Art 204 Welcome/Registration Letter

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Welcome Letter/Registration Letter

Welcome to Art 204: Survey of Western Art History: Renaissance to Contemporary 

My name is Dr. Michelle Huntingford Craig, and I will be your instructor for this course. This page provides the basic information you will need before enrolling in Art 204.

Course Description:

Presents an overview of art and architecture from the Renaissance to the Contemporary period. Includes cultural and historical issues of the Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Neo-Classic, Romantic, Realist, Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and 20th-Century periods of art.

This course surveys Western artistic production beginning with the Renaissance and continuing through to the Second World War. It presents an overview of art and architecture from the Renaissance to the Contemporary period. Includes cultural and historical issues of the Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Neo-Classic, Romantic, Realist, Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and 20th Century periods of art. We study art objects for their form and content (formal analysis) as well as the social, historical, political, religious, and economic contexts in which they were produced (contextual analysis). Through this class students develop knowledge of modern Western civilization through key works of art; learn to identify, describe and analyze major artworks and artistic styles; and comprehend art historical terminology and methodologies. This course will improve students’ reading, writing, and critical thinking skills.

Advisory: Eligibility for ENGL 201A.

Transfer: CSU; UC. (Formerly ART104)

This course aims to teach you to value the diversity of human cultures through an understanding of visual arts traditions; to foster critical thinking; to increase awareness of the multiple ways of looking, understanding, and appreciating the visual arts; to achieve the above goals through cooperative learning.

If you are enrolling in this class, I’m asking you to commit to spending the coming weeks being “into art.” Be open-minded and see where it takes you. Some of the works encountered during the semester may delight, confuse, or anger you. We will explore tools that will help you analyze those reactions.

Unlike some face-to-face classes, online classes, including this one, requires significant time and attention. Please plan to spend at least as much time in this course as you do in a traditional class (roughly 8-15 hours a week). Because there is no oral lecture component, it is the responsibility of all students to do the readings (they are free!), access all required materials, participate in the discussion, complete other assignments, and research independently. Please access to a large screen. This course is not meant to be taken via a small phone screen. See the library if you need to rent a Chromebook/laptop Links to an external site..

There are no prerequisites for this course, but it’s important that you think carefully about whether you are a good candidate for online learning. Those who are both well-organized and self-disciplined are best equipped to succeed. Below you will find some information that can clarify technical requirements and how to use our online learning platform CANVAS. It is not your syllabus. Those enrolled in the course will receive the syllabus when classes open in Week 1.

I look forward to your participation in Art 204.


Dr. Craig

Instructor: Dr. Michelle Huntingford Craig


Email Address:

Office Location/ Hours: Zoom and in person/see syllabus for hours

Instructor Contact Expectations:

The best and fastest way to contact me is via my Cuesta email or Canvas Inbox. Always use your Cuesta College email for official correspondence, check your Cuesta College e-mail account regularly, or (b) arrange for messages to be forwarded from your Cuesta College e-mail account to your personal e-mail account. I will typically respond within 24 hours to emails received between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday. I do not check email after 4:00 p.m., on weekends, or during academic breaks. During busy times of the semester, the response time may increase to 48 hours.

  • I will typically send announcements to the whole class.
  • I contact individual students via their Cuesta College email addresses or Inbox. Please check both and set your notifications to best help you communicate your needs and questions.
  • Announcements will be posted weekly. I generally send individual student feedback in the Assignment Submission Page (Gradebook).

Course Environment:

This online course uses a web-based Learning Management System Canvas as the method to disseminate information. Canvas provides the framework for the course including the reading, PowerPoint presentations as 'lecture' pages, student data files, the tools to receive and send course materials, and a grade book. Using the communication tools, you can communicate using e-mail, and you can share materials and ideas with other course participants via the discussion forums.

Class opens / Accessing Canvas:

  • You can log into the course on the first day of the semester; you cannot access the course before the semester starts.
  • When the semester starts, please log in right away, so that you are able to complete the week one assignments; otherwise, you will be dropped from the course.
  • Mark your calendars! Starting on day one of the semester, course information will be provided in Canvas.
  • Use Modules to access all the required information.

To access the course web page during the first week of classes, follow these instructions:

  1. To get to the host site: Go to the Cuesta College home page Links to an external site. and click on “Canvas” (in the upper left corner of the page)
  2. Log in: Enter your Canvas username and password (same as for MyCuesta)
  3. User Dashboard: Click on the link for ART 204; this will take you to the course home page. Download the syllabus and familiarize yourself with the course using Modules.

If you are not familiar with logging into canvas, please refer to the Canvas Quick Reference for Students Links to an external site..

