By Fred Lynch, Boston, Massachusetts
Explore, investigate and communicate – that’s what my students do every July in my class called Journalistic Drawing in Italy. The results can be terrific, and, I hope you agree, worth sharing. No doubt, I’m lucky, because I get to work with a pretty remarkable group of students, mostly from Montserrat College of Art and Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), the two schools where I am a professor. (No, this is not an advertisement- sorry, this is a college course). This year, my colleague from both schools, Kelly Murphy, was my co-teacher.
The class explores much of what we refer to as “urban sketching,” but with a particular focus on drawing as a communication tool. Students learn the skills of drawing on-site and then use them to investigate their surroundings. As a final project, students explore a singular, narrow topic and aim to make personal works which share views, opinions and/or information. (Like my own work, the art is perhaps better understood as “urban drawing,” as much more time is spent on each work, and students may go beyond the long, on-site experience to form a more completed statement, if needed. That said, the works must act as evidence of the artist’s “had-to-be-there” experience of working on-site.)
The class also focuses on “voice, ” that is, by pushing students to celebrate how each artist has a different style of drawing – a different aesthetic – different interests. In other words, we aim to make our point as well as make our mark through our drawings.
Ok, with all that in mind, here are some examples from last summer – series’ that address narrow themes. Creating works as a series promotes deeper investigations and artistic advancements. I hope you like them as much as I do.
Song Kang, a RISD student from Atlanta, Georgia, explored stonework in the medieval city of Viterbo to the extent that nothing else mattered.
Bronte Pirulli, a student at Montserrat College of Art, from Connecticut, explored the passages of light and space through the city’s archways.
Ala Lee, a student at RISD from Seoul, Korea, focused on characters “chillin'” in public spaces.
Dong Min (Katie) Shin, from RISD and South Korea, communicated her thoughts as well as her observations as she sat in the city’s public spaces.
Hans von Schroder, a RISD student from Bliestorf, Germany focused on the “open spaces between” in his cityscapes.
Natalie Fondriest, a duel degree student at Brown University and RISD, from Massachusetts, explored the passages of time and movement through the city’s piazzas.
More great works can be found on the course’s blog: Drawing Viterbo.