Conceptual Drawing Studio (2018)

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In 2017 and 2018, I was developing a persona as an extraction of myself. She is not conflicted about, but rather embraces the parts of me that I find problematic or confusing. She is very femme, completely curious about people and places, obsessed with drawing, unaware of how people perceive her, and somewhat a-political. She is friendly and willing to do whatever it takes to help someone feel comfortable. She might be quiet sometimes, but she’s a great teacher. You might call her “girlish.”

This persona was the director of the Conceptual Drawing Studio, and I performed as her eight hours a day for six weeks in a store front in North Portland. The space was filled with drawing supplies, books on drawing, an archive of drawings people made while they were there or sent me from other places, and my actual drawing archive from throughout my life. I used this time to reflect on how drawing is taught, and I wrote a syllabus for a hypothetical drawing course.

There was weekly programming including drawing workshops for local children, college students and the public, lectures, and an exhibition opening. Additionally, my persona hosted a live “TV Show” modeled after Reading Rainbow which featured artists and their friends who love drawing. I invited six local artists, and I asked them each to bring a friend they’d like to discuss drawing with on the show. The show also had an “audience” made of cardboard dogs because I think family pets are a common audience for drawings.

This project was funded as a residency in the Working Library at c3:initiative in Portland, OR.

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Making drawings out of cheetos and fabric with the  Autistic Community Activities Program (ACAP) .

Making drawings out of cheetos and fabric with the Autistic Community Activities Program (ACAP).

Pancake drawing workshop at Slappy Cakes in SE Portland.

Pancake drawing workshop at Slappy Cakes in SE Portland.

Looking for drawings in the sky with The Living School of Art.

Looking for drawings in the sky with The Living School of Art.

Portland Community College students reviewing and critiquing my high school AP portfolio, featuring 12 paintings of me as a cat.

Portland Community College students reviewing and critiquing my high school AP portfolio, featuring 12 paintings of me as a cat.

Filming an episode of the drawing show with Kate Bingaman-Burt, Lisa Jarrett, and Beatrice Red Star Fletcher.

Filming an episode of the drawing show with Kate Bingaman-Burt, Lisa Jarrett, and Beatrice Red Star Fletcher.

Final exhibition.

Final exhibition.

As part of c3:initiative’s program to celebrate the end of the Working Library, I performed one last time as the director of CDS. This time, I invited people to tell me something they wished drawing could do, and then, during the exhibition opening, I painted a rug that was used in the original installation with all their dreams.

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