Photography, Printmaking + Film
Getting to Know Your DSLR
#PH1063 | Materials List
This course focuses on the robust functionality that DSLRs offer. Students will learn the most important step in the photographic process—how to take a quality photograph. By having a competent working knowledge and understanding of photographic vocabulary, students can begin tackling computer editing to enhance and manipulate their images. This intensive uses hands-on technical exercises, class discussion, and slide shows to help you get the most out of your digital camera. Each class will begin with a discussion of the technical assignments, and may also include readings and slide shows of historical and contemporary photographers based on the photographic interests of the class. Much of the class time will be centered around hands-on photographic activities and group learning.
Originally from Fairfax, Virginia, Kristen Perkins received her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2012, and a BA in Journalism and a BA in Photography from The Pennsylvania State University in 2005. Her photography fluctuates between her background in photojournalism and documentary photography, and more loosely metaphoric photographs that are not definitively narrative or dominantly descriptive in nature. Her subject matter tends to focus on community and rituals—the points in our lives that bring us together, connecting us to our past, our future, and helping us identify ourselves in the present. Recent exhibition venues include the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery; Axis Gallery, Sacramento; Los Angeles Center for Digital Art; Joyce Gordon Gallery, Oakland; and HiveMind Gallery, Oakland. Perkins has recently published two books in limited editions: Northbeach: An Italian Community of San Francisco and Tabletops: 2009–2012.
“Kristen pushed us to try all different types of subjects. She really pushed us to learn the camera including its most obscure features. Kristen kept it interesting and challenging while informative and fun.” –Getting the Most Out of Your DSLR student, 2013
Introduction to Photoshop
#DT1038 | Materials List
A creator, a destroyer, a modifier, a rebuilder—Photoshop is all of these things, and one of the most powerful tools progressive contemporary artists can use to take their work to another level. Photoshop and the Adobe Creative Suite is the industry-standard software for artists of all mediums and disciplines. Whether you seek to document your artwork, build websites, retouch photographs, or create animations, Photoshop is tool that can address your artistic image-based needs. You will be introduced to the basics of this software and how you can apply these skills to your own art practice. In addition to demonstrations and hands-on experience, there will be discussions on contemporary artists who employ Photoshop in a variety of ways, and assignments to help expand your skills and how they can be applied creatively. Our focus will be on the intersection between technical skills and artistic ideas.
Prerequisite: Prior experience working in a Mac OS environment required.
Elizabeth Cunningham is an artist currently based in San Francisco. In 2012, she completed her MFA in Photography at the San Francisco Art Institute. She received her BA in Fine Arts from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010. She currently uses a hybrid process of stop-motion animation and photographic collage to create abstract films that explore her fascination with the oversaturation of information in the digital environment. While art is an inherent part of her nature, sharing her experience with others through teaching is Cunningham’s primary passion, and she is particularly interested in focusing on the intersection between the arts and technology.
“Elizabeth provided excellent advice to a diverse class—from illustrators to photographers, she was responsive to all our needs. She also was great about sending notes and extra resources to the class and was completely accessible.” –Introduction to Photoshop student, 2013
#PR1002 | Materials List
In this course, participants will learn to create multicolored prints using the reduction printing method. All colors are printed from only one block that is carved away or “reduced” throughout the printing process. Pablo Picasso introduced this method; he referred to reduction prints as “suicide prints,” because the matrix is destroyed little-by-little as the print progresses. Once a color is printed and the next round of cutting begins, there is no going back! Printing from only one block means less carving than cutting a block for each color and is more economical.
Tomoko Murakami is a multidisciplinary artist who explores the medium of printmaking as a multidimensional art form bringing new possibilities to mixed-media art. She received her MFA in Printmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute and an MA in Transformative Arts from JFK University. She is a recipient of the 1992 Kala Art Institute Fellowship and the 2008 Susan Seddon Boulet Award. Her work has been exhibited at Gloria Delson Contemporary Arts, Los Angeles; Gallery on the Rim, San Francisco; Gallery Tomura, Tokyo; Richmond Art Center, Richmond, Calif.; and Sebastopol Center for the Arts, Sebastopol, Calif.
Photographic Screenprinting: Cause and Effect
#PR1005 | Materials List
This course investigates the photographic image as a catalyst for artistic exploration and expression. By focusing on using photographic images, students will explore how the photograph can effectively be used through numerous screenprinting techniques. Open to all levels of learning, we will use the camera to document, record, and manipulate the photographic image with the matrix of the screen as the method of transference. Although students will use photographs as base images to build upon, the course will also cover everything from monoprinting, drawing methods, Rubylith, and CMYK four-color, process prints. Experimentation will be encouraged. Whether you use a cell phone, SLR, or appropriated/collaged images, we will investigate how the photograph can be used in compelling ways as a print. The cause and effect of our artistic decisions will be discussed and explored through our finished work by combining critique, discussions, and historical references.
