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Art > Anthropocene < Action




Visual Art & Design

Guest Artists

Mark Cooley, Ron Graziani, Mary Beth Heffernan, Diran Lyons, Julia Paull, Charles Gaines


Create art that examines the human impact on social and environmental ecosystems. Participants will study the Anthropocene through examples in historic and contemporary art and develop an artistic response to current cultural, biological, and social issues. Students will use multiple materials and techniques to explore the human relationships we have with the physical and social world.

Who should take this class

Artists who draw, paint, sculpt, photograph, or work in mixed media. You should have intermediate to professional-level skills in your art form, and the ability to conceptualize a body of work. You should also have an interest in the environment and the world, and how humans shape our planet.

Required application materials

  • Letter of intent, describing what you hope to gain from this class
  • At least 5 examples of your work via a link to portfolio website or on a single PDF document

Course Coordinator

William Raines

Guest Artists

Mark Cooley

Mark Cooley's interdisciplinary works have been exhibited, screened, and performed internationally in venues such as Exit Art, NYC; FADO Performance Art Centre, Toronto; St. Louis Science Center; MediaLabMadrid, Spain; Anthology Film Archives, NYC; The Phillips, D.C. Cooley’s interests include institutional critique, new technologies, social justice, environmentalism, activism, and the art of everyday life. 

Christopher R. Notbusch

Charles Gaines

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Daniel Cahill

Ron Graz​​iani

Ron Graziani is an art historian and associate professor at East Carolina University. He holds a Ph.D. from UCLA. His Ph.D. is an interdisciplinary degree, in political science, aesthetic theory, and the field of psychoanalysis. Graziani has been invited to present his research at professional conferences (Art Institute of San Francisco, Harvard University, George Mason University). 

Mary Beth Heffernan​

Mary Beth Heffernan is a Los Angeles-based artist whose work explores the interplay of corporeality and images. In 2010, Heffernan was awarded the COLA Master Artist Fellowship. Her work has been supported by grants from Photographic Arts Council LA,  the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs,  Durfee Foundation and Light Work.​​

Daniel Cahill

Diran Lyons​

​Diran Lyons’ multidisciplinary art practice is heavily conceptual with exacting craft and edgy content, including video and photography, collage and painting, indoor and outdoor installation, performance, and critical writing. Lyons’ solo exhibitions consist of diverse bodies of work that explore a range of conceptual interests. ​

Julia Paull

Julia Paull is concerned with physical manifestations of the human condition as experienced bodily and psychologically. Her abstract works represent rational and intuitive descriptions of existence that reflect experience – social, psychological and physiological. Her photographs examine the processes of growth and death in people, plants and animals. ​

Charles Gaines​

Charles Gaines is an American artist whose work interrogates the discourse of aesthetics, politics, and philosophy. Taking the form of drawings, photographi​c series and video installations, the work consistently involves the use of systems, predominantly in the form of the grid, often in combination with photography. Gaines was awarded the Edward MacDowell Medal in 2019.