Course Description

This interdisciplinary fine arts course results in the development of a body of work around contemporary art topics. Research, concept development and studio practice will combine to broaden your skills and ideas. Stimulating assignments together with experimentation promote analysis and understanding of contemporary art ideas, world cultures and historical periods, and other areas of visual information. Studio production and the communication of concepts visually, verbally and in written form will be combined in this thought-provoking course

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


The dictionary defines an icon as "a sign or representation that stands for its object by virtueof a resemblance or analogy to it." So really and icon can be anything that relates to or is similar to something else in any way. I would say that in art there are two types of icons, personal and communal. There are certain icons or symbols that everyone one in our culture understands to represent a certain thing. It could possibly have a different meaning in a different culture. But, as an example, an apple in our culture often represents something forbidden. But in another culture it could represent something entirely different. These culturally understood icons are communal icons. Personal icons would be those objects or symbols that are related to something personal and that would not necessarily be understood by the public as a whole. For example, i might use a certain object in a piece of art that represents a memory that I have.
There are different ways that i have used icons in my own work. One way is that i often use images of women in my collages. In different collages the images of the women represent different things. Sometimes they represent a general femininity, other times they represent idolized beauty, or birth, or oppression. The other images or icons that I use along with the women also changes what they represent. I think that the use of certain colors can also be iconic. Color is something I also think about a lot in my pieces.


  1. I love that you talk about Color as an Iconic theme also! I think that's so smart, I hadn't thought about that perspective at all. I feel dumb that I didn't too because of the work I am doing in class right now. The color is so iconic, or symbolic for the pieces I'm working on. And even in your own work it is too. Walking into your studio the other day I thought about all the muted colors you use. There is so much depth of color, dark blues, browns, and reds, but also the muted cremes.
    I also really like the definition of the icon being something that relates, resembles or stands for something else. When I was looking up Icons I kept trying to find something that everyone would "know" because in my head that was what made an icon, something that is known by everyone. However when we started looking at personal icons and icons for memories i got really connected to the themes I started looking at.
    GREAT THOUGHTS! and IMAGES! I really love the ones you picked out!

  2. I agree with Brie these are some very excellent photos and a great topic to discuss. I like your comparison that icons can icons and have completely different meanings from country to country, certain icons we know can have hundreds of meanings in different cultures, religions, and cities. Dividing the icons into categories the way you did was very logical and insightful.

    Colors to me can have so many meanings and be iconic by themselves or together. Red, white, and blue we instantly think of America but so many other countries including France and great Britain use the same colors and they probably do not think of USA when they see those colors.

  3. Yes, definitely. Colors can represent so many different things to so many different people. Just the color red can mean a millions different things depending on what context it is in. Red is a very emotional color. It can represent anger or passion. Red represents many different countries and cultural events like christmas or valentines day. It also represents different symbols like blood in religious art or warnings (like stop signs). But then the color red can have personal meanings to each of us. For me the color red symbolizes my grandmother because of a red sweater that she has had for as long as i can remember.