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Artists to compete at drawing marathon
February 25, 2016Tweet
Students, alumni and community members will get to spend 24 hours practicing their artistic skills when the Binghamton University Art Museum plays host to a drawing marathon March 11-12.
“We are inviting people who will find this event to be eye-opening and say ‘I never thought I could do this,’” said Blazo Kovacevic, an assistant professor of art and design who developed the event. “I want artists to learn something new about their abilities by pushing the boundaries of their strength, endurance, concentration.”
The event, sponsored by the museum, the Harpur College dean’s office, Department of Art and Design, the Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development, and alumni artists, will bring 10 artists to the museum from 10 a.m. Friday, March 11, to 10 a.m. Saturday, March 12. The artists will produce a finished figure drawing on a 72-inch-by-48-inch door-sized paper. The paper, easel and charcoal-drawing materials will be provided. A model will pose for the full marathon.
A team of jurors featuring Kovacevic, Art Museum Director Diane Butler and John Brunelli, director of Anthony Brunelli Fine Arts Gallery in downtown Binghamton, will award a prize of $500 to one artist. A $250 “people’s prize” will also be awarded based on the comments on the Binghamton University Art Museum’s Facebook page.
While drawing for a full day can result in low energy, Kovacevic stressed that the energy can translate into creative excellence.
“We want to go 24 hours,” Kovacevic said. “We want to see what happens when you are exhausted, and then push through and catch the second wind.”
The artists technically won’t stand up and draw for 24 straight hours (“We don’t want them to faint – or worse,” Kovacevic said.). A 15-minute break for the model and participants will take place at the end of every hour. A 30-minute break will be held every four hours. Refreshments will also be provided.
The Art Museum will remain open for the full 24 hours, allowing visitors to watch the artists at work at any time.
“There is power and excitement in witnessing the artist’s process,” Kovacevic said. “A work in progress is sometimes more significant than a finished work.”
For Kovacevic, a key to the event is the potential inclusion of students, alumni and local artists.
“I’m working hard to bring the three groups together because our students will soon be (alumni and community members),” he said. “I want three groups that are soon to be one in this environment.
“We need to build a community that is strong enough to support somebody who says: ‘I want to be an artist. I came to Binghamton University to try it.’”
Competition and exposure are other important aspects of the drawing marathon and the art profession itself, Kovacevic said.
“It is a well-known fact that there are many artists and few opportunities for them,” he said. “Artists are constantly competing with their fellow artists for a chance to show their artwork in addition to their internal struggle to produce the best possible physical manifestation of their idea or concept. Exercising this part of their professional practice is of great importance as we are not able to introduce and develop, as much as it is necessary, this environment in our classes.
Kovacevic, who recently presented the “Underground Images” exhibit now on view in the Fine Arts Building’s Rosefsky Gallery and based on subway posters from the School of Visual Arts in New York City, said he is hopeful that the marathon will become an annual showcase.