Encounters: Drawing On-Site (DRW4119.01)

Beverly Acha

In course we will engage drawing’s portability, flexibility, and expressive potential by primarily working outside of the studio art classroom. Students will be invited to engage and question what is prioritized in their representation of an experience or encounter in the world, outside the set conditions of the studio classroom. At its core this course asks: How can drawing transform, capture, document, or record an encounter with someone, something, a place, a moment in time? How does our familiarity or unfamiliarity with our subject change the experience of making and the outcome of a drawing? How is a drawing of a stranger similar or different to drawing a dear friend? How does tenderness, for example, translate through drawing? What happens in the span of time you sit with someone while drawing them?

In this course students will also experience and respond to the constant change present when drawing in different locations – the very much not still quality of life – and the ways one might investigate, stubbornly oppose, or go with the flow of that change. Parallel and intertwined with this is the specific places we spend time drawing in. We will consider what a site is: how a physical place and its history is a site, an internal psychic state is a site, and how the body itself is a site. How does the site (or context) of an encounter change that encounter? How is a drawing of a found object also a portrait of a specific place and/or moment in time? How is drawing with a specific duration and site/location also a performance? or a document or a record? How can a drawing capture spontaneity or quiet? or the feeling of a glance, stare, or a shifting point of view? How can drawing “on-site” speak to identity in relationship to place, history, and time?

The goal of this course is to offer students some structure for self-guided inquiry, exploration, and experimentation through the lens of site specificity. What students choose to spend time drawing in this course is up to them; approaches to and interest in narrative image making, autobiography/identity, archiving/documentation, portraiture, still life, and landscape, to only name a few possibilities, are all open for exploration in this course. This course will offer some technical instruction (as needed) alongside open ended prompts intended to frame the conditions for drawing in different locations. In class time may include drawing from models, visits/field trips to different locations to draw, walks around campus and through buildings to draw, visits to museums, readings, the occasional slide lecture, and critiques.


Learning Outcomes:
- Expand observational and representational drawing skills
- Develop skills to draw/make art “plein air” or “on-site” in locations with changing conditions or subjects that change/shift/move
- Develop individual artistic research interests/conceptual concerns
- Develop nuanced, advanced vocabulary for discussing art making, process, and methods and how they communicate conceptual interests and concerns

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: At least three courses in visual art at Bennington, and submission of an application consisting of a one paragraph statement (emailed to apibal@bennington.edu) outlining their experience level, their interest in the course, and how this course relates to their Plan of study. These should be submitted on or before the day 4000 level registration opens via email using ENCOUNTERS in the subject line.
Corequisites: VALS: Suggested, not required.
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
W 8:30AM - 12:10PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 12
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: 4000 , All courses , Drawing , Four Credit , Fully In-Person , Updates