The final paper assignment portion of the course will consist of a critical analysis of either a work of art, individual artist, or period/movement/artistic style of the student’s choosing, pending approval by the instructor. This assignment will be measured by the student’s ability to demonstrate a working knowledge, understanding, and competency of course lessons by applying said information to take shape as a written formal analysis. The final paper must be formatted in MLA, utilize a 12pt font, contain a bibliography, an illustrations page (do not insert illustrations into the text itself) and be at least 5 pages in length. While emphasis should be given to the understanding and ability to discuss art in a formal context, other areas that should be included in the paper are as follows: • Introduction- Begin by stating why you chose the particular artist, or art work and what interests it holds for you as an individual. What is the aesthetic and personal appeal for you as an individual? Then provide a clearly defined statement of intent in regarding the work. • Description- Describe the work visually along lines of the presence and use of the elements and principles of art, both as design and aesthetic compositional devices. So look at what’s there, literally right in front of you. Start with the most basic: what medium or material is it – a photograph, an object, a painting? How does it look? Rough and quick? Slick and neat? Shiny? Dirty? Carefully made? Thrown together? The artist will have made some very deliberate decisions about the materials, style and approach, and these will feed directly into the overall feel and meaning of the work. • Analysis- Refers to how we see the elements and principles of art. In this step, our minds take in the lines, values, and colors of the artwork. We also may take notice of the balance, proportion, rhythm, and unity found within the work. Look, see and think about what is before you. The first two – look and see – are just about using your eyes, and observational skills. The third requires a bit of thought, drawing on what we already know and creatively interpreting what we’ve observed within an artwork’s broader contexts. When we see anything, whether it’s a work of art, a movie or a billboard, our brains perform a massively complex split-second process of reading and making meaning. We absorb a whole range of clues that make up our understanding of any image, many of which we’re not even conscious of. • Context- Particulars should include biography, history as regarding artistic style and process, along with societal influences. The broader context of an artwork will help make sense of what you’ve already observed. Much of the information about context is usually given in the little labels that tell you the artist’s name, the title of the work and the year. And there are often other valuable morsels of information included too, such as the place and year an artist was born. • Meaning- We look for meaning in everything, so this is natural. An interpretation of the work based upon research with considerations given to the possible presence of universal themes, iconography, symbolism, metaphor, etc., that will help to give shape and inform of the inherent meaning within an artwork. What is the artist trying to communicate to us? • Judgement- This is a summation of the previous steps leading up to it. The goal is to provide a statement of the work’s cultural significance and worth based upon analysis, objective viewpoints, critical perspectives and reasoning. The aim is to provide an answer to the question, “Is this work of art successful?”.