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Creative Development and Art Education

     

Workshop Series

Educational success is the necessary outgrowth of creativity; where one exists, so must the other. Gravity understands this interconnectivity and has built our educational program around it. From providing the youngest children with the tools to express themselves creatively, through their elementary years where training in the arts provides the foundation to educational success, through secondary and higher education where students are able to translate artistic expertise and mastery into career achievement no matter their chosen field.

Each Gravity class is taught by creative individuals who are both experts in their fields as well as experienced educators. K-12 classes are instructed by NJ certified teachers while classes for college students and adults are taught by terminally degreed professors who are also experts in their respective fields.

 

These professionals have developed a series of courses to meet the educational needs of students of all ages. Many of these courses can be customized to address the developmental and learning requirements of various students.

Please contact the Director of Academic Affairs, Claudine D’Angelo-Dotzman with any questions regarding course offerings and possible course modifications.

The following course descriptions identify pre-developed dual-credit courses through Kean University. These are for high school, home-school and adult continuing education. Early Ed. and middle school curriculum is developed though collaboration with the school and developmental needs of the students.

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Private Instruction

 

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Creative and Professional Development Course Listings

›  Business of art
› Creative Writing
› English as a Second Language

  › Fine Arts    

 History, Creative and Critical Therory
› 
Performing Arts
› Music Arts

 

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Buisness of Art

The Business of Art: Surviving the “Real World,” 3cr
Students will begin to build strategies for entering the “art world.” They will learn the basics of artistic documentation, self-promotion, and networking. Topics covered will include how to write an artist statement, artist bio, and CV/resume, how to photograph and document work including basic Photoshop techniques, and ways to build an Internet presence. Students will gain skills that are directly applicable to their current artistic practice, which can grow as their practice grows and develops. Upon completing the class students will have a dynamic and practically useful publicity package, as well as a basic understanding of what it looks like to support oneself as an artist in today’s world. The course involves an internship component at Gravity’s various arts revitalization initiatives.

Intro to Curation, 3cr
The course investigates different types of exhibitions and discusses their usage and effectiveness in different disciplines, museums and other institutions, which present animate or inanimate collections to the public. Students are familiarized with exhibition planning, preparation, management and maintenance. The course involves an internship component at Gravity’s various Pop-space galleries and Flex spaces.

Art Gallery Management I, II, 3cr
This course investigates Gallery management models from varied disciplines, New Media and object-, or collections-based organizations, private collections, and commercial galleries, auction and government organizations, their different missions and organizational structure. Students are acquainted with visitor analysis, budgeting, financing, marketing and public relations. Students are also familiarized with ethical and legal issues concerning the field. Students participating in this course are required to serve as interns in a museum or arts organization if possible in their area of specialization. The course involves an internship component at Gravity’s various Pop-space galleries and Flex spaces.
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Creative Writing

All good writing comes from good reading. Students will be introduced to the various writing genres (fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry and journalism) be reading the works of accomplished writers while writing their own works. The course begins with an overview of genres before allowing students to focus on their preferred genre in the second half of the course.

Writing Fiction: 3cr
In this course students will study the foundations of fiction in the western tradition beginning with Aristotle’s narrative arc through current popular fiction (from full length novels through flash fiction). Students should enter this course with a small portfolio of three or four completed pieces of any fictional genre that they will critique and re-write. They will also write several new short pieces. At the end of the course students will have the opportunity to participate in a public reading.

Writing Creative Non Fiction: 3cr
What is creative non-fiction? How does it differ from traditional non-fiction? Students will study this genre through the writings of: Maya Angelou, Joan Didion, Annie Dillard, David Sederis, Truman Capote and others. In addition to these readings, students will learn by doing: they will write, review and revise three to five short original pieces. At the end of the course students will have the opportunity to participate in a public reading.

Writing Poetry: 3cr
In this course students will explore poetry in the western tradition beginning with the classics and focusing on poetry in the new millennium. Students will explore both traditional forms through the modern, such as prose poetry. Students will learn by doing: they will write, review and revise ten to fifteen original poems to be read at a public reading.

Storytelling, 3cr
Storytelling is an introduction to the art of storytelling.  Students will read, discuss and write about storytelling as well as create their own engaging stories.

Fiction Workshop
Creative Non-Fiction Workshop
Multi-Genre Writing Workshop

Poetry Workshop
Designed by educators at the Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University the writing workshop is a method of writing instruction based upon four principles: students write about what they know, use a consistent writing process, work in authentic ways, thereby fostering independence. Students present their original work to the group who, in turn, provide a constructive critique. This method provides new insight into the work and ways it may be improved.
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English as a Second Language

English as a Second Language: Beginning: 3cr
This course is intended for students who have some familiarity to American English but are not yet comfortable with its use. This course will encourage students to improve their English skills including the study and practice of grammar, syntax, listening, pronunciation and reading. This class will focus on authentic language usage and will use authentic source materials whenever possible.

