The following courses are offered Spring 2021 in Fine Arts and Digital Media. Advisors are ready to assist you with choosing the most appropriate class for you. If you have specific questions about course content, please contact Sarah Stolar, Department Chair - sstolar@unm.edu, or the instructor for the course directly. Faculty bios and emails can be found here.

Contact an advisor directly at (575) 737-3698 or click HERE to register.

Under certain circumstances, prerequisites may be waived. You must contact an advisor directly to facilitate this request.




Art Practices II - ARTS 1230

w/ Martin Wannam

Online with synchronous Zoom hours - Fridays, 9-11am

This course introduces the exploration of processes, ideas, and diverse media of visual arts. It addresses the thematic concepts that are central to the nature of art making today, with emphasis given to issues of MOTIVE and CHANGE while developing concepts, techniques, and processes involved in working in the third dimension. Students will complete projects in a variety of media, including works on paper, sculpture, photo, and video, and short response paper/artist statement will accompany each project. In some cases, students are encouraged to approach each project with the materials they feel are most appropriate. Visual problem solving will be emphasized throughout the course, in addition to the nature of artistic meaning. Readings, writings, slide lectures, and videos on relevant artists and periods in art history will be presented throughout the semester in conjunction with each project. 

Students in this class will produce creative works that explore, interpret, and/or question issues of ethics, audience, identity, sustainability, invention, time, and change in relation to creative arts.

Drawing I - ARTS 1610

w/ Sarah Stolar

Online with synchronous Zoom hours - Tuesdays, 3-5pm

Drawing I introduces the basic principles, materials, and skills of observational drawing. Emphasis is placed on rendering a 3-D subject on a 2-D surface with visual accuracy. Other topics include historical and contemporary references as well as an investigation of linear perspective, line, value, shape, space & composition. 

This course is a survey of the basic techniques, materials, theory, vocabulary, and overall practice of observational drawing. Because abstraction is an exaggeration or alteration of reality, it is important to first learn to draw from life; therefore, the projects will be interpreted from a variety of natural forms including interior/exterior space, still-life, self-portrait, the skeleton, and an artist copy. These drawings will be executed using a variety of traditional drawing materials such as charcoal, pastel, Conté, pencil, and ink. With these materials, students will develop an understanding of technical variety in mark-making using perspective, proportion, scale, volume, texture, contrast, value, line and shade. Toward the end of the semester, students will be introduced to color and collage and create more experimental works on paper. Each session will be devoted to studio work with some art historical discussion and/or critique. 

Painting I - ARTS 1630

w/ Gary Cook
Online with synchronous Zoom hours - Tuesdays, 9-11am

Live with reduced enrollment - Wednesdays, 9-2:30pm

Painting I introduces the tradition of painting as a medium for artistic expression. Students will investigate materials, tools, techniques, history and concepts of painting. Emphasis is placed on developing descriptive and perceptual skills, color theory, and composition.  

This course introduces students to the fundamentals of observational oil painting, particularly making representational paintings of a variety of subjects including still-life, landscape, self-portrait. This class will develop skills relating to all aspects of painting such as surfaces, materials, application, texture, concepts of color, content, and craftsmanship. You will learn how to build and stretch canvases, mix and apply color through a variety of techniques, and discuss the visual information in your paintings in several in-class critiques. We will discuss the application of paint and color, the dialogue surrounding painting and its formulas, and when it is appropriate to abandon those formulas. Students will make several short-session paintings throughout the semester, rather than focusing on one or two highly polished works, and learn of a variety of techniques accumulating in a confident, contemporary painting style. 

Painting II - ARTS 2630

w/ Sarah Stolar

Online with synchronous Zoom hours - Wednesdays, 3-5pm

This course focuses on the expressive and conceptual aspects of painting, building on the observational, compositional, technical, and critical skills gained previously. Students will investigate a variety of approaches to subject matter, materials, and creative processes through in-class projects, related out-of-class assignments, library research or museum/gallery attendance, written responses, and critiques. 

