Art 208 Welcome Registration Letter

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Welcome Letter/Registration Letter 


My name is Dr. Michelle Huntingford Craig, and I will be your instructor for this course. This letter provides the basic information you will need before enrolling in Art 208. 

Course Description: 

Surveys the arts, architecture, and visual culture of Mexico from the colonial period/16th century to the present.  

This course will survey the artistic and architectural production of Latin America from the colonial period through the era of independence and into the twentieth century. Topics will be studied chronologically and artworks and edifices will be examined from Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean, as appropriate. After a brief review of some examples of Pre-conquest Mesoamerican, Andean, and Spanish art we will turn our attention to the complex hybrid cultural production that resulted from the encounters of these disparate cultures and their subsequent mestizaje (cultural mixing). We will discuss depictions of the conquest before moving onto a study of early colonial mission architecture and related artistic production. Next we will analyze religious and secular art and architecture of the colonial period and the formation of and artistic renderings of colonial cities. Then we will investigate the establishment of art academies at the end of the colonial period and the subsequent formal changes to art that held prominent through the nineteenth century. We will then continue our study into the twentieth century and examine modernism and the break with the academy, surrealism, geometric abstraction, and the relationship between conceptualism and political activism. 

Advisory: ENGL 201A. Transfer: CSU; UC.  

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. 

You should plan to spend at least as much time in this course as you do in a traditional class (roughly 8-12 hours a week). Because there is no lecture component, it is your responsibility to do the readings, access all required materials, participate in the discussion, complete other assignments, and research independently. Make sure you have access to a large screen. This course is not meant to be taken via a small phone screen. 

There are no prerequisites for this course, but it’s important that you think carefully about whether you are a good candidate for distance 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 208. Respectfully, 

Dr. Craig 

Instructor: Dr. Michelle Huntingford Craig 

Contact information 

Email Address: 

Office Location/ Hours: Zoom/see syllabus for hours 

Instructor Contact Expectations: 

The best and fastest way to contact me is 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., or on weekends, or during academic breaks. During busy times of the semester, the response time may increase to 48 hours. 


  • I will typically send messages to the whole class or to individual students via their Cuesta College email addresses or Inbox. 
  • Announcements will be posted weekly. Individual student feedback is generally posted in the Assignment Submission Page (Gradebook). 


Course Environment: 

This online course will be using a web-based Learning Management System Canvas as the method to disseminate information. Canvas provides the framework for the course including PowerPoint presentations, 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 and groups. 

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 (www.cuesta.eduLinks 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 208; 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 Guide.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 


Online Learning: 

If you have never taken an online class or this is your first experience with Canvas, please be patient with yourself. Online classes are not inherently easier, 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 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. Weekly modules are usually Monday through Sunday. 

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. Demonstrate an understanding of and ability to apply major art historical methodologies.
  3. 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. 
  4. Weekly announcements responding to group discussions and assignments as well as outlining upcoming plans of action. 
  5. Assignment submission page (Gradebook) comments and rubrics.


  1. Think critically and speak and write clearly and effectively about works of art and art history; 
  2. Identify and explain the significance of representative works of art and architecture of Mexico from the colonial period to the present; 
  3. Analyze works of art and architecture in terms of iconography, style, historical context, and cultural values; 
  4. Write about art using correct art historical terminology; 
  5. Identify and develop a research project involving visual analysis, reading research, critical thinking, writing, and/or standard methods of documentation

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! Please review the browser requirements and minimum computer specifications. 


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 the instructor as soon as possible so that you can receive appropriate accommodations in a timely manner. You should also contact DSPS (Disabled Student Programs & Services)Links to an external site. or at 805-546-3148 

College & Course Policies: Academic Honesty Policy: 

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 2018-2019 Cuesta College Catalog for a full description of academic honesty. 

Examples of academic dishonesty include but are not limited to: 


  • 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. 

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: 

If the term has started and you are 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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