How do I register?
The easiest way to register is to access the course through MyCU. Search for the course by number - ARTS 4444 for undergraduates and ARTS 5444 for graduate students. Follow the instructions from there.
See the Get Involved page for instructions if you are a CU non-degree student or a student from another university.
Does the Field School cost more than other courses?
No. The fee for the field school is based on the in-state tuition rate at CU-Boulder. Housing and travel costs are included in the course fee. Insurance is not.
What is the Field School daily schedule like?
The schedule varies from week to week. Week one we live and work at the Mountain Research Station (MRS) situated between Indian Peaks Wilderness and the top of Left Hand Canyon. Each day features new assignments based around our location. A final exhibition is held in the rustic cabins scattered throughout the forest on the MRS campus.
During week two of the Field School we are together as a class on the road. For the 2015 session we will travel together in vans to arts and culture sites throughout Wyoming and the Dakotas (along with a stay-over in Western Nebraska.) We visit sites, discuss projects with curators, artists, and guest speakers. This year we will travel to the Red Cloud Indian School and Heritage Center, through the Black Hills and onto the Enchanted Highway, visiting parts of the Bakken Formation in North Dakota, and see the grasslands of Eastern Wyoming.
During week three we are stationed at the FEED STORE in Byers, Colorado. We explore this wonderful area of the American High Plains and assemble a final exhibition that is open to the public. Guest jurors join us for a final exhibition and community potluck that includes live music.
We live and work together Monday through Friday of each week. Our working sessions run from 9AM – 8PM each day. This includes time for group meals and discussion, lectures, and field trips, Field School sessions are not held on the weekends with the exception of Saturday, May 23rd when we will be returning from the Western Excursion field trip. We will arrive back in Boulder at 3pm on the 23rd. Following the three weeks of fieldwork, students are free to work from any location completing a few on-line assignments that are due by June 19, 2015.
What kind of projects do we do in the Field School?
Students create works that fall within the rubric of Locational Practice during the session. Assignments and projects focus on interpreting the rural landscapes and communities we are residing and working in. The daily location of the group is what feeds the context and content for class projects. Most projects are primarily self-driven by the students and may explore mediums such as photography, sculpture, drawing, as well as post-studio practices including dialogical projects, land art, and social actions. Collaboration is encouraged. In general projects are short, temporary, and experimental. There are two exhibits of work, one at the end of week one at the MRS and at the end of week three at the FEED STORE.
Do I need a vehicle to participate? How does the transportation work?
Not necessarily, but students have found it helpful. You are allowed to drive to the MRS the first week and to the FEED STORE during week three. We travel by van during week two. There is also free bus service from Boulder to Nederland and you can be picked up there and shuttled to the MRS if you don’t have or desire a vehicle. Car-pooling works great during weeks one and three.
Are tools and material costs covered for my projects?
Basic tools are provided, however students are responsible for purchasing their own specific project materials and specialized tools. The Field School has a number of portable power tools, audio recording equipment, and cameras. We also have one Mac book and printer that are shared-use. Additionally during week three you’ll have access to a woodshop and preparation materials for the exhibition space in Byers.
Can I take this course if I’m not an artist or art major?
Absolutely. We highly encourage interdisciplinary activity. In the past we have had students take the session from disciplines such as Creative Writing, History, Western American Studies, Sociology, and Anthropology. Additionally many double majors at CU have found the Field School to be very enriching.
Can I “tag along” with the Field School for no credit and no cost?
Unfortunately, no. It’s not that we wouldn’t like your company, but everyone attending the session must be properly registered.
How does housing work and are the housing costs included?
Costs of housing are included in the course fee. We stay at variety of places including lodges, cabins, hotels, and bunkhouses. Camping is optional at some locations.
Do I need to pay for my own food? Where do we eat while traveling?
Most people bring or purchase some of their own food. We try to have group meals as much as possible and are frequently joined by guest lecturers during meal times. There are grocery stores located in Nederland (week one) and Byers (week three), during week two we generally eat at local establishments or cook if facilities are available.
Will I have WIFI and cell phone service while participating in the Field School?
The MRS and the FEED STORE both have WIFI networks but cell phone reception is not always the best in rural and remote areas. Be prepared to not have 24 hr access for cell phone service.
Does the class take place on the weekends as well?
Field School sessions are not held on the weekends with the exception of Saturday, May 23rd when we will be returning from the Western Excursion field trip. We will arrive back in Boulder at 3pm on the 23rd.
How does the class work after the 3-weeks of fieldwork?
Following the three weeks of fieldwork there are three weeks of on-line assignments that need to be turned in. These include a research paper and a reflection paper, participation in the class blog, and submitting a final course portfolio.
How is my grade determined in the Field School?
Grades for the field school follow CU course grading protocol. Individual faculty grading policies are found in the course syllabus, which is distributed at the mandatory informational meeting.
What happens if I have an emergency?
Emergency contact information is kept on hand while traveling and at the Art and Art History office on the main CU campus during the session. You will be given a form to fill out and turn in at the informational meeting. You are required to have the form on file at the AAH office prior to leaving for the MRS on May 11.
What should I bring?
This changes from week to week based on our location. A packing list will be provided at the mandatory informational meeting.