Painting II continues exploration of the painting concepts and techniques presented in Painting I. Working from imagination as well as observation, emphasizing the expressive potential of the medium. Course objectives include increasing ones visual vocabulary, seeing skills, and resolving visual images in the form of paintings. Noting that this is not an introduction class, the primary goal of the class is to further develop ones understanding of visual phenomena, surface development and composition as expressive tools. Assignments will be executed in medium to large scale painting formats. This course explores ideas on creativity and consciousness as they relates to knowing and conceptualizing ideas.

Intro to Photography - ARTS 1410

w/ Teena Lee Ryan

Online, asynchronous 

This course introduces the making of photographic images from a broad viewpoint to consider both as an art practice and as a cultural practice. The course covers technical information on camera use and functionality, composition and visual design, digital workflow and editing, professional functions of manipulating and enhancing images, and printing correctly and effectively.


The historical aspects of photography are also covered along with a range of contemporary practices. This is a digital course, but if time allows, I will include some darkroom instruction. Class time is a combination of technical demonstrations, lab time, class critiques, discussions of readings pertaining to photography, and slide presentations, with the possibility of a field trip. 

Visualizing Ideas Using Photography - ARTS 2420

w/ Teena Lee Ryan

Online, asynchronous 

The course is dedicated to teaching how to visualize ideas within the photographic medium by combining theoretical content and aesthetic form to create a conceptually rich body of work. It explores advanced digital photography, including perfecting use of the camera and relevant digital software. We will explore new techniques and use them to respond to a variety of themes and concerns. In addition, we will look at a number of contemporary photographic practitioners and discuss historical and contemporary approaches to the same ideas we will be probing.


This course is designed to build upon the technical knowledge gained in ARTS 1410. Students will hone their skills in digital photography while gaining a deeper understanding of the creative, technical and conceptual aspects of their image-making. Content is comprised of class lectures, assigned projects and exercises, readings, critical writing and group critiques. The assignments include both technical and creative aspects, they are meant to be open-ended and invite individual interpretation. The semester culminates in a final project, which will require students to display technical prowess while creating a visually coherent group of images, preparing them for further study in photography and the graphic arts. 

Video Art I - ARTS 2523

w/ Sarah Stolar

Online with synchronous Zoom hours - Mondays, 3-5pm

This studio class is an in-depth introduction to video as an art form; the focus will include theory, history and practice of video art as an extension of visual art and as a time-based medium.


Video Art’s roots lie in consumer technology, TV, cultural, political and avant-garde film history. This time and light based medium, has a relatively short history and encompasses technological (and scientific) developments, cultural movements and has recently become a ubiquitous art practice. Set up as an online research laboratory, the class will help students to further develop their personal video work while experimenting with various styles and formats of video art. The equipment and demonstrations explored in the class are within a context defined by the history, aesthetics, and theory of video art practice. The emphasis of this class is on the student finding their own personal voice, and incorporating an innovative approach to their video work. Students are also expected to achieve a level of technical competence and confidence needed to undertake more ambitious and sophisticated work. Current and significant contemporary video works and critical writings will be viewed, read and discussed in online forums. This class aims to challenge notions of what video art is, and can be. Students are expected to think outside the box and try new approaches to this time-based media. Students will learn to seek out new audiences and create unique methods of presenting video online. Prerequisite: ARTS 1510. 

Intro to Ceramics - ARTS 1310

w/ Lee Akins

Live with reduced enrollment - Tuesdays, 9-2:30pm

This course introduces the technical processes and conceptual concerns of working with ceramic material. Various methods of forming functional and expressive works out of clay are explored. Methods used include hand building and throwing, basic clay bodies, slip and glaze, and atmospheric firing.

Terminology, concepts, historical and technical information will be presented. Techniques will include the hand building techniques of pinch, coil, slab and molding. Wheel projects will include cylinders, bowls and mugs. Individual creative development is encouraged. There will be both self-selected and assigned projects.

