All for One: Bio.graphic
A Visual Arts Department Collaborative Drawing Exhibition
Drawing Alone – Drawing Together
BioGraphic is a collaborative drawing project joining together individual responses from 180 artists at 4 different art schools in the US and UK.
a multi-layered, connected drawing by 76 members of the NMSA Visual Arts Department students and faculty
8′ x 25′ marker, thread, spray paint, paint on mylar (full image above, details below) 2020
All for One
The Visual Arts Department at NMSA launches each school year with an all department exhibition titled “All for One”.
Students are given a set of gentle parameters and an opportunity to develop their own vision and voice in the creation of a unique artwork.
Visual Arts Instructors and Visual Art student peer mentors meet to guide students through the creative process.
This year’s “All for One” Visual Art Department exhibition features a bold and collaborative approach.
Each student transformed a meter-sized piece of mylar to reveal their own mark and handwriting in a group project called “BioGraphic”, which references the biographical goal of the individual drawings. Our “BioGraphic” is comprised of 76 pieces melded into one large-scale, connected drawing. The final work, measuring 25 feet long and 8 feet tall, whispers with the individual imagery of each artist and roars with a cacophonous, collective voice of resilient creativity as we draw alone and yet together during a pandemic and while learning virtually at home.
Individual Student Drawing Gallery Selections
A Traveling Exhibition – Collaborator & Supporting Partners
NMSA’s large drawing joins other similar projects, with over 180 artist participants, being made by college and university art students and instructors in a traveling exhibition in 2020-21. Participating schools include: Brigham Young University in Provo, UT, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams, MA, and Wirral Metropolitan College, in Liverpool, UK. The BioGraphic Project is largely funded by Brigham Young University and is the collaborative notion of Joe Ostraff, Professor of Painting and Art Department Head at BYU.
The final four large-scale drawings will be displayed at NMSA in the near future.
This project is generously supported by the New Mexico School for the Arts and Art Institute staff, faculty, and leadership and we are ever grateful for the sustained energy of our Board of Trustees and Governing Council. The Visual Arts Department continues to be thankful for the sustaining and essential contributions from the Howard L. Franks Trust, Stranahan Foundation, and Hayes Foundation.
The Creative Process
Thanks to safe distancing measures and drive-thru supply pickup/drop off times, students were able to take part in this engaging, open project. The Visual Art Department set aside three studio afternoons in mid-September to develop ideas, respond to warm up drawing exercises, learn about artists working in related media/mark, provide peer and instructor feedback, and to complete the drawings. Guest Artist Joe Ostraff, Professor of Painting at BYU stopped by our all department virtual meeting to launch the project and share about its collaborative motivation. The project ethos is that drawing together brings us together and despite our differences, we can find common ground and purpose by collective actions like BioGraphic.
Visual Arts Instructors met on campus in early October and arranged the 76 drawings to create a dynamic collective expression. Having set the dimension to 8′ x 25′, we began by creating a lower layer of pattern dominant drawings, then selectively arranged focal point layers, and lastly added and moved drawings to develop a line of action through the composition. It was thrilling to see student’s individual efforts and an extremely enjoyable design challenge to organize the drawings’ relationships.
Take a look! Behind the Scenes Photos and Video below: