Artists' Proof

Hamiton art students and faculty at the studio of Lane Twitchell.
Hamiton art students and faculty at the studio of Lane Twitchell.
Eleven senior art concentrators along with Art Department faculty visited internationally acclaimed artists' studios in New York City on February 12 and 13. Lane Twitchell, Deb Kass, Nina Katachadorian, An My Lei, and Nicole Eisenman welcomed students into their studios to discuss works of art in progress. The Dietrich Foundation and the Kirkland Endowment supported this event.

Students making the trip were Michael Bourbeau, Courtney DeMaria, Linda Di Bernardo, Xiaoxin (Shinger) Feng, Tory Hayssen, Eliana Miranda, Julio Monterroso, Charlie Palanza, Chiquita Paschal, Simone Rutkowitz and Moises Toledano. Professors Katharine Kuharic, Kathryn Parker Almanas, and Rebecca Murtaugh, and Susanna White, Emerson Gallery curator, accompanied the students.

In 2009 Kuharic organized the first studio excursion for art concentrators and led this year's visits. The purpose of these trips is to give students the opportunity to visit professional artists in their studios to witness their creative process, interact with the artists' work in person, ask questions, and discuss the importance and relevance of their contemporary art practice in our culture. Murtaugh noted, “For our seniors, it sets a new context for the role and activity of the artist in the hub of the international art world.”

She added, “On campus, our students regularly view slides and films to learn of the works of artists. We do have a very active and engaging visiting artist program, yet the visiting artists lecture and show reproductions of artwork in the format of Powerpoint or slide lectures. The NYC trip is a very hands-on experience that allows students to physically interact with the works and ideas of the artist.”

Xiaoxin Feng ‘10 commented, “It’s thrilling to step into artists' studio space. Every artist carries a drastically different style with art making, and interestingly the studio reflects their methodology, even their personality.” Feng said that especially during this current recession, it takes a lot of courage to pursue art as a career. “Through conversations with these top New York artists,” she said, “it is heartwarming to know that they all went through similar ups and downs in the past.”

Murtaugh echoed Feng’s enthusiasm. “The artists we visit are very generous to open their place of creative inquiry to our students. I believe the seniors will look back on this experience in a year or a decade and find much value in their opportunity to learn firsthand from such prestigious artists,” Murtaugh said. “It is a view into the possible future for our seniors.”
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