Since the 1930's Mid-America College Art Association has provided a forum for the artists/teachers of America to discuss and debate the issues of our profession, to share ideas and information of mutual benefit and to affirm the friendships and collegiality that bind us together. We are made up of art faculty, art historians, independent scholars, artists, museum professionals, and affiliate organizations; our conferences also invite graduate students to participate.



2020 CAA Conference 

Feb. 12-15,  Chicago, Il.


"Art and Design Pedagogy: A Fresh Start with Drawing Exercise"

Session Chairs: Chung-Fan Chang, Stockton University & Ann Kim, Indiana University East


Friday, Feb. 14, 8:30 am, Salon C-6

Drawing is essential to train one’s ability to retain knowledge by looking, and looking immediately engage one in a questioning or wondering way. Drawing is about appearance, and to encounter that by contemplating. It is also about learning the self and one’s interpretation and expression of the world. How do we continue engage students in a fresh approach of drawing and to stimulate inquisitiveness through drawing? This session welcome innovative drawing exercise from meditative process to digital manipulation, static to performative, traditional to site-specific, and beginning to advanced. Studio practice that engage innovate drawing process are welcome. How do we forester a learning community through drawing exercise with a mix of curiosity, drive, collaboration and humanity? How do we continue to push and redefine its boundary?

“Writing Texture”
Chung-Fan Chang, Stockton University

Drawing is a means to describe texture on everyday objects, challenge students to attend to details, and to train students to be relaxed and be intense when drawing. It boils down to how students observe, express, imagine and interpret. This presentation focus on two projects, "Daily Object" and "Brush Drawing," that address drawing in flux, both for art and non-art majors. The Daily Object Project explores drawing in gallery setting using color ball-point pens and drawing directly on dry walls. The project involves students to digital documenting the drawing process and record the sound/act of drawing while investigating abstract drawing. The Brush Drawing Project explores the fluidity of the line and line weight created by varies brushes on rice paper and focuses on texture building for creative experimentation in traditional Chinese Ink landscapes.

“Making Drawing as Expanded Practice Accessible: a Large Scale, Collaborative,
Installation Driven Approach”
Amanda Burnham, Towson University

When my own drawing practice evolved from the making of intimate, mono-focal, plein air ink and water media drawings to massive, dimensional, multi-focal collage installations (as a way of more powerfully evoking the totality of the urban spaces that inspired them) I began to consider the potential of the process I was developing in the classroom as a way to teach students both a novel manner of researching content (exploding the sketchbook outside of the bounds of the book) as well as an accessible way of connecting them to the idea of drawing as expanded media. Today, I lead students of extremely various ages, levels of experience, and contexts in workshops which lead them to the production of large scale, dimensional, collaborative collage drawing installations. These workshops are able to fit any number of conceptual concerns (the collage process allows for a multifocal exploration of any idea – not just built landscape) while giving students confidence in large scale, gestural drawing, drawing with light and shadow, making connections between formally disparate parts, and constructing spatially. The processes are cheap, accessible, and easily learned; the results are physically impressive and emboldening; and, along the way, students connect powerfully to the importance of research, the relationship of form to content, the value of collaboration and differing points of view, and the possibility for drawing to vitally exist beyond the page.

“Self Portrait: Diptych”
Barbara Giorgio-Booher, Ball State University

Self-portraits and “drawing from life” are a common experience of art students. The subject of the self-portrait has evolved to be reflective of both the art curriculum and that of society and the social roles students play. I introduce a self-portrait assignment that is based on observation, is self-reflective, and also explores different modes of drawing on different surfaces; one a schematic line drawing with a rendering on tan paper and the other limited to linear mark making on black paper. Students explore different ways to juxtapose the two images while introducing a narrative that helps to unifying the double self-portrait. The self-portrait is based upon a likeness, but also reflects their age, identity, gender, ethnicity, and status. I will provide a framework for appreciating portraiture by looking at artists such as Egon Schiele, Frida Kahlo, Jenny Saville, Kehinde Wiley, among others; the development of preliminary sketchbook studies, and a final look at how the student is treated as subject of their double self-portrait.

“Inhabiting Drawing”
Marian Macken, University of Auckland, New Zealand

This paper examines embodied and performative drawing practices within the disciplines of art, architecture and, more broadly, spatial practice. In particular, the notion of the inhabitation of drawing will be discussed through an examination of two projects: ‘In-place and in-time’, the outcomes of a series of postgraduate seminars examining time and representation; and ‘Drawing the room | Drawing within the room’, the presenter’s ongoing collaborative design research project. ‘In-place and in-time’ records phenomena, whilst the drawers are in their presence, through a designed temporal framework. This asks the drawer to both observe and record the world as dynamic, requiring active receptivity. Rather than the drawn outcomes of this observation recording a past time, the notion of experiential time – and an expanded present – is embedded in the act of drawing. These process of observation and performative drawing alludes to Edmund Husserl’s expression of a ‘thickened present’ (Kern, 1983, 83). ‘Drawing the room |Drawing within the room’ couples projective drawings with or creative post-occupancy data of built houses. Using motion capture technology, the movements of inhabitation are captured and translated to line work animations. The resulting drawings are projected full scale, exhibited in the space of the architectural office, the site of conceiving and production of both drawings and architecture. Both these projects highlight drawing’s temporality and the ways in which bodies and drawings intersect. The ramifications for the role of drawing in both pedagogy and research practices will be discussed through this lens of the inhabitation of drawing.


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