Taking illustration to new levels

Category:  The Arts
Wednesday, March 20th, 2019 at 6:32 PM
Taking illustration to new levels by Amber Chisholm
Photo: Amber Chisholm

The recent “Drawn Together” exhibit in Edinboro University’s Bates Gallery aimed to take illustration to new levels.

On display March 11-15, it included several examples of scientific illustration, a new endeavor for some of the artists. When arriving, visitors were greeted by a wall where they could leave sticky notes, which ended up forming several combinations of their own drawings and messages.

Jonathan Lee, going by the artist name of Tenobris, which translates into “dark art” in Greek, said that this opportunity was “quite exciting, honestly.” He enjoys being able to translate feelings into art, especially ones such as “unease, discomfort and surprise.”

One example of his inspiration is the late artist Francis Bacon. He’s also inspired by the topic of corruption, specifically in the areas of government and religion. Lee wants to give meaning to things that are considered less beautiful and attractive. In regard to future goals, he has considered illustrating books, but is willing to see where things end up.

Another artist, Ashleigh Bowman, explained that she has always liked drawing, mainly focusing on plants, animals and portraits. These inspirations were included in a collection of weekly assignment pieces, or “Weeklies,” which can be put into a poster and sold.

Her favorite pieces she’s created so far are black India ink portraits of her friends, which she made for “Inktober,” an activity in which a new piece is made every day for the entire month of October. She enjoys both drawing and painting, and she feels that illustration serves as its own world by combining the two.

This was the second time in the gallery for Maria Holubeck, who jumped into the world of scientific illustration here. This could be seen in a picture of a cicada and another showing various birds. Her favorite piece of work, though, is a watercolor painting of what her own version of a Time Magazine cover would be: featuring late scientist Stephen Hawking. It’s also her most recent work.

Holubeck enjoys illustration because it’s a broad area of study and emphasizes storytelling.

Robert Campbell, vice president of the campus Illustration Club, whose examples were also shown, feels that this exhibit stands out because of the abundance of work from so many different people. Over 10 students had work displayed.

Rayne Burgin, the club president, likes science and was drawn to the versatility of that type of illustration, which sells well according to professor Michelle Vitali of the art department. Vitali views this exhibit as a nice way for the club to work together toward a common goal, represent one of Edinboro’s newest programs, and remind everyone that we are all artists with the sticky note wall.

Vitali explained that she was proud of the students and the quality of the show they produced in a short amount of time. She also feels that practicing any type of illustration is important for anyone, as it is a way for someone to enhance their attention to the world around them while “really, intensely experiencing” it. Vitali also believes it improves fine motor skills, with the benefit of having the eyes, hands and brain working together.

A reception took place on March 13 in Loveland Hall.

Amber Chisholm | edinboro.spectator@gmail.com

Tags: galleries

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