Run and See the Drawing Marathon at the Gatewood Gallery

Posted on Monday, November 17th, 2014 by William Davis under Uncategorized.

Until November 26th, the Gatewood Gallery will feature artwork by eight first year MFA in Art candidates in an exhibition called the “Drawing Marathon.” I had a chance to attend the exhibition when it opened on November 13th and have spoken to a few of the artists about their experiences. Throughout this blog you will see some of the art on display, and for those who want more information or hope to see what others have done, the Gatewood Gallery is hosting a reception, open to the public, between 3 and 5 p.m. this Wednesday, November 19th.

Artist Alex Soler explained the “Drawing Marathon” process and how the work was completed. (Note: it does not sound easy.) During the first month of their time at UNCG, all first year MFA art students met for “full eight hour drawing sessions on all Fridays and Saturdays…the ‘Marathon’ refers to our push to draw the entire time up until the group critique at the end of the day.” But if drawing for eight straight hours wasn’t grueling enough, the artists conducted their first several meetings inside the steam plant, a “hot and steamy” place “to warm up our observational skills.” For the last couple of sessions, they were allowed to choose where they drew but within the same eight hour periods.

While it may sound like a lot of time, the artwork they produced appears to have taken months, not hours, to complete. I asked Alex about one of her paintings on display, entitled the “Stable View.” She told me: “My fascination with the piece, to be honest, comes from what others see in my marks. I invite everyone’s individual interpretation of my lines and encourage people to share with me what it is to them.”

Inga Kimberly Brown described her piece entitled “Scatter Box,” a series of pen and ink drawings on canvas and linen: “There was no concept fully in what would be the end result…The drawings were a reinforcement of my spontaneity in my new work.” The pieces, which form a square, or box, had caught my attention the moment I walked in.

“I want people to see visions of the artist mind and eye,” Inga said. “I think the viewer will see many different works in the exhibit.”

Carmen Neely, whose work appears several times throughout the exhibit, explained her thought-process behind two of her pieces: “Incorporating text in paintings and drawings is something I’m constantly playing with. Its appearance can create a feeling of intimacy and a confessional quality in the work.”

Similar to Inga, Carmen sees a wide variety of art on display. “I really hope that the show reflects our range of exploration as a group. I personally believe it is successful in that way.”

Each student is working extensively on future projects, but they look forward to answering questions and speaking to the public about the Drawing Marathon exhibit. At the reception on Wednesday, they welcome others’ interpretations and will describe their process in greater detail.

“Each of us worked extremely hard this semester pouring our experiences onto our media,” said Alex. “I hope to share that struggle, learning, and longing with viewers from all walks of life. I am very much into the idea that art is to be shared with others and I am excited for this opportunity to do so.”