Unit Three: How Artists Work (i)

Unit Three continues to expand the learner’s visual literacy skills and explore critical questions.

What does it mean to be an artist? How does the artist decide which material he or she wants to explore? In what ways do mediums differ? Are cultural messages inherent in the materials used by artists across time and cultures? 

Discussions of their own work in both Units Three and Four prompt artists to explore similar questions. Medium alone as artists agree, is a complex subject -- oil paint is now simply "an applied color" as the non-artist may think.


Specific assignments require students to assess differences between a digital or reproduced image of a work and the ‘real work’ by visiting their local museum to carefully examine objects. However, we return to the digital world when a group of former students discuss how the “New Media” impact more traditional mediums.

In the final section Professor Lou Marcus, University of South Florida, Tampa gives a brief history of photography. Does the photograph tell the truth? Why did women adapt so quickly to the practice of photography in the 19th century? What is the role of the photograph in contemporary art?


Medium alone as artists agree, is a complex subject --- oil paint is not simply “an applied color” as the non-artist might assume.