Check out this article by instructor Jedi Wright on why UX Design is so much more than just the “Look and Feel”
Please enjoy these student images from Photography II (online) this fall quarter. Online courses allow for such a variety of experiences and imagery, in this case landscapes from Los Angeles and Oslo, Norway.
Congrats to instructor Craig Havens, whose work is being featured as part of GSL Projekt in Berlin!
In the wake of the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, GSL Projekt and Zoopark present Mauer Mauer; an exhibition that pauses for thought and reflects upon our shared socio-political climates.
The wall here is cited as a metaphor for the multifaceted complexities that surround themes of division, segregation, reunification, freedom and liberation – all of which seem to be caught within cycles of disintegration, destruction, progression and regression. Circular narratives that are fraught with a populous of ambiguity and trepidation colliding with moments of hope and glimpses of change.
We are pleased to announce that Chinese Brush Painting is now available as an elective in the Design Communication Arts program!
This course is for students, professionals, and life-long learners of any background or experience level who are interested in art, Chinese painting, and culture. Class meetings are on Wednesdays, from 7-10pm, starting January 8, at the 1010 Westwood Center.
Enroll here, or see below for more detail about what you will learn.
Congratulations to instructor Van Ditthavong, whose film Sleeping in Plastic will world premiere Oct. 24, 2019 in competition at the 26th Annual Austin Film Festival !
SLEEPING IN PLASTIC is a southern gothic story set in a small Texas town that is awakened when a local high school wrestler gets involved with a drifter and her psychopathic lover. Lives intertwine and spiral violently out of control once he becomes her escort driver and risks everything to save her.
The history, or “provenance” of works of art has become an increasingly important consideration for museums when making acquisitions. Acquiring works of art looted by the Nazi regime or from war torn regions is now considered ethically unacceptable. At the same time, museums are filled with legally questionable objects obtained during the last three hundred years. This course will examine the ethical implications of collecting, owning, and curating art and antiquities. Students will learn about the historical context of this topic through classroom lectures, then visit local museums to view works in person.
We spoke with instructor Lyssa Stapleton about the course. For course details, and to enroll, click here.
What about your course topic interests you, and how did you get started investigating this area of study?
Several events during the 21st century have brought the status of art and antiquities into the spotlight: The Getty Museum’s return of stolen works of art to Italy and Greece, the looting of the Baghdad Museum, the destruction, looting, and trade of cultural material by the so-called Islamic State, and the return of a number of very important works of art to the descendents of holocaust victims. These cases, among others, represent a turning point in the way we perceive cultural heritage material and have resulted in some extraordinary shifts in the way museums acquire and interpret it.
I am both an archaeologist and a curator, two roles that are often in conflict. As a curator, I’ve been involved in the acquisition of works of art that lack provenance (ownership history). As an archaeologist, I am opposed to the trade in illicit cultural heritage because it fuels the looting of museums and archaeological sites. These combined interests coalesced in my doctoral dissertation Acquiring Antiquity: The Future of Cultural Heritage Collecting and Stewardship in the United States, which examined provenance research methods and resources, museum stewardship, and the development of legal statutes involving stolen, looted, or otherwise illicit works of art.
What can students expect from your class?
This course is an opportunity to consider and examine the concept of cultural heritage. In so doing, students will learn about the trade in cultural heritage material, including antiquities and Nazi looted art. They will research and consider the nature and definitions of cultural heritage, the history and future of art collecting, and the role of ethics, public opinion, and the law in current issues surrounding the acquisition of important works of art. Classroom meetings will include structured topical discussions based on readings and other research materials and students will be asked to compile a case study focusing on a topic their choice, to be presented on the final day of the course.
What museums do you plan to visit, and why is it important to see these works in person?
Looted art has often been in the headlines in the last decade and it is a topic that interests a wide range of people. What we think of as art is often cultural expression and can have meaning far beyond aesthetic appeal. Knowing the provenance of a work of art adds to one’s enjoyment of it. I believe that it is important that people realize where the art in museums comes from and what it may mean to the culture that created it or the people who have owned it.We are fortunate to have several world-class museums in Los Angeles, each possessing phenomenal collections of art and antiquities. Our museum visits will include focused discussions with curators who will provide insight into the acquisition history of specific items, aspects of the museum’s history or current initiatives relating to provenance scholarship. We will visit the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and discuss the recent acquisition of an 18th century Qing dynasty chaopao (formal court robe). We will visit the Getty Center and meet with members of their Provenance Research Project who will discuss their work and guide us through relevant exhibits.
The third museum is yet undecided and will depend on the interests of the class. These visits will allow students to see specific works of art in a new light. The in-depth discussion with museum staff is an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the role of local museums as stewards of these works of art and their efforts to acquire not only for the sake of building their collection, but to broaden visitor experience, preserve precious cultural heritage, and develop scholarly practices that include an awareness of the important of provenance.
Curious how photography courses work in an online environment? What kind of lectures, assignments and discussion are there?
Take a look below at some sample materials from upcoming course Shooting Like the Masters: A History of Photography.
