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Student and local artists take part in last year's Drawing Marathon. The event was won by students Rebecca Ho and Aika Matsushiro.
Drawing marathon to test artists
March 8, 2017Tweet
Up to a dozen Binghamton University students, alumni and local artists will showcase their creativity – and ability to stay awake – at the 2nd Annual Drawing Marathon.
The marathon begins at 10 a.m. Friday, March 10, in the Binghamton University Art Museum, and ends at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 11. The selected artists will draw with charcoal on large pieces of paper from a live model posing for the entirety of the marathon. Short breaks are provided for the participants.
Blazo Kovacevic, assistant professor of art and design, said he felt like he was part of “something unique” during the first year of the event.
“We had a nice, diverse group,” said Kovacevic, who developed the marathon last year. “I think they did a wonderful job in getting the maximum they could under the circumstances. I connected with students in a way that I can’t in the classroom.”
Two cash prizes will be awarded when the marathon ends: a jury prize of $500 and a people’s prize of $250. The top prize will be awarded by a jury featuring Diane Butler, director of the Art Museum; Ann Welles, director of Exhibit A gallery in Corning; and Kovacevic. The people’s prize will be based on comments left on the Art Museum’s Facebook page and in a comment box at the museum.
Last year’s top prize was won by student Rebecca Ho, while student Aika Matsushiro received the people’s prize.
Kovacevic said that many participants discovered their “artistic second wind” during last year’s event. For them, he added, performing under pressure was as much a motivator as winning.
“We can’t call something a marathon if it is not exhausting,” he said. “Wonderful things happened Saturday morning when people weren’t able to put their social shields up. They became partners in this adventure.”
The event is free and open to the public. The Art Museum’s Facebook page will be updated during the marathon and Facebook Live will be used at times, Kovacevic said.
“We had a constant influx of (visitors) last year,” he said. “There were students supporting their fellow students and friends. Some were sleeping while their (friends) worked. It was a little like a pajama party.”
A new feature of the marathon this year is the Kids Sprint. Ten artists ages 8-12 will spend an hour (5:45-6:45 p.m. Friday) drawing the same model on smaller paper. Jackie Hogan, assistant director of the Art Museum, will serve as juror. The winning junior artist will receive tuition for a 10-week session at KAPOW Art School’s “Art Club for Kids” in Binghamton and a hardcover sketchbook. The top drawing will also be displayed on First Friday from 6-9 p.m. April 7 at KAPOW.
The idea for the Kids Sprint came to Kovacevic after his 10-year-old son asked if he could participate in the marathon.
“I think it’s great that kids want to be part of this – to see art and be in a museum,” he said.
Kovacevic said he would like to expand the event in the future to include neighboring universities and additional local sponsors.
“If those in the arts come together and recognize the impact of this (event), it could be even more interesting in the future,” he said.
But for now, Kovacevic is stressing an event that tests the minds and bodies of skillful artists.
“You are connecting with random people over 24 hours in a way that is enriching your life experience,” he said. “It’s important for students to see and be part of this competition. It is the essence of what they are going to do for the rest of their lives. If they don’t become artists, at least they will appreciate the life and struggle of the artist. They can learn something from that and apply it to their own disciplines.”
The marathon is sponsored by the Department of Art and Design; the Harpur College dean’s office; the Fleischman Center for Career and Professional Development; the vice provost’s office for undergraduate education; Upstate Furniture; Anthony Brunelli Fine Arts; KAPOW; and Commercial Art Supply.