Academic Calendar

Visual Arts

Many of the seats in these courses are reserved for students in the Visual Arts programs but students are invited to apply for non-reserved seats. See also Film and Art History course descriptions.
For current transferability information see the B.C. Transfer Guide online at bctransferguide.ca.
In courses of individual study in various media under the direction of faculty, students have the opportunity to pursue studies of particular interest according to their chosen area(s) of concentration.
Note: Students can apply a maximum of three credits of Independent Study as upper-level credits toward the Visual Arts minor and extended minor.


English language proficiency requirements

Students registering in post-secondary level courses (numbered 100 to 499) will be required to meet the English language entrance proficiency requirements. Students in ELS or the University Foundations programs can register in those courses identified in the University Foundations program with lower levels of language proficiency.

Please note that not all courses are offered every semester.

VA 101

3 credits

Figure Drawing

Prerequisite(s): None.

This is an introductory drawing course focused on the human figure. Students will learn how to draw from a live model, utilizing a variety of techniques and materials in both draped and undraped settings.

Note: This course utilizes nude models.

VA 113

3 credits

Introduction to Drawing

Prerequisite(s): None

This is an introductory drawing course that is designed to give the student technical art training and skill development balanced with experimental processes. Students will be exposed to both traditional and non-traditional methods, materials, ideas, and techniques. This course will emphasize the importance of drawing from three distinct positions: technical skill development, development of personal expression, and the important role art plays in describing and formulating our society today.

VA 115

3 credits

Introductory Studio I: Material Practices

Prerequisite(s): None

This course introduces various methods of 2-D visual communication related to creative image making and surface production. Students explore elements and principles of contemporary design and a wide range of material processes, and apply this knowledge to concept development and creative strategies.

VA 116

3 credits

Intro Studio II: Space, Form, and Time

Prerequisite(s): None

This course explores traditional three-dimensional artistic processes with contemporary approaches that expand and transcend conventional definitions of these practices. Hybrid and interdisciplinary forms of 3D practices will be explored through project-based learning that encompasses topics to include: bodily representation and performative presence, space and time, form and content, and structure and function.

VA 117

3 credits

Introduction to Animation Drawing

Prerequisite(s): None

This course introduces animation drawing through a variety of methods. Students will explore aspects of drawing to facilitate the production and development of all aspects of animation. This course covers the basic skills and knowledge of drawing techniques that form the basis of the fully developed animated project. There will be a focus on aspects of line, shape, value, perspective, spatial effects, and composition as related to animated drawing.

VA 119

3 credits

Introductory Studio III: Digital Multi-Tool

Prerequisite(s): None.

This foundation course provides students with the skills to use readily accessible equipment and software tools for creative art projects. Digital imaging, audio-visual media, as well as techniques for personal documentation and archiving are explored.

VA 140

3 credits

Indigenous Design and Technology: Special Topics I

Prerequisite(s): None

This introductory course provides an opportunity for students, artists and educators to study Indigenous design-related techniques and art making practices. In this course students will gain skills to create works inspired by traditional and contemporary methods. Students will discuss issues of cultural copyright and will be encouraged to create work applicable to their own cultural contexts.

Note: This course is offered as VA 140 and FD 140. Students may only take one of these with the same letter designation for credit.

VA 141

3 credits

Indigenous Design and Technology: Special Topics II

Prerequisite(s): VA 140/FD 140 with the same letter designation

This course provides an opportunity to combine traditional technology and design within a contemporary context. Students will learn how to work with the basic principles of traditional Indigenous designs and how to apply their own designs to a functional and aesthetic object of their own making.

Note: This course is offered as VA 141 and FD 141. Students may only take one of these with the same letter designation for credit.

VA 142

3 credits

Indigenous Art and Design in Context

Prerequisite(s): VA 140/FD 140 and VA 141/FD 141 with the same letter designations

This course provides students with the opportunity to practice and refine skills learned in traditional and contemporary Indigenous design and technology. Practice will be informed by students’ research into the cultural context of these practices, with specific reference to Northwest Coast cultures.

Note: This course is offered as VA 142 and FD 142. Students may only take one of these for credit.

