Commonplace Treasure (DRW4406.01)

Annette Lawrence

Commonplace Treasure is built around finding or recognizing the value, beauty, poetry, and remarkable power in mundane everyday occurrences, objects, and ephemera. Students will be encouraged to slow down and notice resources that they ordinarily rush by. Class exercises will include list making, photography, journaling, sketching, collecting and editing materials for paintings. The goal of the course is to use attention to transform the commonplace into treasure. We will use references to Dada, Arte Povera, Mono-ha, The Gee’s Bend Quilters, Jasper Johns, and Robert Rauschenberg for historical grounding. Assignments will be supported by discussions about works by Marcel Duchamp, Joseph Cornell, David Hammons, Betye Saar, Tom Friedman, Mark Bradford, Tara Donavon, and Liliana Porter among others. Note: This course serves as a location within which to pursue Advanced Work as it is described by the Plan process.

Learning Outcomes:
To become familiar with previously unrecognized sensibilities with regard to everyday occurrences, objects, and ephemera.
To develop an understanding of historical and contemporary art practices that focus on transforming everyday materials.
To expand individual research and conceptual concerns through exercises that require slowness and focused attention.

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: This 4000 level course is open to students who have completed at least four credits of previous work in drawing, and at least two other 4 credit Visual Art courses. Students should submit a one-paragraph, written application outlining their previous experiences in visual art at Bennington, as well as how this course relates to and supports their Plan of Study. Enrollment priority will be given to juniors and seniors who have shown through previous courses, their ability to succeed at an advanced level, and their ability to show sufficient initiative when working independently. Please note: Faculty in painting and drawing will work collaboratively in consultation with one another in an effort to appropriately distribute enrollment in 4000 level painting and drawing courses. Applications should be submitted to with the subject heading “Commonplace Treasure” between May 9 - 10, 2022.
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
F 8:30AM - 12:10PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 16
Course Frequency: Once a year

Categories: All courses , Drawing , Fully In-Person
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