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UJ's Spring Art Show opens Monday

The month of March gets very busy at the University of Jamestown. Seniors are getting their robes and caps ordered and everyone on campus is gearing up for commencement May 4. The rest of March and all of April will seem little more than a blur for them. Students who are not yet seniors have other challenges on their agendas. Students taking art classes, whether graduating yet nor not, are in another kind of panic; They have to prepare their work for a required show that opens Monday in the Reiland Fine Arts Center.

Spring semester always has two courses that do not fall under the category: "a piece of cake." Both involve anatomy and both are difficult in different ways. In order to be accepted into the best graduate schools of art, undergraduates must prove they have an understanding of human anatomy as well as portraiture. In figure drawing class, there is an emphasis on body proportions, light, shadow and how realism in drawing depends on those elements.

Figure drawing 2019 has had nearly double the number of students usually taking that class. With the addition of computer graphics design and engineering majors, more students going into those fields are seeing the importance of human anatomy in design. That's a good thing. Architecture, industrial construction and machinery used by people all need to be in proportion to whomever is running or using them. To execute an accurate design they need to know how to include a person to indicate scale and relationship. Instead of having to use "clip-art," free-hand drawings can be uploaded, allowing the designer his or her own original work.

Students planning to go into medicine benefit from figure drawing as well as sculpture classes. It's not unusual to have dental students making skulls, skeletons and teeth in sculpture class. All have to prove they can do a life-sized self-portrait in clay. Some students will make the deadline for Monday's opening, but typically, for the remainder of March, they add their large busts as they are finished and fired.

The show includes printmaking as well as some works done by students in modern art history. With human anatomy a component of the exhibit, impressionable children (and some adults) may want to enter the Reiland directly through the main entrance. Otherwise, the entire exhibit will include examples of students' works from figure drawing class and sculptures.

The exhibit runs from March 18 through April 25 and is open to the public.

Artwork will also be auctioned at UJ's 33rd annual Dine & Bid auction on April 13. Reservations ($75 per person) need to be in by March 29, and tickets can be reserved by calling 252-3467, ext. 5638, or email at at 252-3467.