For Your Edification and Enjoyment: A Guide to Arts IAPS 2019


Dig into the history of Kanye West. Push the boundaries of 3D video. Share your favorite poem. Play the flute. Experiment with holography. Paint. Draw. Dance. Sculpt. Print.

Exercise your mind and explore your inner artist this January with the The Independent Activities Period (IAP). This special four-week term, which runs from January 7 through February 1, 2019, offers the MIT community a wide range of activities, including many courses that explore the arts.

Ready to jump in? Use the list below to navigate the arts-related workshops that IAP offers. More courses are being added as we approach January, so check the IAP website as you finalize your schedule. Register for Arts IAP courses here.


Volumetric Cinema Workshop, V. Michael Bove, Jr., David Levine

Explore the artistic possibilities of 3D video and storytelling on volumetric displays. We’ll push the boundaries of this new medium through a series of experiments. Students with experience in filmmaking, animation, and code development for game engines are encouraged to sign up.


Pleasures of Poetry 2019, Noel Jackson

Calling all poetry lovers! Come discuss and share a favorite poet or poem. The roster is always diverse, from ancient Chinese masters to contemporary American poets laureate. Come explore poets ranging from Shakespeare, Keats and Auden to Dr. Seuss and Bob Dylan.

MIT Writers’ Group, Steven Strang

Calling all creative writers! Want to write something creative but need some motivation or support? Join other MIT writers for writing advice, insight on reading other writers’ work and inspiration to get started with your own writing. All forms of creative writing are welcome.


A Brief History of Kanye, Max Gold

This second edition of A Brief History of Kanye will explore the music, life and influence of Kanye West, one of today’s most polarizing celebrities. We journey through Kanye’s life, analyze his artistic and personal evolution and his influence on hip hop and pop culture.

Generative Electronic Music Composition using Modular Synthesis Techniques, Jeremy Schwartz

In this activity, participants will learn about modular synthesis techniques for composing electronic music with a focus on creating evolving, generative soundscapes and music compositions using VCV Rack, an open-source virtual modular synthesizer.

IAP 2019 MIT Flute Ensemble, Sue-Ellen Hershman-Tcherepnin

This course provides an opportunity for flutists to improve their instrumental skills in a traditional, large flute ensemble configuration. Perform music across a wide range of musical styles from the 16th -21st centuries. Bass flute, alto flutes and piccolos will be made available.

Exploring the Beauty of Gu-zheng, Qingyang Xu, Liangyuan Na

Known as Chinese Zither, Gu-zheng is a traditional Chinese string instrument with over two thousand years of history. Participants with no musical background will learn elegant solo pieces (one traditional Chinese and another Western) with limited practice.  

Neuropsychology of Music Lectures, Peter Cariani

Two lectures offer a concise overview of the psychology of music. Explore why we listen to music, the diverse ways we use music in our lives and how we listen to music. The second lecture looks at the origins of music, why it is so meaningful and its synthesis by the brain.


The Improviser’s Mindset, Mona Thompson, Carmelo Presicce

Curious about improv? This class is for you. This interactive 3-hour session features a series of low-pressure improv exercises that build curiosity, generosity, resilience, and storytelling skills. Students without any theater or improv experience are welcome to attend.  

MIT Bhangra Dance Workshop, Divya Goel, Radha Mastandrea

Bhangra, a joyful and energetic folk dance from the state of Punjab in India, is rich in tradition and attracts a thriving following the world over. Join the MIT Bhangra team to learn a short piece of choreography and get a great workout–and enjoy a great time with great people!


House of Correction Mural Project, Sara Brown

Learn basic skills and techniques used to create large scale paintings while working with incarcerated artists as they paint a mural at the Suffolk County House of Correction. Students can later develop an augmented reality component to the mural.

Fused Glass on Metal, Tara Fadenrecht

Use both flat and formed pieces to create jewelry and sculptural objects. Students will work with glass on metal through the exploration of enameling techniques such as stenciling, cloisonné, and champlevé. Previous metal work experience is beneficial but not required.

Learning to Use the Printing Press, Ted Ollier, Rachel Carr

This workshop starts with the basics of handling lead and wood type and operating a vintage Vandercook proof press. Advance to printing multicolor broadsides and large-format posters. No experience needed; scientists, engineers and artists are all welcome.