English as a Second Language: Intermediate: 3cr
This course is intended for students who are familiar with American English and are emerging in their abilities to speak clearly, understand spoken language and comprehend simple text. This course will encourage students to improve their English skills including the study and practice of grammar, syntax, listening, pronunciation and reading and idioms. This class will focus on authentic language usage and will use authentic source materials whenever possible.

English as a Second Language: Advanced: 3cr
This course is intended for students comfortable with the use of American English who desire to perfect it. This course will assist students in improving their English skills including the study and practice of grammar, syntax, listening, pronunciation and reading. The purpose of the class to develop both fluency and accuracy. This class will focus on authentic language usage and will use authentic source materials whenever possible.

English as a Second Language: Reading and Writing: 3cr
This course is to introduce non-native speakers of English to the study of English Literature and the methods of composition used in writing research papers and literary criticism. Students will write several response papers and one five–page research paper based on a study of a selection of essays, short stories, drama, and poetry. Students will also focus on advanced grammar and accent elimination.
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Fine Arts

Direct observation toward contemporary and traditional art forms, bringing an ancient human ability into living practice, and changing how you think about what you see. Here we use traditional materials however the goal is to master the grammar of visual representation, and to use this as a structure for exploring all our visual expectations and experiences: our imagination, our memory, our identities, our social and spiritual connections and alienations, our senses of beauty and ugliness – anything that can be described visually

Intro to Fine Arts, 3cr
This course will offer a study of the major developments of art in architecture, painting, sculpture, cultural civil development throughout history. Emphasis is placed on standard art works and their reflection of religious, social and cultural life. This course is an introduction to the visual arts presenting an introductory understanding of socio-cultural developments through the lens of the visual experience, the various media used, and a general historical survey of the arts from the earliest forms to contemporary art practice. We will look at the role of the arts throughout history. With the large number of disciplines to be introduced we will cover each broadly, describing how each is defined and its role in society through the ages. We will approach each of the arts with the perspective how does it reflect our humanity. We will discus how being human is reflected and/or defined in the objects of our making

Studio Drawing I, II, 3cr
Studio courses where a basic introductions to drawing media and techniques; exploration of form and space in varied subject matter.  Drawing is not about the hands; it’s about the eyes and perceptions. It emphasizes drawing from observation with development of relative value, negative/positive space and shape, composition, line, edge development, volumetric analysis of form, light and perspective. This class focuses on the drawing process and developing skills, as well as creating well-composed finished drawings.

Intro to Life Drawing, 3cr
An introduction to drawing the human figure. Students in this course will spend the majority of their time drawing from live models in a studio setting.  The students will be introduced to a wide range of ideas, concepts, stratagems, and materials related to the drawing of the human figure. A brief historical overview of various visions of the human image will be presented, as will an introduction of human anatomy for artists. Concurrent with ideas about proportion, foreshortening, scale, and anatomical construct, ideas about line quality, chiaroscuro, and the figure in differing spatial constructs will be explored. Expressive as well as analytical approach to drawing, exploration of traditional as well as current techniques and media.

Intro to Painting I, II, 3cr
Studio courses where an introduction to the fundamentals of painting, including exercises in the use of color to describe the reflection of light and shapes in space. This course introduces basic methods, media and concepts in painting styles, both traditional and contemporary. It emphasizes painting from observation, emotion, and the imagination with development of color, mark making, tone, and form. Formal consideration as well as design principles will be included. Through class critiques students will be encouraged to articulate and reflect on their own work and the work of their classmates. Students will also be encouraged to develop an awareness and appreciation of painting within the visual arts and the contemporary world.

Digital Photography, 3cr
Digital Photography will cover basic and intermediate digital photography.  The course will cover the technical aspects of digital photography (equipment, scanning, resolution, printing, Photoshop, etc.) as well as the creative aspects of photography (composition, lighting, color vs. black & white, communication through image, etc.) Students will practice technical skills, creative thinking and problem solving while performing weekly assignments and submitting photography for class critiques.

Intro to 3D Design, 3cr
An introduction to the 3rd dimension of the world that we inhabit ("made" things, natural forms, and the occupation of space). Three-dimensional sensibility is progressively developed when basic components are manipulated by the effective use of direction, balance, axis, orientation, and relationship; in other words, organization (composition). Assignments in light, shape, shadow, depth, form, and movement are examined in a natural progression from 2D knowledge to 3D. Activities include lectures, conceptualization, observation, creation, discussion, and critical analysis for each project. The aesthetic consideration of materials and tools in this context add to the expressive output of three-dimensional study. The process may begin with concept, material or observation

Studio Development, 3cr
This class provides artistic and conceptual development in the students’ studio practices through discussion and regular critiques of the students’ work. The projects undertaken will be informed by the students’ individual interests and existing experience, and be pushed forward by way of creative exploration, and critical feedback from peers and the instructor. Students will learn how to learn from their own work, developing analytical skills needed to move from project to project and push their studio practice to the next level.