Online courses don’t meet in real time, so there is no specific time you have to be in front of the computer. The first week of class, log in at your convenience. You’ll see a welcome from instructor Clover Leary, who will walk you through how to navigate the class, where to look first, and how the weeks are scheduled. Then you’ll add your own introduction, including your interests and goals for the class. You can include a picture of yourself as well!
Each week will include a creative assignment that you’ll submit to the group for student and instructor critique. Here’s the first assignment for History of Photography.
• For this assignment you will be turning in two different Portraits inspired by two different photographers.
• Include a brief description with each photograph: (50-100 words) describe the photographer and how you chose to emulate their portraiture techniques. Note: You may offer a completely contemporary interpretation in your work, but if so please
explain how you chose to references the stylistic qualities of the photographers you chose.
• Choose to emulate the stylistic qualities of two of the following photographers:
Hill & Adamson Nadar
William Henry Fox Talbot
Julia Margaret Cameron Mathew Brady
Carefully analyze the photographers’ methods: Study the lighting, composition, backgrounds, camera angle, props and costume elements etc.
You should carefully consider what light sources you want to employ:
If you are using natural light what time of day do you want to photograph?
Do you want to use overcast light or the harder light on a clear day?
Do you want to shoot in shade, filtered light or direct light?
If you are shooting indoors, are you using light from a window, lamps, or both?
Are you also using flash?
Instructors create their own slide lectures for class, which may include images, audio or video. Here are some slides from the first lecture for History of Photography.
Students can chime in on the discussion board to comment on each other’s work, ask questions, and contribute to class discussion. Discussion in an online course is just as important as an in-class environment!
If you’d like to try an online photography class, History of Photography will begin on April 2! Enroll online, or at (310) 825-9971. To learn more about the class, call our office at (310) 206-1422.
Interested in learning more about the User Experience or Photography Certificates? Or, are you a current student who would like to discuss your progress and next quarter’s classes?
Schedule an appointment with Cristina, your student advisor.
Wednesday, March 13, 1-4pm
1010 Westwood Center, Room 213
Individual appointment times are available by calling 310-206-1422.
On Feb 2 & 3, celebrate the month of love and the new lunar year at UCLA Extension by exploring two well-loved subjects of Chinese Brush Painting: the majestic Peony—King of Flowers, and the magnificent Red-Crowned Crane—a symbol of devotion and fidelity. Bringing decades of practice, expertise, and artistic inspiration, artist/instructor Mayee Futterman will guide students of all levels to experience the materials, techniques, and concepts that make this art form transformative, inspiring, and fun.
This winter, instructor Mayee Futterman will be teaching Chinese Brush Painting at our Westwood center. Mayee brings years of experience and artistic inspiration to the classroom. We chatted with her about the history of this art form, and how you can get started creating unique and beautiful works of your own.
Can you describe your history with Chinese Brush Painting and how you got started?
I have been an artist all my life. As a young girl, I loved to draw. I became an architect and discovered the power of design, materials, and structure. Then, the birth of our son rocked my world. It rearranged my life, career, and mindset. “Mayee, Interrupted.” Motherhood taught me three things: to go with the flow, to know the beauty of the female body, and to love unconditionally. But before I knew it, I was no longer the sun of my son’s universe. Again, time came for change. “Mom, you have vision. Now execute.”
The Chinese characters for měi 美 meaning “beauty” and yí 怡 meaning “ease” represent my name. To me, they convey the essence of the art I love: the joyful expression of sublime beauty, with the natural ease of a dancing brush. Graceful yet bold, deliberate yet free, Chinese Brush Painting bridges my duality—the bold austerity of the architect with the sensuous grace of motherhood.
My mother’s first household purchase as a newlywed was not a bed, pots and pans, or any practical necessities. With her small savings, she bought an exquisite Chinese blue and white porcelain jar with images of Phoenix, Dragon, and Peony. My childhood was deeply infused with Chinese and Philippine influences that inspired my aesthetic sensibilities. I too began my love affair with Chinese Brush Painting the year I was married.
Chinese Brush Painting is the foundation of all oriental brush arts and has strongly influenced Western painting. An extension of Chinese calligraphy or brush writing, no other art form emphasizes the mastery of brushwork. My art and teaching are strongly founded on classical Chinese Brush Painting skills, techniques, philosophy, and subject matter. I teach a range of approaches from traditional to contemporary. I draw influences from my multi-cultural experience and bring a rigor and aesthetic sensibility from my architecture and urban design background. My approach is suitable for beginning through advanced students.
Like UCLA Extension students, my first exploration into Chinese Brush Painting was through continuing education. For over two decades, I studied and apprenticed under professor and master artist, Dr. Ning Yeh. I serve as teaching assistant and co-authored five of his instructional art books including “108 Flowers: Brush Painting Lessons Volumes 1-4” and “Landscape Lessons.” I have a Master of Architecture II from UCLA and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture, Cum Laude from the University of the Philippines. My work is in various corporate and private collections throughout the U.S. and abroad. I have traveled to China numerous times to study and paint.