VA 143

3 credits

Indigenous Art and Professional Practices

Prerequisite(s): VA 140 and VA 141, plus three additional university-level credits

Taught by instructors steeped in the reality and experience of indigenous art practices, this course offers an introduction to the broad principles of building a professional art practice. Students will be taught a range of skills important in succeeding as a professional creative artist or in related occupations and fields. Students will learn about balancing cultural integrity and traditional knowledge with cultural industry demands.

VA 165

3 credits

Word and Image

Prerequisite(s): None

Following a historical survey of approaches to produce hybrid works, students will explore and practice the techniques of an integrated, inter-dependent artform of using textual elements with still and moving images (video).

Note: Students with credit for ENGL 165 cannot take this course for further credit.

VA 180

3 credits

Digital Photography

Prerequisite(s): None.

This course emphasizes the basics of digital photography, beginning with digital camera controls, progressing on to editing fundamentals and techniques, and ending with the production of final prints. The functional and aesthetic impact of digital photography in today’s society is also investigated.

Note: Students with credit for GD 158 cannot take this course for further credit.

VA 221

3 credits

Drawing II

Prerequisite(s): VA 101 or VA 113.

This course provides a continued study of the principles and practices introduced in 100-level drawing courses. Students will utilize both black and white and colour applications in drawing, with an emphasis on advanced skill development, personal expression, and experimentation.

Note: This course utilizes nude models.

VA 222

3 credits

Figure Painting

Prerequisite(s): VA 101 or VA 223.

This course is dedicated to painting the human figure. Students will learn how to paint from a live model in both draped and undraped settings. Students will utilize a variety of techniques and materials in the study of traditional and non-traditional methods of figure painting.

Note: This course utilizes nude models.

VA 223

3 credits

Painting I

Prerequisite(s): None.

Students are introduced to the fundamentals of painting. Technical art training is balanced with experimental processes. Students are exposed to various principles and theories that pertain to the historical and contemporary practice of painting.

Note: Students with credit for VA 123 cannot take this course for further credit.

VA 224

3 credits

Painting II

Prerequisite(s): VA 223

This course expands on the principles and practices introduced in VA 223. Emphasis is placed on skill development, personal expression, and experimentation. Students gain practical experience and a deeper understanding of the relationship between form and content.

Note: Students with credit for VA 124 cannot take this course for further credit.

VA 231

3 credits

Sculpture and Extended Media I

Prerequisite(s): None. One of VA 113, 115, or 116 is recommended.

This overview of 3-dimensional work begins with the physical world of objects and materials, and explores principles and elements of design in a series of studio projects. A range of traditional skill-based processes, diverse media, and contemporary interdisciplinary practices inform the exploration of ideas and materials.

Note: Students with credit for VA 131 cannot take this course for further credit.

VA 232

3 credits

Sculpture and Extended Media II

Prerequisite(s): VA 231

Engaging in the larger cultural dialogue, students explore innovative content and technologies in the areas of object-making, site based installation, performance, time-based works, and digital forms. Students develop conceptual content concurrently with practical knowledge of materials and fabrication techniques.

Note: Students with credit for VA 132 cannot take this course for further credit.

VA 240

3 credits

Indigenous Design and Technology: Special Topics III

Prerequisite(s): Prior completion of Indigenous Arts certificate; VA 140 and VA 141 with the same letter designation (for example, VA 140C and VA 141C are prerequisites for VA 240C)

This course continues the study of traditional technology and design within a contemporary context. Students begin to work with intermediate techniques and principles of indigenous design, and will apply a greater understanding of cultural context in the creation of functional and aesthetic objects.

VA 241

3 credits

Indigenous Design and Technology: Special Topics IV

Prerequisite(s): VA 240 with the same letter designation

This course continues the study of traditional technology and design within a contemporary context, with the emphasis on advanced techniques and principles of indigenous design. Students apply a thorough understanding of cultural context in the creation of functional and aesthetic objects, and gain the knowledge and insight to allow for a continued independent practice.

VA 251

3 credits

Print Media I

Prerequisite(s): None.

This course introduces fundamental procedures of basic relief methods, including linocut, relief stenciling and colour applications. Students will develop their own unique sensibilities in relation to how these processes affect creative image development. They will also gain understanding of the historical, social, and aesthetic ramifications of this medium and its relationship to contemporary art issues.

VA 252

3 credits

Print Media II

Prerequisite(s): VA 251.