Innovation & Creative Development, Theory and Practice, 3cr
Students will be challenged and guided in the development of their critical and conceptualizing skills as they apply to art and design processes.   This is a problem-solving course in which the student investigates the dynamic visual forces involved in composing in a variety of media. Students explore the interrelationships of composition, process, perception, and intent. Through the understanding of concepts, processes, and visual language, students broaden their skills in idea development, research strategies, and technical application. This course will further connect creative research and practice to socio-political and cultural ideology, allowing students opportunities for integration of ideas outside the disciplines of art. This will be accomplished through lectures, exercises, student team assignments, discussion, and exploration in and outside of the classroom. This course will provide each student with tools for building an innovative project and a context for innovative design.

Making and Meaning: the Art of Conceptual Mark Making, 3cr
This experimental drawing class sets out to establish that meaning in art is arrived at not only by subject matter, but by the medium itself, as well as the way the medium is used.  It will challenge students to consider these factors in developing techniques of “conceptual mark making.”  Through a combination of lecture and studio based classes, the course will move from a broad experimentation and exploration of this “conceptual mark making” to a more specific consideration that can be applied to the students’ own individual interests and practices.  From this movement from broad exploration to specific and individualized application, students will be equipped with a conceptual framework and practical techniques that will help inform their own practice. Ultimately it will help them consider anew the necessary links between Making and Meaning, and how that functions in their approach to making art.
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History, Creative & Critical Theory

20th Century Art, 3cr
From Picasso to the end of the Twentieth-century: Cubism, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art and Minimalism; scientific and social forces transforming the artist's vision, including the theories of Freud and Bergson. 

Philosophy of Modern Art, 3cr
The work of major writers about art from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to the present day; the nature of the creative experience and process, the function of art in the life of the individual and of society, the rise of new materials and institutions; the development of sentiments and attitudes affecting thinking in the field.
 
Communication in Post-Modern Culture, 3cr
This introductory course explores issues in contemporary society with a focus on communication through a combination of the arts and technology. Students will understand the society we live in and will be able to prepare and evaluate various uses of technology that engage culture and inspire personal growth.

Postmodern Art Theory, 3cr
Art reflects, challenges, and propels our worldviews. How are the ways we see the world now different than they were in the past? What does this mean for art that enters this world, shaping and being shaped by it? Moreover, how can artists take this knowledge and use it to create potent, relevant art that reflects, challenges, and propels culture in meaningful ways? Students will be introduced into shifts in critical thought and artmaking since postmodernism. Through this lens students will gain an appreciation and critical understanding of contemporary art through lectures, readings, classroom discussions, and trips to see artwork in person outside the class.

Intro to Art and the Christian Faith, 3cr
Students will study the history of art as it developed out of, and impacted, the Christian faith. Through lectures, reading, classroom discussion and assignments, students will examine the roles of Art and Christianity in shaping each other, and their functions both inside and outside a worship setting. Spanning from Early Christian art to Contemporary art
Religious Art in a “Post-Religious” world, 3cr
In the 1880’s, Nietzsche declared God to be dead. Yet, spiritual and religious art remains a vital part of contemporary culture. Students will explore the threshold of postmodernism and its effects on religious art. Through lectures, discussions, readings, and assignments, students will discover the challenges postmodernism has posed to religion and religious art, as well as some ways in which contemporary artists have answered those challenges. They will further generate an understanding of the functions and possibilities for religious art today, as well strategies for approaching this difficult and every evolving topic.
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Performing Arts

Acting for the Stage: 3cr
This workshop will provide students with an edge in the audition process. Frequent group critiques will improve students’ self-awareness of their performance. Memorization and monologue practice, mock auditions, scene study, character and beat breakdown, breathing and relaxation exercises, acting and object exercises will hone students’ ability to maintain presence on stage. Stanislavski, Hagen, Meisner, and other major acting instructors will be covered. This is a class for students of all levels.  (Students may bring in or choose a monologue from a play for the first day of class.)

Acting for the Camera: 3cr
While many elements of acting for the stage are similar to those for the camera, there are many significant differences. This course is geared for students whose goals involve acting for the camera. Students will practice breaking down scripts and audition copy. Students enhance strengths and eliminating weak choices.

Improvisational Comedy: 3cr
The art and philosophy of improv comedy is the perfect antidote to the negative messages that paralyze creativity both on and off stage. This course will transform students into courageous risk-takers who trust their artistic instincts. This course has helped students from diverse backgrounds become enthusiastic, capable improvisers. Those taking this class can expect to develop confidence, teamwork, selflessness, and the ability to think on one’s feet. The course involves an internship and live perfomance component with Gravity’s improvisation company.


lineMusic Arts

Voice
Guitar
Piano
Percussion
Live and Studio Production

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