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What has gotten you through?

February 23, 2021

Two people doing a "shoot-the-duck" move on roller skates.

Two people doing a "shoot-the-duck" move on roller skates.
Department of Art Lecturer Leslie Barlow skating 2020. Photo: Sarah Dovolos

We asked our Department of Art faculty, staff, and graduate students to share with us some of the delightful things that have helped them get through the past challenging year. (Click the links in their names to see more of what they've been up to.)

Leslie Barlow, Lecturer in Drawing & Painting
Roller Skating!
(Also featured in the photo above.)

Group of roller-skaters relaxing on a playground
Photo: Sarah Dovolos (Leslie is second from the right.)
David Feinberg, Associate Professor in Drawing & Painting
Drawing on newspapers and being silly!

newspaper photo of a person. The photo has been altered with drawing to show their head being tossed around like pizza dough
David Feinberg, Tossing Pizza, drawing on Star Tribune newspaper, late Jan. 2021
Regan Golden-McNerney, Lecturer in Critical Practices
"Collage as a Way of Living," Essay by Regan Golden, published by MARCH: Journal of Art + Strategy, February 2021.

collage of organic and photographic material mostly of plant life
Regan Golden, Garden Remainder, 2020, Digital Color Photograph of Collage made with sod from backyard, cut photographs of garden, Red Maple seedling, mylar, graphite and acrylic on paper, 50 x 36 inches.
Louise Fisher, Lecturer in Digital Drawing
Collage has gotten me through this past year—especially the long and dark winter. I have a collection of scraps from artwork made prior to the pandemic that I'm turning into new pieces. It's been a great way to reflect on the integration of the "before times" and "after times", and pass the time as I waited for access to a community studio again.

Work table with collage images, paper, paint, and other art supplies. A cat sits at the edge of the art space looking at the camera.
Photo: Louise Fisher
Robin Schwartzman, XYZ Lab, DPP Area Technician, Lecturer in 3D Model & Digital Fabrication
Participating in a daily drawing challenge called Caricature Resolution really helped me get through the past year. There was one in January 2020, April 2020, and January 2021. The act of drawing every day for a month from a list of subjects along with hundreds of other artists from around the world helped keep me distracted, focused, and entertained. Challenges like this also help keep drawing skills sharp!

Grid of caricature drawings featuring 30 celebrities
Robin Schwartzman, Caricature Resolution April fools edition, digital drawing
Sayge Carroll, MFA '21
My BFF Keegan Xavi and I created some community-based art exchanges, had regular check-ins, chat-ups, and outdoor fires (until it got too cold). We've been planning art projects, our escape, and making art for ourselves and our people.
My son and I have tried new things (covid safe things) Camping in the BWCA and Dog sledding.
And we got a dog.
Laura Stack, Lecturer in Drawing & Painting
Making art!
Making art allows me to travel … In my mind's eye, I can escape the mundanity of everyday life. Art opens a door to the unlimited world of my imagination. I am no more a slave to gravity, chained down on the earth. I can be a jellyfish deep down in the darkest depths of the ocean or a bird soaring high above the clouds. I am there in that moment, and everything else around me fades away.

Two flowing abstract ink and gouache paintings
Laura Stack, (left image) Life Form 16, 2020, ink & gouache on panel - (right image) Life Form 2, 2019, ink & gouache on panel.
Cody Hilleboe, MFA '22
Music, (more music), podcasts, movies, meditation, exercise.

Big sky over a mountain resort at dusk
Photo: Cody Hilleboe
Shannon Birge Laudon, Administrative Director
KAKE, a neighborhood radio station broadcast from the Pancake House rooftop. Tune your radio to 87.9 (best heard in southeast Minneapolis) and listen in. I love this radio station!
Isa Gagarin, Lecturer in Drawing
I teach foundation drawing, and at the end of every semester my class holds a ceremony to celebrate the students' accomplishments. Each student ceremoniously destroys their least favorite drawing that they made from that semester. It is a cathartic and joyful way to remember that our work is more about the process than the end results. Most students gleefully tear up their chosen drawings into shreds. Fire is not allowed for safety reasons. As an educator, this event has also been meaningful for me: a reminder to allow myself some grace and acceptance about the challenges of this last year.

Drawing with a blurry shoe being thrown at it
Student throwing a shoe at their drawing, 2020, digital photograph; Noor Mroueh
Clarence Morgan, Professor in Drawing & Painting
Reading, journal-writing, listening to jazz, cooking for myself, and making drawings/paintings.

Collage of Clarence's studio, stacks of journals, jazz album covers and delicious food cooking
Some of the many things that have gotten Clarence Morgan through.