The Big Draw: Big Doings This Sunday at this Art-For-Everyone Event
This Sunday, all over campus, The Big Draw is taking over. From 1-4 p.m. there will be 10-12 drawing workshops that include everything from straight figure drawing, to dancing, to a scavenger hunt, to the greater Middletown community. Yes, the event is not only open to Wesleyan students, but also anyone in the area that wants to participate in the fun and creativity. Which means it is family friendly, folks!
The Big Draw was organized by the Friends of the Davison Arts Center, particularly Clare Rogan, the curator of the Davison Arts Center (DAC) and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Art History, in conjunction with a board of Wesleyan Faculty members led by Assistant Professor of Art Julia Randall and Art Studio Technician Kate Ten Eyck.
The Big Draw, in addition to celebrating everyone’s ability to draw, is also honoring the 50th Anniversary of the Davison Arts Center. In fact, the idea for the event first came into being after Rogan and Revel, the President of the Friends of the Davison Arts Center, took a trip to RISD and learned that they had just done a “Big Draw” day based off of a British program of the same name, which facilitates drawing activities all over the country.
“The idea is to get everybody drawing, no matter what their skill level is, how good they are, whether they consider themselves an artist or not,” Rogan said.
The two thought it was a great idea and loved the way in which it incorporated a lot of people—including those who wouldn’t necessarily be attracted to art or drawing in the first place. So, when they were thinking of ways to commemorate the DAC’s bicentennial, The Big Draw immediately came to mind.
“The Friends have always had a strong education component, particularly connected to Middletown,” Rogan said. “We have a lot of different celebrations for the 50th, but we want to do one thing that’s a big community event.”
However, the Friends couldn’t do it alone. They needed help with setting up different workshops and activities to make drawing and making art accessible, non-intimidating, and fun for all ages. They reached out to the Wesleyan faculty, and Randall and Ten Eyck stepped forward to organize a faculty committee for the creation and running of the event’s workshops. This committee also worked with Randall’s Drawing II class.
“It’s become a very Wesleyan project,” Rogan said.
While the leadership is so very Wes, the event definitely isn’t.
“It’s actually pitched at Middletown,” Randall said. “We’ve pitched at a wide age range. You have young kids who are clearly coming here with their parents for family-friendly activities, and then also amateur artists that are coming just to have the opportunity to work from the model.”
All in all, a very diverse group of people will be on campus this Sunday, participating in a variety of interesting workshops that all have unique perspectives on drawing.
“We wanted to have the different workshops explore different aspects of drawing,” explained Ten Eyck. “So rather than it be all just drawing from life, which can get kind of boring, it’s designed to go outside of what people might think of as drawing.”
For example, Artist-in-Residence Keiji Shinohara will be teaching a class on Japanese sumi-e ink drawing. Wesleyan students Brittni Zotos ’12 and Tasha Camhi ’12 will be facilitating a “model marathon,” with participants drawing models in poses upon poses. For a tie-in with Earth Week (which is next week, everybody), Oliver James ’14, as well as a few other students, will be in charge of an Earth-themed drawing, where they will have a list of things that need to be drawn in certain places and it’s up everyone to fill them.
Ten Eyck, in addition to organizing these workshops, is also running her own movement drawing station. On the CFA green (or, in case of rain, in the Usdan Multipurpose Room), she plans to combine music, dance, and drawing, with musicians responding to drawing, artists responding to music, dancers inspiring artists, as well as people moving and dancing and drawing all at the same time.
“I think my workshop is especially good for anyone who thinks they can’t draw,” Ten Eyck said. “Everyone who has lived in the Northeast has made a snow angel at some point, right? I think that my workshop is kind of about a lot of the same things that making a simple snow angel is about. You lie down on the ground, you move your arms, you get up and you see this pattern that’s made by your body making movement. Anyone can do it.”
Well, it’s closer to summer than winter, and snow is in short supply, so Ten Eyck’s workshop is probably the best place to be able to make art with your body’s movement this Sunday. Of course, also be sure to check out all of the other awesome activities that are planned. There’s even a drawing scavenger hunt! Unsure of what that is? Well, to leave a little mystery, you should come to The Big Draw and find out! Registration is not needed (you register when you get there), and it’s completely free.
“It’s for everybody!” Rogan said. “You don’t have to know how to make art; just come and have fun.”