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The School’s internationally-recognized Marathon programs were developed in 1988 by Dean Graham Nickson, initially as a measure for the rest of the semester at the start of the program year. The program has since expanded to become a core component of the School’s curriculum. Meanwhile, intense outside interest led to the extension of the Marathons to a wider audience of participants outside of the full-time student body. Renowned artists, art historians, dealers, collectors, art educators, writers, journalists and students of all levels and affiliations have since experienced the intensity of the program.
Originally designed to address the importance of drawing as the basis of understanding one’s experience in the world, the Marathons are based on an exploration of this most direct route to an enriched understanding of the language of the plastic arts. The innovation inherent in the Marathon program reawakens the way that drawing is experienced by artists and appreciators alike. The Marathons are intensive, all-day programs that run for two weeks at the beginning of each semester and during the Summer Session. Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture Marathons are offered by both regular faculty and distinguished visiting artists who are present for the entire two-week session. All programs operate along the same basic model of immersing the student in their chosen discipline.
The level of commitment reached by participants during the Marathon is extraordinary. Each individual must confront the problems of drawing, painting, and sculpture with vigor and intensity if they are to show that they are equal to the fierce demands of concentration and stamina necessary for the program. Not only are participants fully engaged in the physical aspects of making art, they are also intellectually challenged and stimulated by extensive group and individual critiques. The creation of strong and surprising works can be the catalyst for future work. In addition to being part of the full-time program, application to the Marathons are open to beginning and advanced artists regardless of their affiliations. Admission follows the same requirements and procedures as the full-time program. Fees for the ten-day course must be paid in full upon registration.
The Marathon course hours are 9:00am to 6:00pm, with a lunch break from 1:00pm to 2:00pm. In some Marathons, there may be critiques. The specific critique schedule will be determined once courses have commenced.
If you are currently enrolled as a full-time student at NYSS, or if you have successfully completed a Marathon or full-time program within the last five years, you are not required to submit an application in order to enroll in upcoming Marathons. Learn more here.
Upcoming Marathons FALL 2019: Tuesday, September 3 – Saturday, September 7, 2019 and Monday, September 9 – Friday, September 13
-Drawing Marathon with Graham Nickson and Guests
-Drawing Marathon with Yevgeniya Baras and Sarah Peters
-Sculpture Marathon with Brandt Junceau
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any further questions. Hope to see you this fall!Apply On Slideroom
Fall 2019 Course Description The Instructors will be present on different days throughout the course of the Marathon and will present a wide range of projects and strategies to explore both figuration and conceptual drawing. Participants will be given specific prompts which will lead you to a personal vocabulary of marks and approaches. Some prompts […]
Fall 2019 Course Description In this Marathon, students learn the importance of drawing as the basis of understanding one’s experience of the world. Drawing is seen here as the most direct route to the examination of our perceptions. Unorthodox tools and exercises will be introduced to broaden the student’s drawing vocabulary. The class meets every […]
Fall 2019 Course Description Mankind’s earliest human images were milestones in our concept of self. We know that they were small, made in the hand, and many of them could be handled between just two fingers. At the start, they could not even stand. Our modern concept of the figure began in the figurine, and […]