This course introduces the fundamental procedures of etching on zinc and copper plus an introduction to collograph. Students will move from beginner to more advanced etching techniques including multiple plate colour printing.. Projects and critiques focus on conceptual development in relation to contemporary and historical visual print culture. Basic digital scanning techniques and digital file-to-print preparation will be covered.

VA 271

3 credits

Image, Sound, and Performance Art I

Prerequisite(s): None.

Students create image, sound, and performance art projects. Students focus on technical and conceptual skills while developing critical approaches to extended media art practices.

VA 272

3 credits

Image, Sound, and Performance Art II

Prerequisite(s): VA 271.

This course builds on the principles and practices introduced in VA 271. Building on new themes and materials, students continue to explore image, sound, and performance art practices while deepening their academic research related to their art production.

VA 280

3 credits

Digital Photography: Advanced Imaging

Prerequisite(s): VA 180

This course is for students who have basic knowledge of digital photography. Attention is placed on the development of personal work and the refinement of techniques. Students expand their knowledge of contemporary art photography, furthering the conceptual content of their work in relation to current issues and contexts.

Note: Students must have access to a digital SLR camera.

VA 283

3 credits

Black-and-White Film Photography

Prerequisite(s): None. One of VA 113, VA 115, or VA 116 is strongly recommended.

Introduces the basic principles of black-and-white darkroom photography. Students learn manual camera controls using analogue film cameras, followed by chemical processing and printing. Photographic processes involving digital scanning and printing will also be covered.

Note: Students must either provide their own 35 mm camera or rent one from the department.

Note: Students with credit for VA 183 cannot take this course for further credit.

VA 284

3 credits

Darkroom Photography

Prerequisite(s): VA 283.

This course extends the practice of black-and-white darkroom photography. Students learn archival chemical printing, and are introduced to medium-format film. Creative experimental darkroom techniques will also be explored.

Note: Students must either provide their own 35 mm camera or rent one from the department.

Note: Students with credit for VA 184 cannot take this course for further credit.

VA 321

3 credits

Painting/Drawing III

Prerequisite(s): One of VA 221, VA 222, or VA 224.

An advanced study of painting and drawing techniques. Students work to produce individual works of art that exhibit formal and conceptual depth, as well as technical proficiency. Students work within thematic parameters on self-directed projects in consultation with the instructor.

VA 322

3 credits

Painting/Drawing IV

Prerequisite(s): VA 321.

An advanced study of painting and drawing techniques with a focus on series development. Students work to produce bodies of artwork that exhibit formal and conceptual depth, as well as technical proficiency. Students work independently on projects designed in consultation with the instructor.

VA 331

3 credits

Sculpture & Extended Media III

Prerequisite(s): One of the following: VA 232, VA 261, or VA 272.

Examining theoretical and philosophical frameworks, students explore interdisciplinary and multi-media materials, techniques, and approaches. Students engage as agents of social change, using sculpture and/or expanded media practices to respond to their environment in inventive ways and to further understand inseparable connections between content and context.

VA 332

3 credits

Sculpture & Extended Media IV

Prerequisite(s): VA 331

Students develop an integrated approach to their 3D and extended media studio practice, choosing from a broad range of creative possibilities within the material, spatial, and non-static arts, and combining research, conceptual skills and strategies. Works involve multiple participants through collaboration and shared authorship.

VA 351

3 credits

Print Media III: Mixed Media

Prerequisite(s): VA 113, VA 115, VA 116, VA 252, and one of either VA 160 or VA 180. Students in programs outside of the BFA or the Visual Art diploma who do not have the 100-level prerequisites may seek permission of the department.

This course is designed to continue the exploration of mixing print mediums. Photo intaglio is introduced, encompassing Photoshop manipulation, transparency output and working with photo-polymer applications, preparing images for digital printing, and the combination of digital printing with more traditional print applications. Projects and critiques focus on conceptual development in relation to contemporary and historical visual print culture.

VA 352

3 credits

Print Media IV: Advanced Mixed Media

Prerequisite(s): VA 351

This course will explore interdisciplinary and conceptual approaches to print media, including basic photo-screen techniques and aspects of digital print media. Students will learn to choose the best print media combination to resolve individual concepts, and will critically understand how their work engages with current contemporary art practices.