Ceramics I - ARTS 1320

w/ Lee Akins

Live with reduced enrollment - Tuesdays, 9-2:30pm

An introduction to the medium of clay incorporating hand building and wheel throwing to introduce the student to both the sculptural and utilitarian uses of clay. The student will also be introduced to a variety of glazing and firing techniques. 

Continuation of Arts 1310 with an emphasis placed on the mastery of forming, surfacing, and firing processes. Intermediate hand building and wheel throwing techniques will include projects with lids, spouts and decorating. Making and formulating glazes, as well as variety of firing techniques will also be presented. Expanded critical awareness and the development of a personal aesthetic will be encouraged. There will be both self-selected and assigned projects. 

Intro to Printmaking - ARTS 1710

w/ Gary Cook

Live with reduced enrollment - Mondays, 9-2:30pm

This course provides direct experience of exploring basic printmaking processes, including relief, intaglio, and monoprint processes, as well as the investigation of materials/media, tools, techniques, history, and concepts of printmaking. Emphasis is given to solving problems through thematic development while producing a portfolio of prints. 

Fundamental techniques in Introduction to Printmaking are presented and practiced in a survey format. Methods and expressive potentials of the major printmaking processes are taught. Instruction includes lecture, demonstrations, practice, and critique. At the conclusion of this course, the student will develop awareness of the unique properties of a wide variety of print processes and the historical development of printmaking and it’s influences on contemporary works; develop technique and the proper use of tools and materials within the print shop as a collaborative working space; Utilize a journal/sketchbook as a documentation process, to develop concepts, generate source material and aid in self-criticism and exploration; increase understanding of his/her own aesthetic aspirations and how these objectives can be expressed using the print media; and create a foundation for more advanced study of print media. 

Monotype - ARTS 2996

w/ Gary Cook

Live with reduced enrollment - Fridays, 9-2:30pm

Monotype explores the addition and subtraction methods of monotype printmaking to produce exciting images. Monotype is an old method that has received new attention in today's society. Students explore its relationship to other contemporary forms of art and develop a personal direction in their work. 

This is an intermediate level course in printmaking with emphasis on the monotype (and monoprint) processes. Students will explore the varied possibilities of the monotype medium while also developing safe and non-toxic printmaking procedures. Additive and subtractive methods, as well as oil inks, crayon, and pencils, will be used. Technical and aesthetic considerations will be addressed in one-on-one instruction and group critiques. Students will understand the working properties of inks, ink modifiers and solvents used in printmaking. The course is finalized with a portfolio of monotype prints. 

Digital Video Production I - FDMA 1210

w/ Peter Walker

Online with synchronous Zoom hours - Thursdays, 3-5pm

An introduction to digital video production. Students learn skills for improving their camera techniques, as well as lighting, sound, storytelling, post-production and distribution. 


In this fast-moving course, we will be studying videos, television shows, and films, particularly those covering the topics that are hot topics of the day. By studying these examples, you will learn to adjust your own approach to fit the situation rather than imitating the way things have always been done. On the technical end, we will cover the seven stages of production and make original productions each week. This is a course for students who love making things and have plenty of stories to tell. 

Introduction to Film and Digital Media - FDMA 1520

w/ Peter Walker

Online with synchronous Zoom hours - Thursdays, 9-11am

This course is designed to provide students with a survey of the histories, innovative concepts, and creative possibilities of digital media. Additionally, students will learn fundamental skills in teamwork, storytelling, and design. Meets New Mexico General Education Curriculum Area 4: Social and Behavioral Sciences.


This course offers a dynamic introduction to the diverse skills required to succeed as a media entrepreneur. Specifically, this course will introduce core Cinematography skills and concepts necessary to work as a professional visual storyteller. This course leads to an Associate’s Degree in Digital Media Arts.

Introduction to Film Studies - FDMA 2210

w/ Kelly Clement

Online, asynchronous 

Analysis of film as a unique art, and a survey of main trends in film history. Screenings and critical study of major films.


