Senio Project SOA/GMU

January 20, 2010



Senior Project is a capstone course for graduating AVT majors concentrating in any studio or new media discipline except graphic design (who take AVT 498, Senior Design Project). As a synthesis course, Senior Project brings together the themes, techniques and philosophy that have been developed throughout each student’s course of study at George Mason University, referencing both general education coursework and competencies as well as study in the major. The course allows students to draw together their learning into a defining experience, through the exhibition of their senior project and preparation of a professional portfolio documenting the exhibition. 

General Education Synthesis Course:

This course fulfills the General Education synthesis requirement for AVT majors in all concentrations except Graphic Design. Synthesis courses draw on the skills and knowledge base attained through the General Education Program, applying the power of liberal learning to a specific field. In addition to serving as a capstone course in the major, AVT 497 requires students: Identify and analyze the formal elements of a particular art form using vocabulary appropriate to that form. Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between artistic technique and the expression of a work’s underlying concept. Analyze cultural productions using standards appropriate to the form and cultural context. Analyze and interpret material or performance culture in its social, historical, and/or personal contexts. Engage in the artistic process, including conception, creation and ongoing critical analysis, and demonstrate advanced skills in oral and written presentation. This demonstration will build not only on these skills as taught in specific General Education courses, but also on the recurrent attention to these skills in the whole General Education program, from the foundation courses onward. 


Over the course of the semester, students will produce an exhibition of current work and a capstone portfolio representing their achievement as undergraduate AVT majors.  The development towards this exhibition and portfolio will include:

    a. a show proposal
    b. group show design
    c. peer and faculty evaluation of work in progress through regular critiques
    d. a written artist’s statement that addresses the concerns of your work
    e. preparation of publicity through invitation cards and internet communication
    f. installation of the show to professional standards
    f. a final portfolio documenting the show and the process of creating it  

During the semester, the professor as well as other professionals in the field will give lectures and demonstrations about portfolio preparation, presentation of work to galleries and prospective employers, applying for grants, project proposals, and graduate school.  


Each student is required to:

  • Produce a body of substantially new work for the capstone exhibition, within the specifications of time and space agreed to with the instructor. The body of work must be within the domain of the student’s concentration, unless the instructors have expressly approved something outside that area of study.
  • Write a proposal for their exhibition that will include information about the specific work to be exhibited, a description of the works’ formal and conceptual basis, and a format for exhibition. Specifications for the proposal follow later in this syllabus.
  • Prepare a space design that will situate the individual’s work within that of the group with whom the individual is exhibiting
  • Actively participate in regular critiques of their work and their peers’ work.
  • Write an artist’s statement that situates their work in the context of its own development and in relation to historical and contemporary aesthetics.
  • Produce and distribute announcement and publicity for their exhibition. This may be done through cards, posters, and/or through the Internet.
  • Attend all lectures and presentations for professional development.
  • Plan and install her/his work in a public exhibit that meets professional standards (including compliance with standard gallery practices). Prepare and provide for an opening reception.
  • Make a brief oral presentation about your work during the opening reception, including responding to questions.
  • Create a portfolio that documents the senior exhibition,