Note: Students wil credit for FA 352 cannot take this course for further credit.

VA 360

3 credits

Professional Development and Practices

Prerequisite(s): 45 university-level credits including 15 Visual Arts credits. Three credits in English or Communications are recommended.

This course offers an introduction to the fundamental requirements for pursuing a career in the visual arts. The complexities of the relationship between one’s creative practice and the external expectations on the part of institutions, employers, and clients will be explored. Students will investigate a broad and expanding range of information and transferable skills necessary for an artist to move beyond the institution.

VA 365

3 credits

Documentary Video Storytelling

Prerequisite(s): 15 credits of university-level arts courses. It is also recommended that students have FILM 110 or FILM 120 and one of the following: VA 160, VA 165/ENGL 165, VA 170, or VA 272. Alternatively, students should have some other experience of working with film or video production.

This course offers students knowledge of key concepts and practical skills in documentary storytelling for digital video. Students will develop a short documentary video (of approximately ten minutes in length) from the proposal/treatment stage through pre-production, production, and post-production. Students will be introduced to the work of Canadian filmmakers, who have long been considered leaders in the documentary genre.

Note: This course is offered as VA 365, FILM 365, and JRNL 365. Students may take only one of these for credit.

VA 366

3 credits

Documentary Video Production

Prerequisite(s): VA 365/FILM 365/JRNL 365 or interview and portfolio review. One of the following is strongly recommended: VA 160, VA 161, VA 271, or VA 180.

This course offers students with previous video production experience an opportunity to develop and direct a short documentary video project from the proposal/treatment stage through pre-production, production, and post-production. Students will be exposed to a range of approaches and skills for crafting compelling documentaries that say something about culture, society, history, or contemporary life.

Note: The course is offered as FILM 366 and VA 366. Students may take only one of these for credit.

VA 371

3 credits

New Media III – Interactive Art

Prerequisite(s): VA 113, VA 115, VA 116, VA 272, and one of either VA 160 or VA 180. Students in programs outside of the BFA or the Visual Art diploma who do not have the 100-level prerequisites may seek permission of the department.

The objective of this course is to explore interactive media through engagement in individual and collaborative interdisciplinary work. Grounded in interactive media design, students will develop interactive participatory media and media performance projects from conception to final presentation, including documentation of concept through final production. Options for individual or collaborative projects are supported.

VA 372

3 credits

New Media IV: Project in New Media

Prerequisite(s): VA 371 or permission of instructor

This studio course is designed to allow for individual research and material development in the creation of an exhibition-quality work of new media art. Students are exposed to contemporary studio practices while they develop a material and conceptual language around their work. Course content is explored through theoretical and creative research resulting in a final project.

VA 383

3 credits

Intermediate Photography

Prerequisite(s): VA 283 and one of the following: VA 284 or VA 180.

This course will focus on the integration of conceptual development and contextual understanding integral to the creative process of photographic art production. Intermediate techniques will be introduced, including studio lighting, colour printing, and experimentation with liquid emulsions. Student presentations will investigate the debates and developments surrounding the role of photography within contemporary culture.

VA 384

3 credits

Large-Format Photography

Prerequisite(s): VA 383.

This course focuses on the introduction of the large-format view camera. Technical development and conceptual applications will be explored through class assignments. Creative production may utilize a hybrid of digital and analog photographic forms.

VA 390

3 credits

Community Arts Practice

Prerequisite(s): 6 university-level credits of Visual Arts.

Students work as artist-citizens in a collaborative community arts project. In partnership with an organization, students develop artistic skills and creative processes, negotiate concepts, and work within a budget. Students engage in social analysis relating to cultural, educational, and community goals.

VA 395

3 credits

Special Topics in Visual Arts

Prerequisite(s): 6 credits of VA or 45 university-level credits.

This course gives students access to a specialized studio arts practice. The specific topic of the course will vary as opportunities permit.

This course will be offered under different letter designations (e.g. C-Z) representing different topics. This course may be repeated for credit provided the letter designation differs.

VA 401

4 credits

Senior Seminar I

Prerequisite(s): Two upper-level Art History courses, to include AH 314 or AH 315, plus 30 additional university-level credits.

This course presents an overview of key theoretical issues important to the practice and reception of contemporary art. Modern and contemporary cultural theories, art theory, and art criticism are examined.