If you are having difficulty logging into Canvas after the first day of classes and need assistance please email me or technical support at this email address.

Online Learning:

If you have never taken an online class or this is your first experience with Canvas, please be patient with yourself. Do not hesitate to ask questions when they arise. Online classes are not inherently easier than in-person courses, although they may be more convenient for many students. You should expect to spend at least as much time, if not more, on this course as you would on a course that meets face to face. Since there is no synchronous oral lecture component, much of this time will be self-directed and there will be a substantial amount of reading, viewing, studying, and writing required. This course is completely online using Canvas; all coursework (discussions, assignments, quizzes) is submitted online. There are no face-to-face meetings. Please be prepared to spend 8-12 hours per week on coursework for this class.

Is an Online Course Right for You?

Please go to Is an Online Education for You?Links to an external site. to take a "self-assessment”. There are many resources that were designed to help you understand the basis for an online class and the skills necessary for success. (If the tutorials do not describe you, then taking this class online is not for you, and I strongly suggest that you drop the online class and enroll in a traditional classroom section.)

Regular Effective Contact:

Regular and Effective Instructor Contact will be met through weekly instructor-initiated threaded discussion forums; weekly announcements to students; timely and effective feedback on student assignments; email, phone or messaging to individuals; and virtual office hours.

Students should plan to participate on Canvas on at least two days per week. Modules open weekly for the majority of the course.

We will keep in contact in a variety of ways:

  1. Students are welcome to see me during my office hours (listed in the syllabus).
  2. Students are welcome to contact me by email. I will typically respond within 24 hours to emails received between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday. I do not check email after 4:00 p.m., or on weekends, or during academic breaks. I will typically send messages to the whole class or to individual students via Inbox or Cuesta College email addresses.
  3. Weekly announcements responding to group discussions and assignments as well as outlining upcoming plans of action.
  4. Assignment submission page (Gradebook) comments and rubrics.


  1. Identify and discuss representative works of art and architecture as well as the stylistic differences of the major artistic periods in Western art from the Renaissance through the 20th Century.
  2. Analyze and differentiate works of art and architecture in terms of historical context, cultural values, visual language and aesthetic innovation.
  3. Write about art movements and individual artists using correct terminology and vocabulary.

Text Book and Materials 

Readings – All readings will be posted or linked on Canvas.

Technical Support

Cuesta students are encouraged to direct all technical support inquiries to If you are having issues with Canvas, you should contact the Canvas Support Hotline at (877) 921-7680, or click on the help button on the Canvas Navigation to report a problem.

If you are having difficulty viewing the course or logging in, it may be because you are not using the correct url: or you are using your phone or using an unsupported browser.

Your learning environment is best accessed from a desktop or laptop computer, using Firefox or Chrome. This may solve your problem! 


This course is designed using an accessible Learning Management System, and course materials have been created with ADA compliance in mind. If you have a disability and might need accommodations in this class such as extended time on exams or other resources, please contact me as soon as possible so that we can discuss appropriate accommodations in a timely manner. You should also contact DSPS (Disability Student Programs & Services). Links to an external site.

College & Course Policies: Academic Honesty Policy:

Examples of academic dishonesty include but are not limited to:

  • Using AI (Artificial Intelligence) apps to produce work
  • Copying from another student’s exam
  • Giving answers during a test to another student
  • Using notes or electronic devices during an exam when prohibited
  • Taking a test for someone else
  • Submitting another student’s work as your own, e.g. copying a computer file that contains another student’s own work
  • Knowingly allowing another student to copy/use your computer file(s) as his or her own work
  • Completing an assignment for another student
  • Plagiarizing or “kidnapping” other people’s thoughts, words, speeches or artistic works by not acknowledging them through proper documentation

In addition to my course policy, please note all students attending San Luis Obispo County Community College District at any district site and when representing Cuesta College in any off-campus activity, assume an obligation to conduct themselves in an acceptable manner compatible with the Student Code of conduct. Please review the Cuesta College Student Code of conduct Links to an external site..

There is a zero tolerance policy for academic dishonesty in this class and at Cuesta College. Any student found cheating or plagiarizing will receive a zero on the assignment and will be reported to administration. If you have further questions, please consult the Cuesta College Catalog Links to an external site. for a full description of academic honesty.

Drop Policy:

Students who miss the first week of assignments or have not submitted 60% of assigned work (at any point in the semester) may be dropped from the course without notice.

In addition to my policy, please review the Cuesta policy for drops.

Waitlist Policy:

Please review Cuesta’s waitlist procedure and instructions: Links to an external site.

If the term has started and you were previously on the waitlist, please contact me. I do not have access to your email and cannot email you an add code if space becomes available.



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