The fine arts department puts up many interesting and captivating displays around campus every semester. Typically, the department highlights their work in the LLC, the Dana Center, and various other places around campus. Now, we can add the basement of the Chapel Arts Center onto the list with a very interesting display this year.
Any student or faculty member who travels down that hallway will immediately notice many hands and feet lining up the sides of the hallway. They are not stinky as one might ordinarily think when hearing about feet, but the drawings captivate any audience passing through the hallway.
Fascinatingly, these drawings are not drawn by experts. According to Professor Kimberly Asbury, a professor in the fine arts department, these paintings originate from her introduction to art class. The students who created the drawings, “are not necessarily art majors. Most of them have not taken an art class since middle school.”
The project is one in a series that students use for their midterm assignments. Asbury usually gives the class about two to three weeks to complete the assignment. Students begin by examining several contemporary masters of hand and feet drawings. Students study them and are asked to enlarge the print outs on an 18”x24” canvas. Students then work on their own and draw a different interpretation of hands or feet on the same-sized canvas. According to Asbury, students, by the end, “often feel inspired to do more.” The drawings are made out of charcoal, helping the images to pop more on the canvas.
In an interview, Asbury stated that the idea for the project is based on a tradition that is hundreds of years old. “It comes from the Atelier school of thought. Someone goes in as an apprentice and a master teaches you the techniques. You emulate the style so you become a master artist yourself.”
Senior art major Sarah Best has been working with the hands and feet drawings and using them to complete her art thesis. Although Best’s project will not be completed until next semester, she has already begun to create more interpretations of hands and feet.
Best outlined her goal in her senior thesis proposal. According to Best, the project will be “exploring the themes of introversion and sensitivity through the lens of my own experiences…. The intended works show the scope of being an introverted individual.”
In discussing Best’s project, Asbury stated that the project is a little different than most of the other drawings seen in the basement of the Chapel Arts Center. “Her hands and feet projects were so evocative. She loved doing the project so much that she is now spending the year investigating why she chose these positions and why she enjoyed it so much.”
Another reason Asbury created this project is that it provides an opportunity for students to express their thoughts and feelings in art. “Hands and feet can be expressive and tell a story.” These works certainly display many stories told by different students along the hallway.
Best’s senior thesis artwork will be on display in the Dana Center this coming spring. Students and faculty are welcome to see the drawings in person in the basement of the Chapel Arts Center or can attend Best’s display this spring. For more information on Professor Asbury’s introduction to art class, students can reach out to her through email.