Note: This course is offered as AH 401 and VA 401. Students may take only one of these for credit.

VA 402

3 credits

Senior Studio I

Prerequisite(s): Two of the following: VA 322, VA 332, VA 352, VA 372, or VA 384.

Pre- or corequisite(s): VA 401/AH 401.

An advanced course in studio practice focusing on the research, planning and production of a body of work that will lead to a final project exhibited in the year-end show in the winter semester.

VA 403

3 credits

Senior Seminar II

Prerequisite(s): AH 401/VA 401.

This seminar explores advanced theoretical issues pertaining to art-making practices. Research will be conducted on contemporary art practice, cultural theory, and art criticism.

Note: This course is offered as AH 403 and VA 403. Students may take only one of these for credit.

VA 404

3 credits

Senior Studio II

Prerequisite(s): VA 402.

Pre- or corequisite(s): VA 403.

A continuation of the self-directed studio practice and research skills developed in VA 402. Students refine and expand the conceptual component and complete/realize their studio projects to present to Visual Arts faculty and guest critic. Students will also organize and prepare a graduating exhibition for the university and Fraser Valley community.

VA 421

3 credits

Directed Study: Painting and Drawing

Prerequisite(s): VA 322 and permission of instructor and department head based on portfolio review; subject to Dean’s approval.

This advanced credit course enables students to work independently on self-designed projects and associated written assignments developed in consultation with a faculty member. Instructor’s permission is required to register in the course.

VA 422

3 credits

Directed Study: Painting and Drawing

Prerequisite(s): VA 322 and permission of instructor and department head based on portfolio review; subject to Dean’s approval.

This advanced credit course enables students to work independently on self-designed projects and associated written assignments developed in consultation with a faculty member. Instructor’s permission is required to register in the course.

VA 431

3 credits

Directed Study- Sculpture

Prerequisite(s): VA 332 and permission of instructor and department head based on portfolio review; subject to Dean’s approval.

This advanced credit course enables students to work independently on self-designed projects and associated written assignments developed in consultation with a faculty member. Instructor’s permission is required to register in the course.

VA 432

3 credits

Directed Study: Sculpture

Prerequisite(s): VA 332 and permission of instructor and department head based on portfolio review; subject to Dean’s approval.

This advanced credit course enables students to work independently on self-designed projects and associated written assignments developed in consultation with a faculty member. Instructor’s permission is required to register in the course.

VA 451

3 credits

Directed Study: Print Media

Prerequisite(s): VA 352 and permission of instructor and department head based on portfolio review; subject to Dean’s approval.

This advanced credit course enables students to work independently on self-designed projects and associated written assignments developed in consultation with a faculty member. Instructor’s permission is required to register in the course.

VA 452

3 credits

Directed Study: Print Media

Prerequisite(s): VA 352 and permission of instructor and department head based on portfolio review; subject to Dean’s approval.

This advanced credit course enables students to work independently on self-designed projects and associated written assignments developed in consultation with a faculty member. Instructor’s permission is required to register in the course.

VA 471

3 credits

Directed Study: New Media

Prerequisite(s): VA 372 and permission of the instructor and department head based on portfolio review; subject to Dean’s approval.

This advanced credit course enables students to work independently on self-designed projects and associated written assignments developed in consultation with a faculty member. Permission of the instructor and the department head are required to register in the course.

VA 472

3 credits

Directed Study: New Media

Prerequisite(s): VA 372 and permission of the instructor and department head based on portfolio; subject to Dean’s approval.

This advanced credit course enables students to work independently on self-designed projects and associated written assignments developed in consultation with a faculty member. Permission of the instructor and the department head are required to register in the course.

VA 483

3 credits

Directed Study: Photography

Prerequisite(s): VA 384 and permission of instructor and department head based on portfolio review; subject to Dean’s approval.

This advanced credit course enables students to work independently on self-designed projects and associated written assignments developed in consultation with a faculty member. Instructor’s permission is required to register in the course.

VA 484

3 credits

Directed Study: Photography

Prerequisite(s): VA 384 and permission of instructor and department head based on portfolio review; subject to Dean’s approval.

This advanced credit course enables students to work independently on self-designed projects and associated written assignments developed in consultation with a faculty member. Instructor’s permission is required to register in the course.

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