The Carnegie Center for the Visual Arts was a tranquil environment Tuesday night.
Nine students sat in a circle, intently focused on both the subject and their sketchpads. As students took their pencils and charcoal to the paper, the room felt serene with only the sound of scribbles, strokes and continuous ambient music to fill the soundscape. The artists’ subject sat motionless, allowing the stillness of the moment to take the room captive. Every student’s sketchpad bore a different version of the same figure, reflecting the various artistic minds all at work.
The Studio, the student organization for art and design, hosted its second evening of figure drawing on Tuesday, Oct. 22. Alex Esbenshade, president of The Studio, said the event was designed to give students a concentrated opportunity to draw the human figure in a formal setting.
“Figure drawing is a great exercise in drawing what you see instead of what you know,” he said. “Drawing what you see is a great stepping stone to anything art related because it lends itself to what you notice in the world around you, which is a huge part of any art field.”
Amy Reisenweaver, vice president of The Studio, agrees.
“Figure drawing is very beneficial to both artists and designers because it helps us refine our drawing skills, especially drawing from life,” she said. “Drawing skills not only help artists and designers develop our sketching abilities but also expand our creativity and imagination.”
Led by Professor Aaron Gosser, the adviser for The Studio, the students drew the figure in several different poses, sometimes with only a few minutes on each pose. The evening’s subject, Lindsay McGee, said she enjoyed how new and different the experience was for her.
“I was doing action poses, but I was still,” McGee said.
Esbenshade was surprised at how many people showed up at the first figure drawing event last month, he said.
“The event last month filled the space we provided plus one or two sitting on the floor,” Esbenshade said.
“It was encouraging to see so many students trek down to Carnegie for the event,” Reisenweaver said. “We probably would’ve been happy to have four or five students show up.”
Though fewer students showed up for the second figure drawing event, the room was still full, and the students who did come seemed to take the challenge with vigor. To cater to students’ interest, The Studio has plans to continue hosting figure drawing sessions during the year.
“The students are learning the value of life drawing skills,” Reisenweaver said, “and perhaps that it’s a bit harder than it seems.”
Though there was barely any conversation during the event, the students looked right at home and comfortable at the recently renovated art space. Carnegie was a site for artists to come together and enjoy their craft.
“It’s kind of a community thing,” Esbenshade said.