11, 2010

CHANGE: Class meets in Knauss, then we will travel as a group to the Richmond Center. 50 points for participation; you must sign out at the end of class to earn the points.

ALSO: Remember your red, black or white shirt.

+ Kristi suggests you wear comfortable shoes (not your highest boots, etc.) fyi: we’ll be 99% indoors – so weather is not an issue.

And comfortable clothing — because you will find yourself on the floor at times.

+  A professional videographer from WMU will be taping the whole event so please don’t be alarmed by someone pointing a camera in your direction.


If you have friends who’ll be on campus Wednesday and Thursday — you may want to forward them the Facebook event and invite them to come see you snaking around the RCVA!  Here’s the Fbook event:

March 8/9, 2010

Class on Monday and Tuesday will have two parts:

a)  A presentation by Very Special Guest Artist Kristi Spessard in preparation for the Weds and Thurs classes.
b)  Test 2

If you haven’t already, check out the Facebook event promoting the Weds and Thurs classes: Facebook Event

Review Information for TEST 2. 100 points
March 8/9, 2010

Format:  There will be 25 multiple choice or matching questions.  Some questions may relate to specific images or clips that will be shown during the test.

Questions will be based the following:
All in-class information, clips and discussions from January 11/12 (First Class) through February  24/25 and performances viewed to date, also listed below.  Previous review sheets will also be helpful in preparing for this test.  The descriptions below represent a simple outline of highlights only.

City of Brotherly Love, Feb 8/9
Guest presentation by artist Frank Baseman:  “design activism,” reasons/uses for graphic design; “blank page syndrome;” the power of the artist to respond to events, effect change or raise awareness.

The Graphic Imperative Exhibit, Feb 10/11
Visit to the poster exhibit, formal elements of visual art.

Act II: Power of the Artist, Feb 15/16
Appropriation of popular advertising and images of torture; review of historical artworks; art and religion in Medieval Europe; theatre of the period; Renaissance as rebirth of classical values; Michelangelo’s sculpture and painting.

From Buonarotti to the Bard, Feb 17/18
Guest presentation by Dr. Tony Ellis:  cultural and educational changes in Renaissance Italy and England; rediscovery of classical texts; England as next great empire; Michelangelo’s poetry, sonnet, and his work the Pieta; role of the Renaissance artist; theatre architecture; pastoral tradition in literature and painting; Shakespeare as product of his time.

“All the world’s a Stage”, Feb 22/23
Guest presentation by Prof. Jim Daniels:  history of the English language (fusion of Anglo-Saxon and Romance languages); the Battle of Hastings; the defeat of the Spanish Armada and English ascendency; Shakespeare’s influences and use of language; the power of theatre.

Visiting As You Like It, Feb 24/25

Guest presentations by faculty director, student designers and actors; introduction to the story of As You Like It, roles of the Stage Manager and various designers.

Performance: As You Like It (including information from the printed program and the discussion following the play.)

Reading Assignments:
DE Handbook p. 38-42, p. 49-54 (and previous assigned pages).

Glossary Words you need to know: (see Test 1 Review Info Sheet for more)

Baroque, culture, discursive, dramatic irony, focal point, Gothic, hierarchy, humanism, implied line, mass, metaphor, monochromatic, négative space, objective, palette, perspective, play, popular culture, primary colors, protagonist, realism, relief, Renaissance, satire, spectacle, thrust stage, willing suspension of disbelief.

Other General Advice:
You’ll need to know the chronological order of the time periods we’ve covered: Paleolithic, Ancient Greece and Rome, the Medieval Period and the Italian and English Renaissance. You also need to know approximately – when these periods occurred. This information if listed on the DEARTS website, (as viewed in class), which is linked on the DEARTS blog. You’ll have to log into the website. We advise you not wait until the last minute to do this.

Study the DEARTS blog including all images and text posted for key topics. You should also be familiar with the range of conversation by having read all comments that have been posted.

Announcements for February 22-26:

Reading Assignment for Feb 24/25:
Handbook chapter “What is Theatre”, p. 49-54

Class will meet in Shaw Theater, in the Gilmore Theatre Complex on Wednesday/Thursday, Feb. 24/25 at the regular time.  Please see your handbook for map and details.

Announcements for February 8-11:

Reading Assignment for Feb 8/9:
Handbook chapter Elements of Visual Art, p. 38-44

Class will meet in the Richmond Center on Wednesday/Thursday, Feb. 10/11 at the regular time.  During class you will receive and complete a written assignment (Q2).  Please see your handbook for details.

Announcements for February 1-5:

Class will meet in the Gilmore Theatre Complex, Williams Theater on Monday/Tuesday, Feb. 1/2 at the regular time.  Please see your handbook for details.

