ND Drawing students exhibit at the Commerce Center

Author: Dept. Staff

This fall, more than 50 students from all sections of beginning Drawing and Multilevel Figure Drawing had the opportunity to participate in a group installation and exhibition of site-specific drawings in the historic Commerce Center in downtown South Bend. Situated on the East Race of the St. Joseph River, the c. 1914 building encompassed both the first and second hydroelectric power plants to provide power to South Bend and is registered with the National Register for Historic Places.

Commerce Center installation

Faculty members partnered with area artists/community organizers from the Birdsell Project, a local area initiative that seeks to revitalize once abandoned spaces by opening them to artists and the community. The site-responsive installation emphasized collaboration, contemporary practices, and non-traditional drawing media is a collaboration between students from four sections of drawing, faculty, and local artists/community organizers with the following goals:

• Experiment with contemporary drawing practices and non-traditional media
• Understand site-related art and art-as-installation through direct participation
• Gain exposure to practicing artists, community organizers, and art institutions
• Experience the challenges and rewards of working on a collaborative art project
• Giving back to the South Bend community while participating in a formal art exhibition

The project was made possible by a Teaching Beyond the Classroom Grant, designated to provide funding to faculty in support of cultural excursions and academic experiences aimed at enhancing teaching and student learning beyond the classroom. The initiative culminated in a month-long exhibition in the heart of South Bend. The closing reception is scheduled for January 22, 2016 at the Commerce Center. 

For more pics - https://goo.gl/photos/6JinHkxnH4swt3zg8