Loyola University Chicago

John Felice Rome Center

FNAR 124 Sculpture I

Spring 2015

Loyola University of Chicago
John Felice Rome Center
Spring 2015 – Mannino
W 9:30 – 12:30 Sala Studio

Course Description

This is an introductory studio course that will cover basic techniques, materials, and theoretic principles specific to Sculpture enabling students to express their ideas and feelings in a 3D format. Students will have to demonstrate competency by working with a variety of materials such as clay, plaster, wire armatures, and polystyrene, producing an ongoing body of work throughout the semester.

The course will cover various approaches to the subject, from direct modeling and casting to fabrication and assemblage. Technical demonstrations on media specific will alternate with theoretical discussion and visits to Art Museums.

The focus of the projects described in the schedule is to explore the various media available and the specific techniques which accompany that media choice, and the principles, which guide creativity when utilizing such media.

It will be important to gain confidence with direct, hands-on interaction with the various tools and procedures, to explore the third dimension with a personal approach, and to organize a good studio practice.

An introduction of the basic elements of composition related to form and its relation to space and perception will allow students to actively engage with the artistic principles related to these elements. Critical observation of Classical, Modern and Contemporary Sculpture will introduce the rules that govern the design principles of composition, balance, contrast, repetition and scale.

Learning Objectives

Understand the creative process. Assess formal qualities of artistic production.

Demonstrate visual literacy. Acquire critical and technical vocabulary to describe and analyze artistic production. Evaluate works of art in light of aesthetic and historical precedent.

Required Readings:

Most texts and art catalogues on individual artists and specific topics related to the projects will be at disposal in the Art studio. Further source material will be in the Library.          


      Studio Policy:

Please note that the Art Studio will be locked after class; you will be able to get keys from the entrance desk and sign up your entry time; you must return keys at desk and lock the studio after you leave.

Please note that the Art Studio will be locked after class; you will be able to get keys from the entrance desk and sign up your entry time; you must return keys at desk and lock the studio after you leave.

You will be assigned a shelf to store most of your works in progress.

Studio areas should be left clean after work; clay containers should be kept closed; when working in casting or modeling with plaster please use heavy plastic in order to keep floor and table tops clean. Dispose of debris and recycle clean clay in the reclaiming container; do not waste brushes. Please do not wear open shoes in the Art Studio.

A number of monographic and reference books will be at disposal in the Art Studio; you are invited to develop more extensive study on specific artists or artwork in the Library.

Office hours: by appointment in the hour following class.

Travel plans or other personal commitments may not interfere with attendance and   examinations.

Evaluation methods:
80%    Evaluation on the completed projects.
20%    Class attendance, work in progress.
Please note that grading will be incrementally lowered for tardies and lack of attendance.

Grading Scale:  Please note that Loyola awards neither an A+ nor a D-.  The following sample grading scale, which assigns slightly more points to the solid letter grade, with pluses and minuses spanning fewer points on either side, is one commonly used at American universities:  (A) 100-93,  (A-) 92-90,  (B+) 89-87,  (B)  86-83,  (B-) 82-80, (C+) 79-77,  (C) 76-73,  (C-) 72-70, (D+) 69-67, (D) 65-60,  (F) below 60.

Academic Integrity:
The basic commitment of a university is to search for and to communicate the truth with academic integrity. Students of this university are called upon to know, to respect, and to practice this standard of personal honesty. Plagiarism is not tolerated and students who plagiarize will receive a fail.  In addition, all instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Rome Center's Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, who may constitute a hearing board to consider the imposition of additional sanctions, including a recommendation of expulsion, depending on the seriousness of the misconduct.


Low relief: clay modeling and plaster casting.

Impress and emboss textures and parts of objects on a clay slab developing it as an archeological fragment, then cast it in plaster.

High relief in clay.

Working from a thick clay slab develop an abstract geometrical decorative design.


3D sequence in clay.

Model three or more separate elements that should read as a sequence. These elements should share a similar plasticity.

Conjugate concave and convex planes, emphasize voids and cavities, express contrasting forces.  


Portraiture in clay.

Model an imaginative half head portrait in clay.

The Artist book.

Break down the visual and structural elements of the book (cover, spine, text, images, folios, binding) and develop it as a sculptural object. You might investigate a personal interpretation ofa specific text or deconstruct and reconstitute an existing book.


Line and space

            Build upvolumes in space using plaster gauze, aluminum rods and wire mash.


SCHEDULE of meetings:

  • Jan 21            Intro to the Art Studio; space, tools and procedures.
  • Jan 28               Meeting on site @ Modern Art Museum, G.N.A.M.
  • Feb 4              Papal Audience – No class.
  • Feb 6              Friday 9:30 am - Art Studio
  • Feb 11           ArtStudio
  • Feb 18           Meeting on site (to be announced)
  • Feb 25           ArtStudio     
  • March 4         Midterm Critique on first three projects
  • March 11         Midterm Break.
  • March 18       Art Studio
  • March 25         Art Studio
  • April 1            Art Studio
  • April 8            Meeting on site @ MAXXI Contemporary Art Museum
  • April 15          Art Studio
  • April 22          Art Studio
  • April 24          Friday 6:00 PM  - Final Exhibition.
  • April 29          9.00 AM Final critique on last three projects.