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The Drawing Marathon

Drawing intensely in a loft in SoHo in 1964, the first crop of New York Studio School students realized they had spent more time drawing in their first week than they had in an entire semester at other institutions.  This would become characteristic of the Studio School, a rigorous dedication to studio practice and the fundamental belief in the searching and powerful act of drawing.

Since Graham founded the original Drawing Marathon in 1988, the Marathons have become an integral part of the Studio School’s curriculum.  Charcoal, pastel, acrylic & oils, clay, plaster, wall drawing, and plein air painting have all been investigated over the years with the variety of full time and guest faculty that have participated.  The program has expanded to include painting on Governors Island, trips to Museums, Chinatown and artist studios. It has been almost 15 years since Sarah Boxer’s article about the Drawing Marathon came out in the New York Times.  My favorite part remains…

“The evening proved fateful. Mr. Nickson showed us the pentimenti, the ghost traces left from an erasure, in a picture. He clearly admired the space they had created and the honesty they indicated. Mistakes were made. Mistakes were corrected. The word pentimenti, he explained, comes from the Italian world for repent. ”If you make a mark you thought was honest and you find it wasn’t, then you repent, and the mark that’s left is a sign of your repentance.””

If you haven’t read the article, it is definitely worth a read- and for every Studio School alum it will bring up memories of the deeply introspective and challenging work that occurs within the walls on 8th Street.  Read the article here, ART; Midsummer Madness in Charcoal and Pastel.

Snapshots From NYSS

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