Course Overview

Students in this course will explore a range of socio-political-environmental “realities” that impact their lives in one way or another. Through projects in printmaking, drawing and installation, students will create new works that raise awareness regarding topical issues they face every day. Participants will also learn from visiting artists, scholars, and researchers, that join the class both in person, and virtually. A minimum of three projects are required but the possibilities for exploration in this course are only limited by your imagination. The best facilities in the country are at your fingertips.

This course is part of Summer College Studio Art Academy, an enrichment and community-building program offered through Syracuse University’s School of Art, part of the College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA). 

Students enrolled in this course, as well as Art and the Environment, Contemporary Technologies in Sculpture, Graphic Novel and Visual Storytelling, Painting Studio and Making Comics will all meet virtually on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-1:30 p.m. to take part in group discussions, artist lectures, live virtual field trips, and Open Studio hours.

Note that this course is open to Syracuse University undergrads.

All students who successfully complete the course will receive a Certificate of Completion and have the opportunity to request a Syracuse University credit transcript.

Course Objectives

Students will come out of this course being able to:

  • Define Activism in Art
  • Investigate topically relevant issues, VISUALLY
  • Increase sensitivity to giving a voice to the voiceless
  • Consider art’s role(s) in a variety of cultural, political and economic contexts
  • Raise Awareness toward one or more socio-political issues that affect you.
  • Motivate people to action
  • Conceptualize and execute a minimum of three completed projects that are ready to display in specified venues/situations/actions/events, actual &/or virtual

“I was able to be creative and come up with an idea of how to solve a problem through my art.”

— Summer College – Online Art and Activism student, 2020

Course Information

Course Prefix and Number: AIC 200

Format: On Campus (at Syracuse University)

Eligibility: Students must be of rising high school junior or senior status – or a 2022 high school graduate. 

Credit: 3

Grading: A-F


  • Residential: $4,385
  • Commuter: $3,530

Program rates are subject to change and will be approved by the board of trustees.  Discounts and scholarships are also available.

Program Information

Summer College – On Campus: Experience what college is really like: take a college-level course, live in a residence hall, have meals with friends in a dining hall, and participate in activities and events on campus.

Course Dates and Details

ProgramCourse DatesClass Time
(Eastern Time)
Summer College – On Campus 2-Week Session III: Sunday, July 31 – Friday, August 12, 2022 MTWThF
9 a.m.-4 p.m.
3 CreditsClosed
Class will break for lunch daily for approximately one hour. Class times subject to change.

Course Requirements

Required Supplies

Students should budget for the cost of supplies.

Typical Day

Tentative Schedule

Students are typically in class Monday – Friday. Here’s what a day looks like for Art and Activism students:

  • 9 a.m. class begins, instruction with professor Herbig
  • 1 a.m. work on projects/discussions
  • 11 a.m. work on projects/discussions
  • noon LUNCH in studio or at dorm
  • 1 p.m. class begins, instruction with graduate assistant
  • 2 p.m. work on projects/discussions/field trips/visiting artists
  • 3 p.m. work on projects/discussions/field trips/visiting artists
  • 4 p.m. Class dismissed
  • 6 p.m. (Sun, Wed, Thu) Open Studio until 9 p.m.

When class is over, and on weekends, students can look forward to various Summer College – On Campus activities to meet and connect with other students! Check out our On Campus Experience page for more information!

Academic Field Trips

Potential field trips include:

  • Syracuse University Art Museum Print Collection
  • Syracuse University Libraries Special Collection

End Event

On the final day, the Art and Activism class will have a final exhibition with all School of Art students. Parents and family members are invited!

Instructor Bio

Dusty Herbig – Associate Professor, Studio Arts and Coordinator, Printmaking

Dusty Herbig teaches lithography, intaglio, serigraphy, relief, and all levels of advanced and graduate courses. He also serves as the director and master printer of Lake Effect Editions, the press of the printmaking intensive. He earned an M.F.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2002 and a B.F.A. from Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas, in 1996.

Herbig exhibits nationally, participating in juried exhibitions in all corners of the U.S., including Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago, Portland, San Francisco, New York City, and internationally, including exhibitions in Japan, Canada, China, Argentina, Spain, Pakistan, Taiwan, Brazil, Germany, South Korea, and Poland. His socially provocative work is in the permanent collections of many institutions, including the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts; KUMU; the Art Museum of Estonia; Spencer Museum of Art in Lawrence, Kansas; the Hunterdon Museum of Art, Hunterdon, New Jersey; the Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, California; and Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, New York City, among others. Herbig is also the recipient of a 2011 New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Fellowship in printmaking, drawing, and book arts.

Check out Dusty’s personal site here!

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