Winter Concert of Dance
We will be attending the Dance Concert in the Williams Theater this week.
M/W Class will attend on Tuesday, Feb. 2
T/R Class will attend on Wednesday, Feb. 3
Check In: 7:15 p.m.
Performance Time: 8:00 p.m.

Remember to bring your ID card that was handed out in class last week.
Dress: You should dress as if going to a nice restaurant; see the handbook, p. 10 for details.
Switch: If you need to switch performances due to evening classes, you can sign up to do so with your TA in class.

Review Information for Test 1
February 3/4, 2010


There will be 20-25 multiple choice and matching questions.  Some questions may relate to specific images or clips that will be shown during the test.

Questions will be based the following:
All in-class information, clips and discussions from January 11/12 (First Class) through February  1/2 and performances viewed to date. This test will include material from the classes listed below. These descriptions represent a simple outline of highlights only.

First Official Class, Jan 11/12
Cell Phone Performance; Man on Wire; elements of performance.

“…you are aware that there’s an invention called television…?” Jan 13/14
Quiz on syllabus and handbook; viewing and deconstruction of scenes from Pulp Fiction.

Aesthetic Arrest, Jan 20/21
Conceptions/definitions of beauty; The Man Who Walked Between the Towers animation; formal elements in visual art deconstructing scenes from American Beauty.

So You Think You Can Dance, Jan 25/26
Guest presentation by Megan Slayter:  characteristics of dance; description and interpretation in viewing dance; genres and styles of dance.

25,000 Years of Culture, Jan 27/18

Iconic representations of ideal form from the Paleolithic to the Classical era; origins of Greek theatre; Gladiator and Roman spectacle.

WCD Behind the Scenes, Feb 1/2
Guest presentation by faculty and student choreographers and dancers.

Winter Concert of Dance

Reading Assignments:
DE Handbook, p. 1-37, 43-48

Glossary words you need to know:
Abstract, aesthetics, appropriation, architecture, catharsis, classical, content, context, deconstruction, ephemeral, form, formal elements, genre, icon, idealization, irony, medium, mediated, modern dance, monotheism, narrative art, on pointe, pantheism, pedagogy, subjective, symmetry, unmediated.

Announcements for January 18-22:

Reading Assignment for Mon/Tues January 25/26:

Handbook, p. 43-48
“Understanding the Performance Arts” & “What is Dance” Chapters

Class Change:
The classes this week have been switched.  Mon/Tues Jan 25/26 will now be titled “So You Think You Can Dance” and feature guest presenter Megan Slayter.  On Jan 27/28 we will continue discussing classical art in the “Gladiator, Virgin, Hero” class.

Announcements for January 18-22:

  • Remember, there is NO CLASS on Monday/Tuesday January 18/19!
  • Reading Assignment for Wed/Thu Jan. 20/12:  Read pages 4-37 in the handbook, there may be a quiz over this material.

Reminder about phones & performances:

We all use our cell phones a lot.  I have mine on me constantly and use it for everything, including answering your emails.  When it comes to a performance, well…

it’s not a movie folks.

When you’re at a movie theater, as rude as it is, you might get away with pulling out your phone to check your facebook, text message, whatever.  At a live event, even if you’re discrete, it’s extremely distracting to the performers AND people around you, even on the opposite end of the theatre.

Here’s the deal: Paul, Kevin, Alyssa, and I don’t want to be cops.  Having to collect phones before performances would suck, and I don’t want to do that.

For upcoming performances, we’re going to ask that you not bring your phones into the building at all.  If you do bring your phone, it must be off and concealed at all times in the theatre, including intermission (you may use your phone during intermission in the lobby).  If DEARTS or theatre staff see a cell phone in the theatre -no warnings- you lose 100pts from your grade. Period.

I know this sounds drastic, but it’s not a huge request.  It’s ridiculous and unfortunate it’s an issue at all.  I hate having to take points away from people and be the bad guy.  You guys are rad, and I like being able to enjoy this class with you.

Evening Performances:

What makes Direct Encounter with the Arts unique is that the course centers on a series of live performances and art exhibits.  All of the following events are mandatory for all students enrolled in DEARTS and are worth 50 points each–put them on your calendar NOW.

Winter Concert of Dance
Tuesday, February 2 (Monday/Wednesday Class)
Wednesday, February 3 (Tuesday/Thursday Class)
8:00 p.m. at the D. Terry Williams Theatre, Gilmore Theatre Complex, WMU
Check In: 7:15 p.m.

