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Thursday, October 06, 2022 — Houston, TX

Bring these art courses into the picture this fall

Illustrated by Ndidi Nwosu

By Sara Davidson     4/12/22 11:12pm

With the add/drop period for fall semester in full swing, many might be looking for a way to diversify or add some creativity into their schedule. Luckily, many classes throughout various divisions of fine arts ranging from theatre to art history are still available. Whether you’re looking to get out of your comfort level, find new appreciation for art or simply earn some D1 credit hours, consider bringing these art classes into the picture. 

1. Introduction to Theatre (THEA 303 / ENGL 390) 

This class is perfect for anyone wanting to better understand and engage with plays on a deeper level. Focusing specifically on 21st Century American plays, shows such as “Fun Home,” “Topdog/Underdog,” “Gem of the Ocean,” “Anna in the Tropics” and “Eurydice (Ruhl)” will be studied. By examining the legacies of older dramas to the diversity of audiences today, this class seeks to teach students to create theatre for different audiences and venues. The course also boasts guest visits in the classroom and chances to watch live theatre in Houston, an opportunity to experience the city’s performing arts scene. Meeting times are Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 1:00-1:50 p.m. 

2. Art of the French Revolution (HART 374) 

This class is ideal for any French Revolution nerds who want to take a look at the culture around the war and its impact. The course will examine how “painting, prints, festivals and the wide range of visual culture … not only reflected the Revolution but helped fuel it.” Examining the gore and glory represented in the drawing as well as how the drawing itself might have influenced the world around it seems both very meta and very interesting to me. Overall, the discussion-based class is, according to reviews, sure to help students gain a deeper appreciation for art and its influence at the time of creation and into the modern day. Meeting times are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:25-10:40 a.m. 

3. Improv for Stage and Screen (FILM 308 / THEA 308) 

Have you seen SPOCO (Rice’s improv comedy trope, SPOntaneous COmbustion) perform and been in awe of their amazing improv skills? Want to learn how they do it? This might be the class for you. The goal of the course is “the practical training of comedic, long-form, improvisation,” which are skills that can also be applied off the stage and into the real world when searching for internships or applying for grad school. In addition to learning how to improv, students will also be looking at the role of improv in film, sketch comedy and other forms of media. To top it all off, the class practices their improv skills via making videos with them doing improv together. For the chance to be part of the Rice SNL — not an official club, but you could make it one — sign up for this class. Meeting times are Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:00-3:15 p.m. 

4. Beginning Printmaking (ARTS 311) 

This class teaches students basic printmaking skills along with a general introduction to printmaking. Works studied and also made include “etchings, lithograph, linocut, and monoprints.” The process of printmaking and the ability to create prints in the class is a unique offering of art that differs from the traditional painting or sculpting class. Reviews for the class offer high praise and cite it as a great way to create art and a nice way to be creative for those otherwise stuck in chemistry or computer science classes. Meeting times are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00-3:50 p.m. 

5. Houston - Out on the Town (ENGL 150) 

This class, as the name implies, is all about getting out and appreciating all that Houston has to offer beyond the hedges. Promised field trips include “literary readings, Latinx murals, a Tex-Mex restaurant and Hermann Park monuments,” all with the intention of better understanding the city’s literature and art scene. The class also focuses on the social infrastructures that nurture the city’s art by spotlighting Houston neighborhoods. Exploring Houston’s eclectic art scene while earning credit is a double win. Meeting times are Mondays from 6:30-9:00 p.m. 

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