Direct Encounter with the Arts (DEARTS), is an interdisciplinary program that introduces students to art and culture by guiding them through first-hand experiences in a number of areas that include all of the ‘visual arts,’ theatre, music, dance, literature and more. Please read the Course Objectives that can be found on this site under Key Info, here.
Classes often meet on location, both on and off campus, at venues such as the Richmond Center galleries; the studios, theatres and concert halls of the Departments of Theatre and Music; Miller Auditorium; the Kalamazoo Institute for the Arts; Chenery Auditorium, the Epic Center; the State Theatre and others. DEARTS regularly features guest faculty and artists from across the United States and abroad. Note: 'regular' class meeting times in 2452 Knauss Hall are: Mon/Weds 10 am - 11:50 am & 2 pm - 3:50 pm.
DEARTS courses are 4 credit hour General Education classes offered by the Frostic School of Art at WMU. In addition to class hours students attend 4 evening performances per semester. This is a mandatory component of DEARTS. Evening events take place on campus and in downtown Kalamazoo.
The Direct Encounter with the Arts program is directed by Professor Paul Solomon, Associate Professor in the Frostic School of Art. He is an artist working with and across all arts discipline. DEARTS is taught by Solomon and by Melissa Sparks, Instructor in the Department of Theatre.
please note: All images and all text within this blog/site not in the public domain or attributed to others are copyrighted by Paul R. Solomon.
all photographs copyright Paul R. Solomon unless noted
If you have a general question please read your handbook. While we know there is a lot of information in there, we do that also to help field questions in advance.
If your email regards questions about a missing grade or what was wrong on an assignment or test, email your Classroom Assistant.
All questions specific to yourself and not inquiring about grades may be sent to Professor Solomon or Instructor Sparks.
When emailing the teaching staff, be sure to include AM or PM and the topic in the subject heading. For example – AM Wordpress difficulty logging in. In the email, make sure you identify yourself and clearly explain your question. If the teaching staff replies to you and you reply back, leave the previous emails in the message so we may follow the email train.
New topics will be added on a regular basis, featuring discussion prompts based on class discussions or events. You may earn points by adding comments to these topic threads on your assigned class dates. There are 50 total points possible for blog participation. Comments will be graded throughout the semester and scores will be periodically updated on eLearning. Each comment posted on the blog is evaluated according to the following criteria, on a scale of 0-10 points:
Comment significantly advances discussion and introduces new topic or question; critical analysis is illuminating and articulate; exhibits mastery of class vocabulary/concepts; spelling and grammar are near perfect.
Comment advances discussion; statements supported with substantial reasons/ examples; analysis and application of class concepts are strong; style is thoughtful and clear; few writing errors.
Comment advances the discussion; provides reasons/examples for opinions; shows evidence of analysis; applies vocabulary/concepts introduced in class; style is clear; writing errors do not detract from content.
Comment is thoughtful yet does not significantly advance the discussion.
Comment related to topic at hand is posted and threaded with other similar comments, if appropriate; style and/or writing mistakes may detract from content.
Little or no effort is evident; comment does not pertain to topic or question.
Other advice and factors that can increase the number of points awarded a comment:
Mentions of “advancing the discussion” above can be most readily accomplished but not exclusively so, by responding to previous comments after clicking the Reply button.
The online Timeline is found here: Voilà!
Note: the username required to access the Timeline is: destudent. The password is entropy.
Witches of Eastwick 60 points
Thursday, October 12
7:30 p.m. at the Williams Theatre, Gilmore Theatre Complex, WMU
Check In: 6:45 p.m.
The Crucible 60 points
Wednesday, November 1
7:30 p.m. at the Williams Theatre, Gilmore Theatre Complex, WMU
Check In: 6:45 p.m.
Taylor 2 60 points
Friday, November 10: One Night Only - Both classes!
8:00 p.m. at Chenery Auditorium
Check In: 7:15 p.m.
Neshama Carlebach and Gospel Festival Choir 60 points
Saturday, November 12: One Night Only - Both Classes!
4:00 p.m. at the Chenery Auditorium
Check In: 3:15 p.m.
In order to get to and from the KIA and Walking Tours, please read the information below carefully.