As You Like It
Thursday, February 25
8:00 p.m. at the Shaw Theatre, Gilmore Theatre Complex
Check In: 7:15 p.m

Wednesday, March 17 (Monday/Wednesday Class)
Thursday, March 18  (Tuesday/Thursday Class)
8:00 p.m. at the D. Terry Williams Theatre, Gilmore Theatre Complex
Check In: 7:15 p.m

FILM NIGHT:   Persepolis
Monday, March 29  (Monday/Wednesday Class)
Tuesday, March 30  (Tuesday/Thursday Class)
8:00 p.m. at the Little Theatre, Oakland Street and Oliver Lane
Check In: 7:30 p.m.

Shannon Curfman
Friday, April 16 : ONE NIGHT ONLY!
8:00 p.m. at the State Theatre
The State Theatre
404 South Burdick Street
Check In: 7:15 p.m


Grading will be based upon the completion of the following:

Evening Performances:  5 @ 50 points = 250 points

Blog Participation Points:                                50 points

Assignments: (see list below)                       200 points
Q1   Photo ID                                      25 points     Due January 20/21
Q2  Graphic Imperative Exhibit     50 points     In class February 10/11
Q3  So You Think You Can Dance  50 points     In class March 10/11
Q4  Walking Tour                              75 points      In class April 7/8

Tests (combined test total):                           500 points
Test 1     50  points      February
Test 2   100 points      March
Test 3    150 points     March
Test 4   200 points     April

Total Points Possible                       1000 points

All grading will be done using a point system. At the end of the semester you will have reached a potential score of 1,000 points. You will receive a final letter grade based on your point total divided by ten.

image by comic artist Chris Ware

Blog Grading Criteria

Another way to extend class discussions is to participate on the DEARTS class blog (see address on first page).  New topics will be added on a regular basis, featuring discussion prompts based on class discussions or events.  You may earn points by adding threaded comments to these topics.  There are fifty total points possible for blog participation.  Comments will be graded throughout the semester and periodically updated on eLearning.  Each comment posted on the blog is evaluated according to the following criteria, on a scale of 0-10 points:

10 points
Comment significantly advances discussion and introduces new topic or question; critical analysis is illuminating and articulate; exhibits mastery of class vocabulary/ concepts; spelling and grammar are near perfect.

8 points
Comment advances discussion; statements supported with substantial reasons/ examples; analysis and application of class concepts are strong; style is thoughtful and clear; few writing errors.

6 points
Comment advances the discussion; provides reasons/ examples for opinions; shows evidence of analysis; applies vocabulary/ concepts introduced in class; style is clear; writing errors do not detract from content.

3 points
Comment is thoughtful yet does not significantly advance the discussion; style and/or writing mistakes may detract from content.

1 point
Comment related to topic at hand is posted and threaded with other similar comments, as appropriate.

0 points
Little or no effort is evident; comment does not pertain to topic or question.

Other factors that may increase the number of points awarded a comment:
• First comment posted is worth a minimum of 3 points.

• The blogger makes connections between the post topic and other topics that have been themes in DEARTS this semester.

• The blogger brings up a topic that requires some courage or bravery. Examples: a) the writer disagrees with another writer and does an excellent job debating the point; b) the blogger brings up points of view that others might find difficult including aspects of race, gender, sexuality, etc; c) writer references his or her own personal life experiences in ways that illuminate the discussion.

Instructional Use of Potentially Controversial Material

Some of the topics that Direct Encounter with the Arts examines in historical and contemporary culture include religion, iconography, sexuality, gender, body issues, social and political movements, race and ethnic issues, love, the family, censorship, patronage and beauty.  In order to properly investigate these topics, you will be required to listen to and view mediated and unmediated materials that, at some point, may offend or trouble you—perhaps on political, religious, sexual, or other grounds. Students and guests are given many opportunities to express their points of view in a respectful and supportive environment.

You are hereby put on notice that during this course, images of the nude human form, as well as religious, political, social, or other symbols and images may be used to assist in student instruction, discussion, skill and analytical development. It is the opinion of the faculty who teach this course that the use of such imagery is an essential component of this course and the various art curricula. Violent or sexually graphic imagery may also be utilized for the purposes of course instruction.

The materials we present in class are selected to support the objectives of the class. We believe that it is our job to encourage and provoke you to look with fresh eyes at the cultural and artistic world. Sometimes what you hear from us or from guest artists or from your classmates may surprise or shock you: This is part of the learning process for this program.

Any student that might object to, or would be offended by the use or presence of nude human images, violent or sexually graphic imagery, and/or religious or social imagery should consider changing his/her course selection.  For policy, instructional, and financial reasons, the Frostic School of Art is unable to provide alternative instruction, lessons, or courses due to different philosophies, opinions, or beliefs of students.

Also note: We consider teaching to be an art form. As such we may adopt a temporary character, or way of speaking, or choices of language that may seem unusual. These choices are made to help stimulate your interactions with us and  your peers in the class.

Please address all questions on this subject to Professor Solomon. If you believe this course will be too challenging for any reason, you may want to consider dropping it now.


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