Ben Hamburger - Form and Content: Tools for Appreciating Art (Online); Mondays, February 7-28, 2022

Date: Mondays, February 7-28, 2022
Time:  10:30 AM-1:00PM Pacific Time (1:30-4:00 PM Eastern Time/6:30-9:00PM London Time)
Level: All
Medium: All mediums

This 4-week online course aims to increase your sensitivity to and deepen your appreciation of the vast worlds of visual art. Together, we will analyze various methods of visual expression and explore the relationship between the physical attributes of a work of art (the form) and its meaning (the content). This is not an art history survey course, nor a studio course. Rather, this class will focus on how art communicates, how we can interpret it, and how we can see it as a cultural product that reveals something about the society that produced it and ourselves as visual thinkers. Expect lectures with plenty of time for open discussion and questions, some light readings and videos to watch, and a few artmaking exercises to help drive the concepts home.

Week 1: Form and Content

  • Identify differences between form, content, and subject matter
  • Main categories and media of art
  • The nature of creativity
  • Purposes and Functions of Art


Class 2: Elements of Art and Principles of Design

  • Elements: Line, Shape, Mass, Space, Time/Motion, Light, Color, Texture
  • Principles of Design: Unity and variety, Balance, Emphasis and Subordination, Directional forces, Repetition and rhythm, Scale and proportion


Class 3: Evaluating Art

  • Contextual, expressive, and formal evaluations
  • How opinions change over time
  • Controversies


Class 4: Impacts of Art

  • Community Art
  • Public Art
  • Representation 


Ben Hamburger is a painter, socially engaged artist, and educator based in New Orleans, LA. His work is driven by art’s potential to connect and enrich our understanding of the world. Hamburger holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Arts from Eckerd College and a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Community Arts from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). Hamburger has led workshops and taught courses in schools, universities, art centers, museums, correctional facilities, and nonprofit organizations around the United States, as well as Bolivia, Thailand, and India. Hamburger has been the recipient of numerous grants, awards, and fellowships including the Orange County Arts Council Artist Grant, The Outstanding Young Alumni Award from Eckerd College, and First Place Prize in Orange County’s annual Plein Air Painting Event. Hamburger has attended artist residencies at The Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans, LA, Sustainable Bolivia in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and Joshua Tree Highlands Residency in Joshua Tree, CA. His work has been exhibited in group and solo exhibitions at locations including the Maryhill Museum of Art, Montpelier Arts Center, Contemporary Art Museum of Raleigh, and the Western Carolina University Art Museum. Hamburger’s work has been covered by Indy Week, The News and Observer, Voice of America, Tampa Bay Times, The Baltimore Sun,WYPR, and Baltimore Style Magazine. Hamburger is currently an Adjunct Instructor in the School of Art and Design at Western Carolina University and teaches painting at the New Orleans Academy of Fine Art.

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About Our Online Classes:

  • This class is taught live via Zoom. To take this class, you need a microphone and camera enabled computer OR an iPad /smart tablet OR a smart phone (android or IOS) and a strong internet connection.
  • Interact with the instructor and other participants, watch live demos and receive feedback and instruction. You will have access to a class chat forum on our website where you can share work, comment and ask questions.
  • Class will be recorded and recordings expire 30 days after the final day of the course.
  • Participants will receive an email with the Zoom link and class details 5-7 days before the class starts (don’t forget to check your junk folder). Zoom link will also be posted in the class message board. Check your confirmation email for a message board link. Find out how to access the class group message board here.