You can also feel free to walk or bicycle. This walking tour cannot be done with a car. For a map of downtown Kalamazoo including bike racks where you can park your bicycle, visit: http://www.downtownkalamazoo.org/Visit/Map.aspx. This may sound complicated but it is not. If you are anxious about this, take a look at the locations and bus stops and try this out before the Walking Tours. Be early at the bus stop as you never know when a bus may arrive and leave earlier than its posted time.
Visiting the Kalamazoo Institute of Art (KIA), scheduled for October 16
To get to the Kalamazoo Institute of Art, take the Metro Bus – #16 Lovell Route. You can board this bus at many locations, including at the Campus Loading Zone in the Rood Hall Parking Lot. Get off the bus at the South and Oak stop and walk 2 blocks to the KIA. The map for this bus can be found at http://www.kmetro.org/bus-routes. Busses will leave the Campus Loading Zone for South and Oak at 9:25, 9:55, and 10:25 for the AM Class as well as at 1:25, 1:55, and 2:25 for the PM Class.
To get back to campus from the KIA, take the Metro Bus – #16 Lovell Route. You can board this bus at many locations, including at South and Oak however, if you load the bus there, you will need to ride the bus for 20+ minutes. It is faster to take the bus from Oak and Lovell St. You can then get off at Rood Hall at the Campus Loading Zone. The map for this bus can be found at http://www.kmetro.org/bus-routes. Busses will leave Oak and Lovell at 10:18, 10:48, 11:18, 11:48, and 12:18 for the AM Class as well as at 2:18, 2:48, 3:18, 3:48, and 4:18 for the PM Class.
For the Walking Tour I, scheduled for September 20
To get to Heritage Hall, formerly East Hall, take the Bronco Bus – Oakland Route. You can get on this bus at a variety of locations. The stop nearest to Knauss hall, is located at Moore Hall. You can board it there or at any of the other locations and should get off at the Oliver St. stop #6. From there you will walk north to Oliver Ln, then turn right and walk east to Oakland Dr. Heritage Hall is on the East Side of Oakland Dr. Straight ahead of you. The map for this bus is at http://wmu.doublemap.com/map/. More information on this bus here: https://wmich.edu/broncotransit/oakland. Busses will leave Moore Hall at 9:11, 9:41 and 10:11 for the AM Class as well as at 1:11, 1:41, and 2:11 for the PM Class.
To get back to campus from the Walking Tour, take the Metro Bus – #16 Lovell Route. You can board this bus at many locations, including at South and Oak however, if you load the bus there, you will need to ride the bus for 20+ minutes. It is faster to take the bus from Oak and Lovell St. From the Epic Center, walk slightly south to Lovell, turn right and then walk two blocks west on Lovell, past Westnedge Ave and board at the stop on Oak and Lovell St. You can then get off at Rood Hall at the Campus Loading Zone. The map for this bus is here: http://www.kmetro.org/bus-routes. Busses will leave Oak and Lovell at 10:18, 10:48, 11:18, 11:48, and 12:18 for the AM Class as well as at 2:18, 2:48, 3:18, 3:48, and 4:18 for the PM Class.
For the Walking Tour II, scheduled for September 25
To get to the South East corner of Bronson Park, take the Metro Bus – #16 Lovell Route. You can board this bus at many locations, including at the Campus Loading Zone in the Rood Hall Parking Lot. Get off the bus at the South and Oak stop and walk 4 blocks to the South East Corner of Bronson Park. The map for this bus is here: http://www.kmetro.org/bus-routes. Busses will leave the Campus Loading Zone for South and Oak at 9:25, 9:55, and 10:25 for the AM Class as well as at 1:25, 1:55, and 2:25 for the PM Class.
To get back to campus from the Walking Tour, take the Metro Bus – #16 Lovell Route. You can board this bus at many locations, including at Rose and West Michigan. From the end of the tour at the Radisson Hotel, walk across West Michigan, slightly south, to board the bus. You can then get off at Rood Hall at the Campus Loading Zone. The map for this bus is here: http://www.kmetro.org/bus-routes. Busses will leave Rose Street at 10:15, 10:45, 11:15, 11:45, 12:15 for the AM Class as well as at 2:15, 2:45, 3:15, 3:45, 4:15 for the PM Class.
