Isabel Figueroa, Assistant Leader of the Family Art Project, has completed a BFA in photography at St. John’s University and graduated from the General Studies Certificate program at the International Center of Photography. Here, she shares her perspective on a recent project, complete with images she took that weekend.
It was great to have Visiting Artist Ander Mikalson working with us on our installation for Drawn to Nature Weekend. Called Drawing a Line through Wave Hill, this project was a fantastic chance for collaborative artwork! We began in the Ecology Building, where families were greeted warmly by our storyteller extraordinaire, Rama Mandal, pictured here. Rama helped get families inspired to draw with these four stories: The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds, Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson, Andrew Drew and Drew by Barney Saltzberg and Vincent’s Colors, a book produced by the Metropolitan Museum. Each story encompassed ideas of creativity and inspiration and each captured the adventure of drawing. And adventurous the project was!
The first stage was drawing. We created images by drawing on watercolor paper with white and yellow crayons, and then dipping the paper into watercolor paint. Initially, there wasn’t much to see, but dipping into the paints was like magic: the watercolor paint adhered to the paper, but only around our crayon drawings. This technique, called resist, was something we learned from Ander. We also drew on transparency paper with oil pastels.
The drawings were brought out to the roof of the Ecology building and the Lower Lawn, where we created an installation. This was the best part. Drawings were tied to sticks collected from around Wave Hill, and then placed in the ground. As the weekend went on, our line grew and grew, just as Andrew drew and drew in our story!
With over 200 contributions, our line of drawing worked its way up the hill. Many visitors stopped to photograph it, kids made a game out of running along or hopping over it and we even taught some families who were photographing their drawings how to get down in front of them and capture the ground and the sky through their transparencies. With the colors of nature as our base, and the ability to see right through some of the drawings as they swayed in the breeze and became part of the landscape, families were certainlydrawn to nature.
New York City-based artist Ander Mikalson works with elements of performance, sound, sculpture, time and drawing. She received an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and a BA from the College of Creative Studies at the University of California Santa Barbara. Most recently, she attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Her work has been shown in Sweden, Ecuador, Austria and throughout the United States.