“Drawings are ideas with lines around them ...”
The practice of drawing is much like the practice of writing. It is a basic but inexhaustible skill, a universally understood but individually malleable means of interpretation and expression. For visual artists, designers, engineers, and creative thinkers, drawing is a “lingua franca.” The practice functions as a means of visual study (drawing what you see) and as a way of giving abstract ideas concrete representation (drawing from imagination). More so, drawing, like writing, bridges the visual gap between many academic and artistic disciplines.
Over the past several decades drawing has blossomed into its own distinct discipline within the visual arts. No longer simply a pretext for easel painting or a preparation for more complex projects, the term “drawing” now functions as a very broad umbrella that encompasses everything from basic mark making (on paper, canvas, the wall or any other surface), to refined illustration, to performance art. Contemporary drawing practice encompasses a motley crew of creative pursuits: collage with found imagery, diagrams and map-making, installation art, naturalistic / scientific rendering, text and word play, comics, graffiti... and the list continues to expand. What unifies these all these divergent paths is the desire to translate individual perception and experience into a unique, visual trace.
The Drawing Area services the entire art department and the university at large with a variety of beginning and advanced classes and community activities. Students may start with Fundamentals Drawing (open to all students with no prerequisite) or Foundations Drawing (for art majors who have passed the portfolio review). In these beginning classes students build solid observational skills, learn how to see critically, and learn to record and interpret the visual world creatively through line, tone, and value. Entry-level drawing classes also emphasize drawing from imagination and personal sketchbook development. Upper level drawing studios include Drawing II (focusing on figure drawing), and Advanced Drawing and Special Topic classes, which cover a variety of themes in contemporary drawing practice including alternative processes and materials, digital media, portraits, comics, and illustration.
The drawing room on the third floor of Wey Hall is a multi-purpose, flexible studio space, where drawing classes of all levels and evening life drawing sessions are held. Students work on easels, drawing horses, or tables and can draw directly against our “working walls” for large format and installation pieces. Our studio space has recently been updated with full spectrum track lighting. The exterior third floor hallway between the drawing and painting studios has been refurbished as well, providing an exhibition space for all two-dimensional student work.