Still-life drawings by LSU Professor Kelli Scott Kelley’s advanced drawing students are on display in a satellite exhibit for the Louisiana Art & Science Museum’s Contemporary Old Masters. It’s Academic: A Hands-On Art Experience includes six interactive displays that invite visitors of all ages to draw, make collages, and put on costumes while learning about traditional subjects in Western art. LSU MFA candidate Justin Bryant also has a landscape painting featured in the satellite exhibition, on display at LASM now through May 28, 2017. A reception will be held at LASM on Thursday, January 26.
Contemporary Old Masters (on display now through February 26, 2017) features a selection of paintings by 12 artists whose works reflect how artists today are responding to Old Master traditions. Kelley’s advanced drawing workshop fits in well with the theme of the Contemporary Old Masters exhibition.
The class explores notions of drawing. The first half of the semester, students are given structured drawing assignments but are encouraged to interpret the prompts individually in ways that push beyond traditional approaches to drawing.
“Still-life is a genre that has endured since Roman antiquity,” stated Kelley. “In still-life artworks, often trivial and overlooked objects are given significance and meaning. By paying attention to simple and mundane objects, taking them out of their context, we see their beauty.”
Students in Kelley’s advanced drawing workshop include Alexandria Arceneaux, Angel Baise, Chao Dig, Colinda Byrd, Micaela de la Guerra, Morgan Gray, Leah Haight, Jacob Lagasse, Hayley Roussel, Heidi Roussel, Madelyn Smith, Lida Marie Steinkamp, and Annabelle Yates.
The still-life project was prompted by an invitation from local artist and LSU alumnus Scott Finch, director of public programming for art at LASM. Finch asked Kelley if she would be willing to set up a still-life in her workshop from which the students could make observational drawings and then recreate the still-life later, to be shown with the resulting art pieces in the exhibition at the museum. Kelley agreed and said the project has been an excellent opportunity for her students.
The assignment began as a collaborative endeavor. As a class, the students chose objects from Kelley’s thrift-store and flea-market collections, working together to create the still-life. They were instructed to use the still-life as a “reference” for their drawings; they could use traditional drawing media and surfaces, but were not limited to those materials. They began by working from direct observation of the still-life, but they were allowed to take photographs and were encouraged to interpret what they saw in individual and unexpected ways.
Kelley’s advanced drawing workshop is a class for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students of the LSU School of Art. View more work from LSU School of Art classes at design.lsu.edu/art/portfolio. Visit lasm.org for more information about the exhibits.