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Blake Gallery to feature work of Provenzano's fundamentals of art and drawing classes

May 2, 2003

NR03083

The University of Maine at Fort Kent Blake Library Gallery is featuring the work of students in Therese Provenzano's fundamentals of art and drawing classes through May 15.

An opening for the exhibit will be held on Wednesday, May 7, from 11:00 a.m. through 12:00 noon, to provide the public with an opportunity to meet students in the fundamentals of art class and the instructor.

Provenzano has studied at the National Academy of Design in New York and the Philadelphia College of Art, where she earned her bachelor of fine arts in painting. Her drawings have awarded her with numerous prizes and recognition, and most recently an artist in residency grant at the Vermont Studio Center.

"My main objective in the drawing class was for students to discover and develop an understanding of the different approaches an artist can take to create a visual image by using wet and dry mediums on different paper surfaces. Drawing is a visual language that is not solely limited to rendering a depiction of reality. I find that students come to me wanting to learn this and realize later that the approach they choose to take in the act of drawing determines the outcome. That the craft of drawing is far more exciting when an intuitive, personalized response occurs," said Provenzano.

To encourage a new way of seeing and break the fear barrier, Provenzano began the course by having students work on group collaborative drawings in charcoal.

The class also studied the works of such artists as Georges Sevrat, Giorgio Morandi, Alberto Giacometti, Arthur Dove, and John Singer Sargent.

The show on exhibit at UMFK also honors Brett Labbe, who is awarded the Gretchen Prize in Fine Arts, which is awarded to a student that shows exceptional initiative and industry in the visual arts with outstanding academic performance.

"Art has the ability to tell stories without a word ever being written. The stories could be ones of hope and happiness or of sorrow and hate. They can depict the struggle of life or be as simple as a can of Campbell's Soup," said Labbe. "I can speak volumes through my art without ever saying a word. Art allows me to go someplace free from the worries of the world or use those worries to help create it."

Other students echo Labbe's sentiments.

"In taking this course, the thing I thought was of the most value was developing the ability to stop and look. The second thing that surprised me was how much energy the use of line could create on the page," said Rebecca Flanagan.

The main objective of the fundamentals of art class was to give an understanding of the language used in a work of art through practical application. The course emphasized basic elements and principles found in art and design, as well as skills with techniques and materials explored.

According to Provenzano, the course continually challenges students to the problem solving nature of the art process. It also serves, for beginners, as a foundation class for drawing or painting.

Most of the students in the class had little or no art experience.

Assignments ranged from working in pastels, watercolors, charcoal, conte, graphite and ink, to working with collage, both three-dimensionally and two-dimensionally, emphasizing or using materials through value and color, in representational and abstract imagery.

"The thing that took me by surprise the most was how professional the course was run. I think this is an important part of the way a classroom is put together and is a big benefit to the students," said Kelsey Landry.

For more information on the exhibit, contact Blake Library Gallery curator Sophia Birden at 834-7527.