I am excited to teach at UCLA Extension because my own life changes and transformative experiences are aligned with their vision to “engage education to transform lives” and “to create extraordinary learning experiences for adults of all ages.” In brush painting (as in life), the first stroke is a “happening.” The rest are a series of adjustments building upon previous ones. Whether one is undergoing a career change, enhancing skills, or engaged in lifelong learning, Chinese Brush Painting is an enlightening practice in embracing change.
Tell us about an especially rewarding project you’ve worked on and why you enjoyed it so much.
My first art commission was to produce a large wall mural for the lobby of a new medical facility. Unfortunately, oversized handmade rice paper is no longer produced. My teacher offered, “This paper was my father’s. I’ve been saving it—for when I get better.” The sheets were a treasure. The master himself considered them too precious to use. “There are only 20 sheets. You take 10.” I was stunned. How could I possibly paint on these?
The paper had aged to a fine perfection, every stroke a sensual delight. When I tell this story, people inevitably ask, “How many sheets did it take to get it right?” I respond, “Was there any room for error?”
The giant mural and over 30 of my works are permanently displayed at the Los Angeles Center for Women’s Health (Women’s Center), a comprehensive, state-of-the-art facility in downtown Los Angeles dedicated to providing high quality, compassionate care for the health and well being of women through all life stages.
Shortly after the center opened, I got calls for additional paintings. “Some patients come in with severe emotional and physical distress. Many are facing terminal conditions. Seeing your art brings them ease and comfort.” I too have worn a patient’s gown and sat in the waiting room with other patients—and with my art. I have often contemplated the value and purpose of art in human lives.
The Women’s Center project was my awakening to the positive and life-affirming influence of my art. It gave me the confidence and conviction to share the beauty, joy, inspiration, and knowledge of Chinese Brush Painting with others. That single sheet of rice paper was a defining moment in my life. I have 9 sheets left—for when I get better.
Why is it important to you to teach this art form?
What makes Chinese Brush Painting unique? “The Four Treasures”—brush, ink stick, ink stone, and rice paper—have defined this art form for thousands of years. The Chinese brush is graceful, supple, and bounces to a lively point. When in tune with the artist’s spirit, it dances to the rhythm of the universe. Rice paper is sensitive, honest, and responsive. It absorbs every move, thought, and emotion. Once a stroke is delivered, it cannot be changed or covered up. The ink stone is the playground where ink meets water. The play of ink and water is the yin and yang of brush painting—the harmonious integration of contrasting elements resulting in a sense of equilibrium and tranquility. Together, the lively interaction of brush, ink, water, and rice paper is a transformative and enlightening experience.
Xiěyì寫意, the spontaneous style of Chinese Brush Painting, means “to depict an idea.” Executed in a lively, simple, and speedy manner, one expresses the spirit and essence of a subject rather than its realistic detail. The artist is at one with the subject, and the painting is a medium for self-expression and self-discovery.
As a student of Chinese Brush Painting, I am on a never-ending journey of learning. Sharing the knowledge with others is the most inspiring and energizing way to learn. Why is it important to me to teach this art form?
- It is a way of life. The theory of Chinese Brush Painting is also the philosophy of life. It gives meaning and connection to the world beyond one’s self. It is life-affirming and life-changing for both the artist and the viewer.
- We live a multi-cultural life with valuable and meaningful influences. I have a deep appreciation, understanding, and passion for this medium. Teaching others preserves the tradition and advances the art.
- It deepens the artist’s skill set and broadens their perspective. Chinese Brush Painting is an important genre in the history and development of art. Mastery of the brush empowers artists of any medium.
- It is fun. The sensation of stroking the Chinese brush to rice paper is like no other. It awakens all the senses. The whole person—mind, heart, body, and spirit—engages in this process. It is one’s “happy place.”
- The creative process is regenerative and rejuvenating. In Chinese Brush Painting, every sheet of rice paper is a fresh beginning. Every brush stroke is loaded with joyful anticipation. One is in a state of eternal spring.
What can students expect from your class?
In this class, students will unlock the treasures, experience the beauty, discover the essence, and share the joy of Chinese Brush Painting.
They will learn the basics of Chinese Brush Painting through hands-on instruction, complete compositions, handouts, and discussion including:
Gain an overview of the history, philosophy, and aesthetic concepts.
Understand the proper selection, care, preparation, and use of traditional materials.
Perform the basic skills and techniques for brush strokes including line work, texture, shading, and washes on floral, creatures, and landscape subjects.
Engage in a dialog about the principles of design and composition and methods of critique.
After taking this class, students can enjoy the following outcomes:
Demonstrate general knowledge, preparation, and proper use of brushes, paper, ink, and colors.
Demonstrate beginning skills to deliver brush strokes with fluidity and dexterity.
Demonstrate basic skills to apply Chinese Brush Painting techniques to produce finished paintings.
Apply key elements of design and composition to produce original images.
In the budding stage, the sunflower faces the sun and follows it’s movement across the sky. As it matures, it settles into a fixed position. My teacher says, “The desire to learn keeps one’s mind in the budding stage.” Indeed, Chinese Brush Painting has something to offer for everyone. No prior experience needed. Paint with me this summer and take the lifelong journey into Chinese Brush Painting.