Jonathan Palmer received his BFA in Painting and Printmaking graduating cum laude from Syracuse University in 1992. In 2013, he graduated from RISD with an MFA in Printmaking. Palmer has exhibited throughout the United States, including in New York City, San Francisco, Providence, Mendocino, and internationally in Japan. His work is included in the print collections of Syracuse University, Yale University, and dozens of private collections. Using printmaking, cut paper, found materials, glass casting, bio-mimicry, video, and installation, Jonathan incorporates a wide array of techniques in order to achieve his goals.
“I am fascinated by the people, places, and things considered peripheral, marginal, and deviant. My studio practice examines how these labels define the indifference of judgment and the beauty of difference. My work resides somewhere between the cracks where the distinctions of “the other” and the incidental are brought to the forefront.” –Jonathan Palmer
Super 8 Filmmaking
#FM1004 | Materials List
This class is for filmmakers, film enthusiasts, and those who are interested in exploring an old (but good!) technique for making intriguing films. Super 8 film is a small-format film that was primarily used in the 1960s through 1980s for making home movies. Students in this class will learn the basics of shooting Super 8, make films as a class, and discover how this medium is used by artists. We will finish with a screening of the work we produce.
Laura C. Wright is an artist and educator who explores communication through the intersections of fiber arts, digital technology, visual media, and participatory practices. She received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1996, and an MFA in Fiber Arts from the University of Washington in 2004. In 2013, she completed a second MFA from the UCSC Digital Arts and New Media program to provide her with a greater understanding of the tools and language of communication in the digital age.
Producing a Body of Work in the Expanded Field of Photography
#PH1010 | Materials List
This course is designed to create a rigorous and inspiring context for artists to deﬁne and initiate a body of photographic work. In the current context, images can be separated from a paper support, photographs have become malleable streams of data, and you can find them everywhere. With such inﬁnite options for producing work, aspiring photographic artists must construct their own critical contexts and corresponding technical choices to produce their images. How do artists make these decisions?
Through a series of lectures, directed group critiques, in-class technical demonstrations, artist talks, and ﬁeld trips, students will question what they think they know about the medium of photography and its potential. The class is an energetic launching pad for artists of any age and background as they initiate a new body of work. Participants are expected to conceive and complete the ﬁrst draft of a photographic series consisting of 5–12 works over the course of the semester.
Possible Class Assignments:
- Photographs and Language: Produce a photo series not with images, but with words. Write ﬁve short paragraphs that describe ﬁve images that could work together as a series. Use clear, simple, descriptive language when writing the description, so that the reader can visualize the photo as clearly as possible.
- Photography and the Legacy of Painting: Visit a museum. Choose two paintings made by a single artist. Reconstruct the paintings as photographs using your own environment, materials, and community.
Tim Hyde works in the expanded ﬁeld of photography. His photographs, video work, and collaborative installations have been exhibited at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; Ar/ge Kunst Galerie Museum, Bolzano, Italy; de Young Museum, San Francisco; Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, New York; SculptureCenter, New York; the Busan Biennale, South Korea; and The Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Boston; among others. His work is also included in the collections of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Ulrich Museum of Art, The Margulies Collection, and The Pilara Foundation Collection at Pier 24 Photography. Passionately committed to dialogue and collaboration with other artists, Hyde is a regular visiting critic at art schools and universities on the East Coast.
The Setup: Making Instead of Taking in Contemporary Photography
#PH1062 | Materials List
The Setup is a course that explores the practice of staging/constructing the subject of a photograph, or otherwise manipulating parameters affecting the final image. This class will provide an antidote to the prevalent routine of snapping a quick picture of anything-anywhere-anytime. Our class mantra will be “make make make,” and we will approach the art of photography with intention, forethought, and concision. The class will look at recent trends in contemporary photography and their historical precursors via books, presentations, exhibitions, and studio visits. We will study different approaches to directorial or staged modes of working, and consider why artists might choose to operate in this way. During this course, students will create deliberate images—and always “make” instead of “take.” The Setup will provide a respite from screens, and all work will be regularly reviewed in class via its tangible, printed form.
Prerequisites: As this is not a technical course, proficiency in your camera and output method of choice is expected. Both digital and analog photographers are welcome to apply, although all students must have unrestricted access to a camera and regular access to a photo printer or darkroom for the duration of the semester.
Maggie Preston is a native Californian who received her MFA in 2008 from the California College of the Arts. Her photo-based works yield a shifting self-portrait of photography and our relationship to it. Her work has been exhibited both locally and nationally, with a recent solo exhibition at SF Camerawork, and group exhibitions at Pro Arts, San Francisco; San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery; and Houston Center for Photography; among others. She recently completed an artist residency at Rayko Photo Center. She currently lives and works in San Francisco, and teaches photography to public high school students at Out of Site Youth Arts Center.