Theory and Practice

The Advisory group spent the month of May exploring what Theory & Practice looks in several Arts degree plans and used a thought exchange to help frame what it looks like in Visual Art. We saw presentations about the BAH in Art History, MAC in Art Conservation, BAH Film & Media, BMA in Music, BAH in Music, and the BFA in Fine Art.  

The main takeaways were that Theory and Practice are an integral part of Visual Art and that it should happen iteratively throughout a students’ degree plan. In terms of degree plan structure, Theory and Practice may be found in separate courses or used iteratively within a single course. One goal for curriculum development will be to make these explicit in course and program learning outcomes to facilitate coordination in the degree plan. 

Here is a summary of our thought exchange.

Theory words (grouped thematically)

  • Theories and Philosophies Framework; Principles/Elements; Concepts; Design; Ideation_framework; Formalism; Ways_of_seeing; Ways_of_knowing;
  • Historical and Global Context Context; History/Study_of_Art_history; Contemporary_art;
  • Where ideas come from Ideas; Ideation; Creativity;
  • How art makes meaning Critique/Critical_theory; Analysis; Proposition; Thinking; Explanatory_ideas
  • Processes Practice; Praxis; Methods; Process; Colour_theory;

Practice words (grouped thematically)

  • Materials Materiality; Technique; Art_supply_materials; Craft;
  • Processes Methods; Praxis; Practice; Process; Studio; Hands_on/Doing; Skill/Proficiency; Repetition; Ways_of_doing; Practice-theory_repeat; Application; Not_linear; Fluid; Working_out_ideas; Testing; Proposition;
  • Teaching paradigm Training; Mentorship
  • Outputs Artwork; Portfolio;