On Friday, November 10, from 3 p.m. to 3 a.m., if you wandered into the Lucas Art Workshop you would have entered a party. Music was playing and cool people were hanging out and eating snacks, but these people weren’t having a rave session. They were drawing. Hosted by the Art Club, this 12-hour draw-in began by setting up a still life in the middle of a room and adding something new to it every hour. The still life was surrounded by drawing pads and charcoal, which invited participants to come and add on to what the person before them had drawn.
The idea of doing a draw-in at Covenant started back when Dr. Weichbrodt was a student. Under her leadership, the Art Club put on a 24-hour draw-in. This semester, Abi Ogle (‘18), Art Club president, revived the draw-in by organizing a 12-hour one.
Draw-ins are a communal, collaborative activity, designed to bring in all students, not just art majors. “We had hopes of bringing both people who were and weren’t art majors to just come and play with charcoal and see that they could be messy, make a beautiful thing, and not be afraid of being compared to other people, because all of them were making it together,” said Ogle. “Art Club is not just for artists.”
Emily McGarvey, a participant in the draw-in, echoed this sentiment. “I went down because I needed to unwind. I saw the pad of paper that was [turned towards the window looking out of the Art Building] instead of the still life, and it was at the point where everyone had done so well on it that it looked like people had been avoiding it because they didn’t want to mess it up. I kind of felt that way too, but because I wanted to just create something, I decided to just go for it and see what happened.”
McGarvey said that while she was working on her drawing, one of the students who had worked on it before her came in to see the progress, and walked over to look at what she was doing. “He talked to me about what he’d done and was looking at what I was doing, and he was super encouraging,” she said. This is one of the many encounters Ogle and the Art Club hoped would result from the draw-in. “People that didn’t know each other were in the same space, working on this thing they maybe weren’t comfortable with but it was fun,” Ogle said.
One of the other things the Art Club had hoped to encourage was experimentation with different mediums. The point of the draw-in was not for people who were experienced with using charcoal to come and show off their skills. It was for people to come try their hand at something that they maybe had never even heard of before. Ogle then told a story about a particular student who came in not knowing how to draw, but who ended up having a blast.
“Someone came in and was like ‘I don’t know how to draw,’ and sat down and just looked at everything. I was like ‘You know, you don’t have to know how to draw, just draw what you see and have fun.’ And then every two hours he would come back and sit down for an hour, and he would consecutively get more and more charcoal on his face. He was really into it. It was really neat to see him come back and watch how his drawing had changed. He was like, ‘Oh man, I just love this. I just love this so much!’ It was great to see him get excited about something that previously he had never known about.”
Additionally, the draw-in gave students a great reason to go down to the art building, something that usually feels like it needs an invitation. “It’s neat to see so many students on campus who are just interested in art come and hang out in the art building, which is something they don’t always feel like they’re invited to do, but they definitely are,” said Ogle.
So what’s next for the Art Club? Ogle explained,“We’re doing ‘Pinhole, not Pinhead’ day, trademarked by Professor Morton. We are going to make a camera obscura, or pinhole camera. Events like that and the 12-hour draw-in would be so cool as annual things, so that we have events the Art Club is know for. That being said, if anyone would like to volunteer to be the Art Club president next year, I’m graduating. We can’t let it die again!”