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Fall 2020 Cornerstone Course Schedule

“How to Become a 21st Century Art School”

Sept 22 thru Dec 20, 2020


Our course structure involves alternating weeks of “studio arts” practice workshops and “liberal arts” practice seminars. Course resources will be accessible:

Workshops and seminars begin on Tuesday, September 22 with our first live Zoom gatherings starting on Thursday, September 24.

Course Schedule


Week 1 – 9/22/20-9/27/20

Seminar Topic – What We Love: Reflecting on Art School Experiences

Live panel discussion on 9/24/20 from 5:30-7:30pm – Moderated conversation with art school alumni: Manae Ross, Lena Wright, Manny Robertson

What did we expect from art school? What did we receive? How did we grow? What about the “art school” experience should IAFS sustain?


Week 2 – 9/29/20-10/4/20

Studio Practice – (Dis)embodied Space and Place: “Together”

Live demo/workshop on 10/1/20 from 5:30-7:30pm

The second class of the course will be a remote studio instruction that draws on inspiration from our round table discussion about the failures and beauty of Art School. (And more specifically the art school experience in a steadily transforming & unequal city, and the destabilization and corruption of the higher education model U.S. schools are based on.) What do we do with our answers that we came up with at the panel? Our questions? Our feelings? What can art school look like outside of the institution, and all of its spaces and opportunities for making and sharing? Starting with ourselves, we will emphasize place and space as community, and our inner worlds, that are all inextricably linked.

In this class, we will be doing collective, mindfulness exercises using drawing as meditation, and talk about the accessible, anti-capitalist practice of keeping a sketchbook and becoming grounded in your feelings. Bring your sketchbook and your favorite drawing utensil.

  • Volunteer instructor: Mara Ramirez

Week 3 – 10/6/20-10/11/20

Seminar Topic – Mutual Aid: Fostering Learning, Accessibility, & Inclusion

Live seminar on 10/8/20 from 5:30-7:30pm – Moderated conversation with Regine Gilbert and Massimo Pacchione

How do students learn best and how do they want to learn? How are learning relationships shaped by mutual aid different from the learning relationships of tuition-based higher education? What does it require to make IAFS free and accessible especially in the Era of Covid and distance learning? What would radical inclusion look like?

  • Volunteer facilitator: Elizabeth Travelslight

Week 4 – 10/13/20-10/18/20

Studio Practice – Moving Images in Time

Live demo/workshop on 10/15/20 from 5:30-7:30pm

Photography solidifies a moment in time, underscoring a human perspective on the world around us. How can moving imagery unravel this preconception of “standard” time? In this class we will explore different ways to interpret time using animation, time-lapse video, and high-speed video.


Week 5 – 10/20/20-10/25/20

Seminar Topic – Decolonizing Time

Live seminar on 10/22/20 from 5:30-7:30pm – Moderated conversation with Eddie Yuen

How do various understandings of time shape understandings of past, present, and future? What does a shared expectation of the future require? What does it make possible? How have imperialist and capitalist paradigms of time shaped learning relationships and creative practices like making art?

  • Volunteer facilitator: Elizabeth Travelslight

Week 6 – 10/27/20-11/1/20

Studio Practice – Color/Sound Studies in Community

Live demo/workshop on 10/29/20 from 5:30-7:30pm

What role does sound play in everyday life? How can we explore the relationship between sound and color to communicate and connect across time, space, and human perception. Inspired by experimental productions of artists Guillermo Galindo and Marina Abramović, this studio practice workshop will explore how communities might invite opportunities for new kinds of embodied experiences of color, sound, and performance.


Week 7 – 11/3/20-11/8/20

Seminar Topic – Art + School = X

Live seminar on 11/5/20 from 5:30-7:30pm – Moderated conversation with Jon Rubin

In this seminar, “Art + School=X,” we will use Jon Rubin’s Independent School of Art as a case study to explore and expand the possibilities for IAFS. We will begin with a set of shared readings/videos on the history of art schools as well as an overview of the untenable market-driven business model that underlies/mines higher education today to ask: What are the political and economic stakes and ethical responsibilities of artists, teachers, and students within—and without—this system? To do so, we’ll also look closely at alternative models/theories of art education that have influenced ISA and other important pedagogy-based projects like Tania Bruguera’s Escuela de Arte Util (2017). Please click here for the full course description.

  • Volunteer facilitator: Laura Richard

Week 8 – 11/10/20-11/15/20

Studio Practice – Fiber Fun from Home!

Live demo/workshop on 11/12/20 from 5:30-7:30pm

Brought to you by artists JoAnna Ruckman, Alise Anderson, LisaRuth Elliott and members of the Radical Textile Artists Sharing Circle, this workshop explores the connective possibilities of fiber in community art practice.


Week 9 – 11/17/20-11/22/20

Seminar Topic – Art as Community Engagement

Live seminar on 11/19/20 from 5:30-7:30pm – Moderated conversation with Janet Williams from Community Arts Program, Katya McCulloch from San Quentin Prison Arts Project.

What are the responsibilities of artists in their communities? What does art in prison teach us about the needs and goals of arts education? What can we learn from community art centers?


Week 10 – 11/24/20-11/29/20

No scheduled course meetings.


Week 11 – 12/1/20-12/6/20

Studio Practice – Art and Politics at the Precipice

Live demo/workshop on 12/3/20 from 5:30-7:30pm

In the days following the presidential election we turn to what comes next – creating art in an environment of political upheaval. We’ll look at examples art of exiles, from Pinochet’s dictatorship in Chile, from Nazi Germany, as well as from international examples of cultural resistance in South Korea, and Indonesia. We’ll create work that speaks to the moment using art as documentation, as education, as solidarity.

  • Volunteer instructor: Art Hazelwood

Week 12 – 12/8/20-12/14/20

Seminar Topic – Art + Politics = The Third Rail of Art Schools

Live seminar on 12/10/20 from 5:30-7:30pm – Moderated conversation with Juan Fuentes, Robbin Henderson, Michelle Mouton, Jos Sances

What can we learn from historic and current institutional examples that unite the work of art and politics such as The California Labor School, The Taller de Grafica Popular, Mission Grafica, Third World Women’s Alliance. Four panelists with a wide range of experience in political activism, working inside and out of art’s organization, discuss the history of art and political struggle and it’s relation to the current moment.

  • Volunteer facilitator: Art Hazelwood

Week 13 – 12/15/20-12/20/20

Virtual Party – What have we done?

Live gathering on 12/17/20 from 5:30-7:30pmOur end of virtual salon and celebration!

All participants are invited to share their creative work, reflect upon our experiences, evaluate the course, and imagine next steps.

  • Volunteer facilitator: Elizabeth Travelslight