Dispatches: Drawing with Children in Morocco, Part 1

Last year, Phillips Head Librarian Karen Schneider spent time in the High Atlas Mountains, Morocco, teaching drawing to school children. She recounts the experience in this two-part blog post.

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The view!

From Marrakesh, it was a journey of an hour and a half to the Ouirgane Valley in the High Atlas Mountains, a remote, little visited region of Morocco. We were deep in the countryside when the driver pulled up to a grove of olive, fig and pomegranate trees. There we met with a guide who asked me if I was okay with walking to our destination, the only primary school in the area, where my travel agent had made arrangements for me to teach drawing to children. As I entered the Marigha school, it took me a moment to adjust from the bright sunlight to the dark and dingy interior.

Thirty-two pairs of eyes were fixed on me with a mixture of curiosity and shock. The school didn’t have drawing paper, crayons, magic markers or art supplies in general, my travel agent alerted me in advance. I came with all of the above and the teacher, Abdellah Ait Ougadir, a relaxed, friendly man who had excellent rapport with the students, helped me to distribute art supplies as did my guide and the driver.

Check back tomorrow for Part 2.

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Students at work

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Students at work

What’s in a Boxing Glove?

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Whitfield Lovell, Bleck, 2008. Conté crayon on wood and boxing gloves, 44 1/2 x 21 x 11 in. Courtesy DC Moore Gallery © Whitfield Lovell and DC Moore Gallery, New York

Tableaux such as Bleck, showing boxing gloves dangling from a female figure, are examples of Whitfield Lovell testing assumptions and pressing us to “think a little deeper.” Why do we see a woman and not a man with these boxing gloves? Lovell has altered our usual frame of reference. When we view the gloves less literally, the combination may suggest the woman’s perseverance, strength, and struggle.

Whitfield Lovell: The Kin Series and Related Works is on view through Jan. 8, 2017.

Spotlight on Intersections@5: Linn Meyers

The Phillips celebrates the fifth anniversary of its Intersections contemporary art series with Intersections@5, an exhibition comprising work by 20 of the participating artists. In this blog series, each artist writes about his or her work on view.

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Linn Meyers, Untitled, 2014. Gift of Lucinda and Carlos Garcia

The unmediated directness of making a drawing is the result of a line being an extension of the hand and the body. The line is universal.

At the Time Being was a site-specific wall drawing made in response to Van Gogh’s The Road Menders. I chose Van Gogh’s work as a starting point because the method that the artist used to apply paint to his canvases shares some of the same qualities of a drawing.

Twenty-five years ago, I began my career as a painter. Over time I became enamored with the distilled qualities of drawing, and eventually drawing became my primary focus.

While working on the Intersections project in 2010, however, I found that I was not only drawing on the wall, but also using a paintbrush to enhance the image. That return to painting as a mode of expression during the project at the Phillips has stuck with me, and Untitled, 2014 is evidence of that. The piece blends drawing and painting; it puts the two modes of expression on equal footing. The lines in Untitled, 2014 have a calligraphic quality that was achieved with a paintbrush; however, the act of making a line is, in and of itself, an act of drawing.

Linn Meyers