The Connecticut College art department and the adjacent Lyman Allyn Art Museum have teamed up for a provocative exhibit exploring how faculty members conceptualize and create their work – and how teaching influences them.
For eight straight hours, 25 Connecticut College students worked vigorously to craft large-scale charcoal drawings during a marathon captured in a time-lapse video. The Art Department's third-annual drawing marathon was led by visiting artist Clive King, well-known for his own intense, large-scale contemporary drawings.
"King's work is amazing," Art Professor Timothy McDowell, who organized the drawing marathon, said. "He creates very large drawings, beyond human scale."
Jeremy Nakamura '11, a studio art major and music composition minor, said King has a special way of approaching a canvas.
"He has a very egalitarian view, and he encourages all participants to bypass their filters and speak their individual minds through the canvas," Nakamura said. "This project not only encouraged me to dive into my work with a lot more gusto, but also inspired me to take whatever the day gives me - in regards to how well I'm painting - and 'go with the flow.'"
Andy Schwartz '13 agrees that the project was invigorating.
"Clive definitely creates a space in which freedom is recognized, cherished and respected," he said. "I felt free and easy as he walked around the room with the music blasting."
During the eight-hour marathon, students covered their canvases, then worked to refine their pieces.
"I learned that art is a communicative process," Schwartz said. "As much as you want to create something entirely through your force of will, a lot of the art you make helps make decisions for you the longer the process goes on. This project allowed me to see how any work of art can be a mirror into what is going on inside your mind and soul."
Nakamura, whose piece is now hanging in his dorm room above his bed, added, "I learned you can't completely destroy a painting or drawing but only improve it through building and reducing."
King, a professor of fine art at Florida International University, has directed the last two drawing marathons as part of the College's Paul M. and Harriet L. Weissman Visiting Artist Program. The time-lapse video was created using more than 400 pictures by Andrew Nathanson '13, the College's photography intern. Nathanson positioned his camera 10 feet above the ground and took one photo every minute during the marathon, which was Saturday, Nov. 6.
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