Invigorating Science: The Newton-Goethe Debate on Vision and the Significance to Contemporary Physics, Art and Virtual Reality/AI, Bernhardt Trout

This two day seminar addresses contemporary issues in physics, art, and virtual reality by exploring the debate and ramifications between Goethe and Newton on vision and color. Preparatory coursework includes readings, basic optical experiments and responses to study questions.

3D Printing Design for Entrepreneurship, Mac Cameron

This class provides an overview of 3D printing technology and dives into Computer Aided Design (CAD) software. Participants will learn to solve a problem in their lives using CAD software and 3D printed parts.

Hands-On Holography, Greg Balonek

This course explores the many applications of holography. We’ll demystify holography by covering fundamental theory coupled with hands-on laboratory sessions. Students will create their own computer-generated holograms and a traditional optical hologram.

Make it Playful, Laure Dousset

Play has been shown to be a powerful and engaging activity with multiple benefits. In this class, students will explore the idea of playful design and come up with prototypes that demonstrate new forms of play.

Intro to Jewelry, Tara Fadenrecht

In this introductory course, students will create wearable art such as pendants, earrings and bracelets from non-ferrous metal. Become comfortable with both hand and power tools. Fabrication techniques including cold connections and silver soldering are covered as well.

Intro to Metal Sculpture, Tara Fadenrecht

In this introductory course, students will create sculptural works. Lost-wax casting, forging, hollowware techniques and fabrication techniques including cold connections, soldering and brazing are explored. Become comfortable with both hand and power tools.


These classes are part of the Student Art Association. For more information, click here.

Robot Painting, Sang-won Leigh

In this class hosted by ArtMatr, students will explore creative painting processes using ArtMatr’s oil-based printing system. The goal of this course is to expose the students to a robotic means of painting and exploration in both technical and artistic directions.

Mighty Mugs (3 Sections), Jason Pastorello

If you drink coffee or tea and are interested in clay, this class is for you! Explore the world of clay through a variety of techniques. Wheel throwing and hand building methods are combined to construct a mug fit for you, a family member or friend.

Super Bowls (3 Sections), Jason Pastorello

Explore the world of clay through a variety of techniques used in creating bowls. Wheel throwing and hand building methods are explored. Create a bowl you can use for cereal, soup or salad.

Composite Forms, Darrell Finnegan

This workshop focuses on composite forms created by combining two or more wheel thrown parts. Learn the ‘how to’s’ of making a moon jar, graceful compote or multi-sectioned vase. Intermediate wheel skills are a prerequisite.

Totally Teapots, Darrell Finnegan

Oval, wavy, stretched or crazy, the teapot combines functionality and creativity. This intermediate and advanced level workshop explores unusual forming techniques and surprising surface treatments that take us beyond the “round.” Do you prefer one lump or two?

Intro to the Potter’s Wheel, Darrell Finnegan

This class introduces you to the basics of wheel throwing, trimming and glazing your creation. Learn basic techniques to confidently create on the potter’s wheel!

Ceramic Pitchers, Darrell Finnegan

This intermediate and advanced level clay class focuses on several pitcher forms, with an emphasis on handles and spouts. Learn the composition and functionality of one of mankind’s earliest functional forms. Several surface decorating techniques may also be explored.

Beginning Oil Painting (2 Sections), Nicole Tariverdian

Students will learn the beginning processes of creating an oil painting. Skills such as selecting successful imagery for the canvas, determining aspects of a strong composition, underpainting, creating strong color palettes and the basics of color mixing will be covered.

Interpreting a Still Life (Drawing/Painting), Nicole Tariverdian

Learn about drawing and painting from observation as well as making successful creative choices. Students will observe real objects and learn to translate the physical world via drawing and painting. Precursory sketches and a final mixed media piece will be created.

Digital to Analog Black and White Photo Workshop, Nicole Tariverdian

The intersection of digital and analog photographic processes offers a unique opportunity for visual and conceptual investigation. Create analog photographs from digital imagery using several types of “non-traditional” negatives such as transparency and contact prints.

Introduction to Gum Bichromate Printing, Thery Mislick

Explore the versatile world of gum bichromate printing and experience the joy of one of the earliest photographic printing processes while working from your own digital and/or analog images. Produce delicate, painterly images using a high degree of artistic expression.




Posted on December 5, 2018 by Harry Bachrach