Sara Greenberger Rafferty, assistant professor of art, holds a B.F.A. in Photography from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and an M.F.A. in Sculpture and New Genres from Columbia University's School of the Arts. She has previously taught at SUNY, CUNY, RISD, Columbia, Parsons, Amherst College, and the Ox-Bow School of Art in addition to extensive undergraduate and graduate Visiting Artist engagements throughout the U.S. and in Canada.
Rafferty is an interdisciplinary visual artist based in New York. Selected exhibitions include the 2014 Whitney Biennial, New York, MOMA/PS1, The Kitchen, Artists Space, FLAG Art Foundation, The Aspen Museum of Art, The Jewish Museum, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, White Flag Projects, ARTSPACE, NZ, in addition to dozens of commercial galleries. Her website is located at sgrstudio.info.
From 2005-2007, she was the co-editor of North Drive Press, and her writing on art and comedy has appeared in numerous publications, exhibition catalogues, and online. A catalogue of her 2011 solo exhibition - Remote - at the Rachel Uffner Gallery where she is represented is available via Distributed Art Publishers. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, NY, the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY, and the New Britain Museum, CT.
This fundamental painting course will use the ideas of will gain experience in the fundamentals of painting and critique, including composition, color, material choices and technical considerations such as preparing surfaces and mixing paint. We will explore a diverse and 'unconventional' range of painting surfaces, sizes, and materials in this mixed-media painting class. For the first 10 weeks, there will be different weekly homework prompts, exposing students to a variety of materials, methods, and discourses in contemporary painting. These weekly assignments are followed by an extended ambitious final project.
This is a hybrid studio-seminar course for students in the studio arts and photography. The course will critically engage with many prevalent themes shared among contemporary visual arts of all disciplines. Weekly student presentations and adaptive critiques will take place alongside reading discussions, screenings, and artist presentations and at least one field trip. Students will develop their art-making/photography-making practice in dialogue with expanded contemporary art practices. Prerequisite: This course is for intermediate students in all disciplines who are interested in incorporating a thematic approach to their art making.
This course is a rigorous research project in the possibilities, meanings, histories, practices and contemporary meanings of drawing. It functions as an introduction to different ways drawing is used in contemporary art making. As such, we will be doing different types of investigations weekly. Through investigations into the history of drawing practices- with particular focus on its role in the liberal arts- students will develop a facility with materials, methods, concepts, and critique. Collaboration and shared findings are highly encouraged. In addition, students will be asked to do two essential drawing/artmaking activities alongside weekly projects: 1. maintain a strong sketchbook practice and 2. develop an individual and personal visual vocabulary of concepts, themes, topics, subjects to be used in the creation of (drawing) artwork. Reading, writing, field trips, and oral critique are essential parts of the course as are the foundational activities of drawing and looking. This class will be challenging and useful for students at all levels of drawing experience, but is designed as a drawing foundation.
Designed to provide an intensive, advanced studio experience for intermediate art students working in any media, this seminar explores contemporary art making by emphasizing reproduction and quotation within unique and editioned works. Students will make meaning with traditional and new media that may include explorations in paint, sculptural form, drawing, photography, book arts, installation, and video. Students will combine unique and mechanically reproduced marks, gestures, surfaces, and imagery using logics of pictorial space, pattern, reference, and self-reference. Models will include such artists as Luc Tuymans, Beth Campbell, Sonia Delaunay, Yinka Shonibare, Kevin Zucker, Andrew Kuo, Richard Prince, Frances Stark, Allan McCollum, Ann Craven, Gareth Long, Oliver Laric, and Jasper Johns among others. The majority of course work will be based on each student's proposed, semester-long series, although there also will be prompts and assignments. Attendance is required at the weekly class meetings, which will be devoted primarily to discussions, critiques, workshops, and presentations. Student should expect to work at least 6-8 hours outside of class on their projects. Prerequisite: At least Three studio art classes.
This course is a foundational art-making course, an update of a traditional optical color theory course or section in 2D foundations. In addition to the basics of color theory, we will consider the cultural and conceptual meanings of specific colors, and other seemingly neutral design elements such as stripes and patterns. Instead of approaching these subjects from a formal angle of relations, we will investigate how colors can be approached on the level of psychology, anthropology, literature, history, and art history. Projects will consist of physical and conceptual color theory exercises. Readings will include David Batchelor, Lisa Robertson, Herman Melville, Charles Baudelaire, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Michael Taussig, Colour after Klein. Students will be expected to make artworks weekly outside of class in addition to reading, approximately 6-8 hours per week, while in class time will be devoted to in class exercises, material demonstrations, artist presentations, critiques, museum visits, and collaborative projects.
This class calls into question genre specificity and thematic orientation and instead examines the constructs and the philosophical tenets of work. Through independent work in multiple media - including drawing, painting, and basic printmaking, as well as performance, sculpture, installation - students will call into question value structures and assumptions of work in an individual artistic practice. Focusing on the manners of work that typically define art schools, collectives, and concepts of the American "workplace," including the concept of an American work ethic will be foreground. Discussions regarding labor, duties, tasks, exertion, and industry will augment physical studio projects and performances. Readings will include Herman Melville, Carl Andre, Alain de Botton, Helen Molesworth, Joan Didion among others. Contemporary artists will be discussed. This class will also include several collaborative projects, including some that engage the broader community. You will be expected to work. Prerequisite: at least four studio art classes. A minimum of 8 hours per week outside of class time. Open to artists in Division III and late Division II.
Assistant Professor of Art
Mail Code DH
Dakin House 201
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002