For Taylor 2 and Neshama Carlebach and Gospel Festival Choir at Chenery Auditorium, scheduled for November 10 and 12 To get to Chenery Auditorium, take the Metro Bus – #16 Lovell Route. You can board this bus at many locations, including at the Campus Loading Zone in the Rood Hall Parking Lot. Get off the bus at the Loading Bay and transfer to the #1 - Westnedge Route which can be boarded at Burdick Bay 5. The map for these buses can be found at http://www.kmetro.org/bus-routes. Buses will leave the Campus Loading Zone for the Loading Bay at 5:55 and 6:25pm for the Taylor 2 Concert and 1:55, 2:55pm for the Neshama Carlebach and Gospel Festival.
To get back to campus from Chenery Auditorium, take the Metro Bus – #1 Westnedge Route. You can board this bus at many locations, including on Westnedge near vine however, if you load the bus there, you will need to ride the bus for 20+ minutes. It is faster to take the bus from Park and Forest St to the Loading Bay. Then transfer to the #16 Lovell bus leaving from Rose Bay 5. You can then get off at Rood Hall at the Campus Loading Zone. The map for this bus can be found at http://www.kmetro.org/bus-routes. Busses will leave Park and Forest at 9:57 and 10:57pm for Taylor 2 and at 6:27, 6:57, 7:27pm for the Neshama Carlebach and Gospel Festival.
1. Better understand the cultural worlds in which we live and participate.
2. Examine ethical, social and political issues that confront us viewed through the lens of contemporary and historic art forms.
3. Nurture your comprehension of the arts; including the language and history of the arts.
4. Enhance critical thinking skills.
5. Participate in the arts; discover how the arts enhances success in your chosen professional field.
6. Learn what motivates artists to create and their methodologies.
7. Learn how the arts embrace other disciplines including science, education, engineering, religion, philosophy, health, business and psychology.
8. Grasp the role of art as an essential part of a healthy, democratic society; examine issues of freedom of expression and censorship.
9. Understand the economics of the art world: both the status of the arts as an economic and educational catalyst and the economic realities facing individual artists and arts organizations.
Some of the topics that Direct Encounter with the Arts examines in historical and contemporary culture include religion, iconography, sexuality, gender, body issues, social and political movements, race and ethnic issues, love, the family, censorship, patronage and beauty.
Although every semester of Direct Encounter is different, it is likely that all of the above topics will be dealt with each semester. In order to properly investigate these subjects, you will be required to listen to and viewmaterial that at some point may offend or trouble you—perhaps on political, religious, sexual, or other grounds. Students and guests are given many opportunities to express their points of view in a respectful and supportive environment.
The materials we present in class are selected to support the objectives of the class. It is our job to encourage and provoke you to look with fresh eyes at the cultural and artistic world. Sometimes what you hear from us, guest artists, or your classmates may surprise or shock you: this is part of the learning process for this program. You are hereby put on notice that during this course, images of the nude human form, as well as religious, political, social, or other symbols and images may be used to assist in student instruction, discussion, skill and analytical development. It is the opinion of the faculty who teach this course that the use of such imagery is an essential component of this course and the various art curricula. Violent or sexually graphic imagery may, very selectively be utilized for the purposes of course instruction.
Any student that might object to, or would be offended by the use or presence of nude human images, violent or sexually graphic imagery, and/or religious or social imagery should consider changing his/her course selection. For policy, instructional, and financial reasons, the Frostic School of Art is unable to provide alternative instruction, lessons, or courses due to different philosophies, opinions, or beliefs of students.
Also note: We consider teaching to be an art form. It is the philosophy of DEARTS that good teaching borrows many tools from theatre. As such we may adopt a temporary character, or way of speaking, or choices of language that might otherwise seem unusual or improper.
Address any questions on this subject to Professor Solomon. If you believe this course will be too challenging for any reason, you may want to consider dropping it now. If you have post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of any kind of abuse or because of combat duty or for any other reason please include this information on the FacePage assignment. This information will be kept confidential.