This course is designed to provide you with a foundation for future film study; to expose you to a wide range of cinematic styles and approaches; and to move you from a passive viewer to an active “reader” of film. You will learn the basic elements of cinematic language (including narrative, mise-en-scene, cinematography, acting, editing, and sound) and will use that knowledge to analyze the way filmmakers convey information, story, and meaning, develop style, and elicit audience response within a single scene and over the course of an entire feature film. We’ll explore the central critical approaches to the study of cinema, and examine a wide range of film styles and movements. There are no prerequisites for taking this class.

Beyond Hollywood - FDMA 2195

w/ Kelly Clement

Online, asynchronous 

An introduction to cinemas outside of the Hollywood studio system with screenings of major works.


The goal of this class is to familiarize students with documentary history, theory, criticism, and practice. The course is designed to challenge you to develop a critical eye, and to deepen your appreciation of the many different modes of documentary film and video. We will consider the documentary as an art form, a cultural artifact, a vehicle for political expression and social change, and as a means for representing cultures. Through weekly screenings we will explore a wide variety of films that will survey the range of documentary expression, from the classics, to the new independent and experimental forms, and everything in-between. There are no prerequisites for taking this class.

Introduction to Directing - FDMA 2610

w/ Peter Walker

Online with synchronous Zoom hours - Wednesdays, 9-11am

The language of the screen is the great art form of our time because it offers compelling entertainment and outstanding forum for the marriage of ideas and feelings. It leaps cultural barriers and changes hearts and minds as only good art can. The is no limit to the number of meaningful films the world can consume. So, if you can create outstanding work, there will be a place for you. Proving yourself won’t be simple or easy, for the competition is stiff. 


With the skills taught in this course you will hone your storytelling skills and learn the art of directing! We will cover highly prized skills such as; the essential elements of drama, duality and conflict, action and character development, leadership and collaborating with a team plus the seven stages of production. This course is demanding and will require multiple media assignments submitted each week. Excellent course for students wanting to go pro.  

Introduction to Animation - FDMA 2714

w/ Dave Mansfield

Online with synchronous Zoom hours - Wednesdays, 12-2pm

This animation course will be focused on laying the foundations of animations and sequential story telling. The course will provide an overview of techniques ranging from hand-drawn frame-by-frame animation, to object animation and pixilation. Each class will consist of a short demonstration, viewing of related works, hands-on experimentation, and critique. Weekly assignments will further student’s exploration of animation approaches and techniques.


The main goal of this course is to teach the principles of animation and to become familiar with the wide variety of techniques and disciplines involved while creating portfolio pieces.

Art History II - ARTH 2120

w/ Paula King

Online, asynchronous 

This survey course will explore the architecture, sculpture, ceramics, paintings, drawings, and glass objects from the 14th century to the modern era. While focused primarily on the art of the Western civilizations, this course will also provide insights into the works of other major cultures in order to provide alternate views of art and history. Emphasis will be placed on the relationship of artworks to political, social, spiritual, intellectual, and cultural movements that affect and are affected by their creation and development. 

Blackboard Learn Online Course. This course is completed 100% online, therefore access to a computer and the internet are required. Designed with Quality Matters Standards, ARTH 2120 provides an excellent learning experience and offers flexibility for busy students. Support with the technology of the course is provided on campus, email, and phone by the HELP support staff of UNM. Pacing may be accelerated for early completion.

Modern Art - ARTH 2130

w/ Paula King

Online, asynchronous 

Modern Art is an overview of European and American art and architecture during the Modern era. Students will analyze the various movements in art as they relate to the historical settings in which the works were created. Emphasis will be placed on the relationship of artworks to political, social, spiritual, intellectual and cultural movements as they affected and were affected by their creation and development. 

Taught online and at the Harwood Museum of Art in the Historic District of Taos, this course utilizes the museum's collection and local gallery district to enhance the student experience of learning art history.


University of New Mexico-Taos

Department of Fine Arts and Digital Media

1157 Country Road Ranchos de Taos

Taos, NM 87557

(575) 737-3698 


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