Spring 2021

Doing What You Don’t Know How to Do

Listed in: Art and the History of Art, as ARHA-308


Anna H. Hepler (Section 01)


Under what conditions can we make our best work? What does our best work look like and how is that assessment made? And how can we access our best selves to do so?  This course interrogates the dynamics of the visual arts studio: the opportunities, conditions, and pressures that shape our behavior there. By creating a supportive community via online conferencing with both synchronous and asynchronous elements, and photographic sharing of projects/assignments — perhaps a new kind of studio? — we encourage risk and reach towards a studio practice that is yet unknown to us. We will teach each other, think big and then bigger, try new materials and processes, and treat each decision as an experiment. This course will introduce both historical and contemporary examples of artists in whose work we can readily observe risk-taking and problem solving. Setting the stage for a life in the studio driven by exploration and fearlessness, we will ask the question, “What do we have to lose?”

Requisite: Nomination by the art departments of each of the Five Colleges. Limited to 15 students, with spaces reserved for 3 students from each of the Five Colleges.

The course will be taught remotely. Spring semester. Visiting Lecturer Hepler.


Artistic Practice, Attention to Issues of Class, Attention to Issues of Gender and Sexuality, Attention to Issues of Race, Attention to Issues of Social Justice, Attention to Research, Attention to Writing, Online Only


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2021