Kara Firth, 2012, Horse (foreground), mixed media and Braid sculpture in background, mixed media
Continuing Investigations in Sculpture: Kara Firth, 2012, Horse (foreground), mixed media and Braid sculpture in background, mixed media


Sam Abel
Wear My Birthmark – performance still with participant
Crochet Thread
Dimensions of textile: 23 x 9”


 Breanna Shanahan, 2013, "Baby's Breath", cast HydraStone with lit plinth.
Continuing Investigations in Sculpture: Breanna Shanahan, 2013, "Baby's Breath", cast HydraStone with lit plinth


 Breanna Shanahan, 2013, "Baby's Breath", cast HydraStone with lit plinth, plus detail of cast figure
Continuing Investigations in Sculpture: Breanna Shanahan, 2013, "Baby's Breath", detail of cast figure

Sculpture 1: Three-Dimensional Materials FAS 248H

This 12-week half-credit course offers an introduction to fundamental sculptural practices. Students work with materials such as wood, plaster and industrial and found materials (this may include woodworking, mouldmaking and casting). Students acquire a working knowledge of safe shop procedures. Topics in contemporary sculptural practices are identified through readings, slides and videotapes, and students are encouraged to formulate their own responses.

Course Objectives

  • To introduce students to safe shop procedures
  • To develop familiarity with a range of materials and processes
  • To articulate ideas and concepts
  • To critically assess completed artwork

Course Structure

Results are analyzed through individual and group critiques.

Course Outcome

Upon completion of this course, students should have developed a fundamental understanding of contemporary sculptural practices, and be familiar with methodologies and processes in order to critically approach contemporary artwork.

Sculpture 3: Continuing Investigations in Sculpture FAS348Y

Photo: Annie Smith Centre Wood Studio

At the third-year level, students are introduced to increasingly complex topics, and develop an awareness of contemporary issues through discussion and group critiques. Students respond to topics presented through slide presentations, texts and gallery visits, and will produce artworks they can discuss and position critically within their own time and context. Assignments may include the construction of a maquette for a potential site-specific piece.

Course Objectives

  • To understand and articulate concepts within each student's work in relation to contemporary practice
  • To develop strong critical skills and the ability to communicate observations to others
  • To increase students' knowledge of their chosen technologies in order to achieve results, which are technically resolved

Course structure

Students are exposed to current sculptural issues through slide lectures, catalogues, critical texts, gallery visits on a three- to four-week cycle. Students respond to topics developing responses that reflect their individual interpretation. During the second semester, students develop proposals for independent work.

Course Outcomes

At the third-year level, students respond with increased complexity to topics presented in class. Students should develop the technical and critical skills to formulate successful results.

Sculpture 4: Individual Investigations in Sculpture FAS 448Y

At the senior level, students produce a coherent body of work based on written proposals. Works should be seen in the context of contemporary practices, acknowledging both a theoretical and historic framework. Students should become aware of the relationship between the production and presentation of artwork, and be able to identify the audience and the specific context within which their artwork might be presented.

Course Objectives

  • To understand and clearly articulate fundamental aspects of contemporary sculpture
  • To position sculptural works within an interdisciplinary context through the analysis of sculpture as a discipline in relation to photography, painting and time-based media
  • To be able to define the relationship between a sculptural piece, its intended audience, and its place of presentation
  • To develop artwork based on a formulation of personal ideas and concepts
  • The discussion and analysis of critical texts, of current exhibitions and tutorial lectures in a seminar format helps students understand their own works in relation to 20th -century practices. Students produce a coherent body of work based on written proposals, and develop critical skills both through individual and group critiques as well as written material.
  • Additionally, students prepare a presentation on a topic relating to contemporary sculpture.

Course Structure

Individual critiques occur on an ongoing basis. Group critiques accompanied by presentations of artwork are scheduled on three-to-four-week cycles. Students are assessed on the development and analysis of their written proposals, as well as on the demonstration of a commitment to the research, execution and presentation of projects.

Course Outcomes

Students develop a coherent body of work that they should be able to position within contemporary art practices. Students should demonstrate an awareness of professional practices through the preparation of artists' statements, exhibition proposals and graduate school applications.

Stephanie Fowler, Sculpture 1, 2005;
Alicia Dluznieski, Sculpture 4, 2005