Art lives again

| September 8, 2010 | 0 Comments

by Anna Kat Thomas
Staff Writer

Sophomore Leigh Smith practices sketching in art class. After a 15-year absence Bryan's art program has revived under the leadership of Elaine Davis. [Triangle photo by Anna Kat]

Sophomore Leigh Beisner practices sketching in art class. After a 15-year absence Bryan's art program has revived under the leadership of Elaine Davis/Triangle photo by Anna Kat Thomas

Resurrecting from a decades-long sleep, the art program is on the rise. Elaine Davis, a graduate of Bryan, has been hired as instructor and art fellow with a minimum two-year contract.

Currently she is only offering Drawing 1 and Painting 1, but she hopes to offer more advanced classes by next semester. Students that attended Davis’s classes last week would have heard words such as “curvy,” “kind-of” and “thingy.” This is because the students were attempting to describe a still for their partner to draw.

The catch was that the “describer” was not allowed to name the objects, which proved to be very challenging. Sophomore Leigh Beisner resorted to describing the top hat of a stuffed turkey as a “sand pail sitting on a plate”.

“The point of the exercise is to quiet down the left side of the brain that says, ‘why am I in this class for two hours?’” said Davis.

She has the students training themselves to think mainly with the right side of the brain.

They are “escaping the preset paradigms about shapes and objects and overcoming icons,” says senior Justin Winters.

“A college community is poor if it doesn’t have [the arts]” says Dr. Bradford Sample, academic vice president. Art is “a very beautiful form of communication and culture.”

However, the cultivation of the art department relies on the students. Sample says his hope is for the art department to become a permanent fixture on campus starting with the addition of an art minor by the end of the year.

“But if very few people want to do the minor, then what’s the point, in some respects, of having an art major,” said Sample.

Whether the proposed minor will develop even further to such things as sculpting, workshop, screen printing, etc., will be determined by the interest and participation of students, according to Sample.

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