Details of student work created in the ACX course Making Objects.
Detail of student work created in the ACX course Making Objects.

feature / artcenter-extension / faculty / alumni / art
September 21, 2020
By Solvej Schou
Images courtesy of Delbar Shahbaz


Alumna Delbar Shahbaz (MFA 2017 Art) is known for her powerful sculptures, paintings, videos and installations that revolve around cultural and gender identity. When she was a graduate student at ArtCenter, she created three-dimensional pieces for her Grad Show, including the 8-foot-tall female sculpture The Monumental Fertility, made out of metal, resin, foam and paint.

In the online ArtCenter Extension (ACX) course Making Objects, taught by Shahbaz, students will discover their own creative voices and use materials including plaster, wire, wood, cotton fabric, found objects, resin and foam to create three-dimensional objects and sculptures. ACX offers a wide range of non-degree art and design courses for adults.

With Fall ACX courses being taught remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Shahbaz has transitioned Making Objects from in-person to online while still maintaining an art studio spirit of accessibility and community, she says. Students will build structures, manipulate materials and learn to safely use sculpting tools at home.

“The course supports students to create an art-making station for themselves in their own domestic space, no matter where they’re working from or what they’re working with,” says Shahbaz. “In a way, this transition to being online mirrors the found object, the concept of using what’s there, and seeing what’s new.”

Shahbaz, who also has a master’s degree in illustration and a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from her native Iran, places importance as well on students learning about a global variety of artists and styles. The course includes readings, discussions and demonstrations. Students will study artists from all over the world, including South Korean conceptual artist Anicka Yi, South African sculptor Nandipha Mntambo, British-Nigerian multimedia artist Yinka Shonibare and Swedish-Iranian installation artist Mandana Moghadam.

An ideal course for anyone interested in art or illustration, or preparing to apply to the College’s degree programs, Making Objects allows students to explore the wide reaches of their creativity—all during an unprecedented and anxiety-producing time. “Working with different materials and mediums is a great way to express our emotions, and it gives us the ability to bring our imaginations into reality,” says Shahbaz. “We need to do that more.”

ACX faculty member Delbar Shahbaz.
ACX faculty member Delbar Shahbaz.