Drawing Room

illustration of girl holding a book20 September 2022, Gallery X, QCC's newly named Student Gallery opens its debut show, Drawing Room.  Initially a solo exhibition for recent alumnus, Sigrid Stode, the show gives way to a platform supporting a range of style and stages of "finish".  Present, are five QCC artists making work not tied to a formal exercise or assignment, and, significantly, with one or two exceptions, the work was produced outside of the classroom; telling of personal preoccupations, influence and process.  Stode's suite is an earnest somewhat wry reflection of her/our world; recorded with idiosyncratic mark-making, they are brilliant stand-alone drawings with accomplished aesthetic brevity.  In marked contrast, Blackman and Khowong are both unabashedly inspired by animation. It's a practice I see often though with important distinctions here.  Khowong's are "concept drawings".  They are deliberately exploratory, executed in pencil, characters are rendered with specificity, convincingly suspended from a larger narrative and the industrial complex neatly set in the background demonstrates attention to detail and commitment to figure and ground.  Blackman's drawing of “Natsu” is not unique though the clean line work is commendable it is the original character to the left of “Natsu” that warrants attention.  Lessons learned copying animation are brought to fruition in Blackman's "Why Not" character - an original and more personal representation; keenly adapted loopy stylized dreads and roomy garb better suit Blackman's identity.  The softly eroticized female character perhaps raises an eyebrow.  Questions of gender representation, shifting expectations of/for the artist/audience are broached.  Huh's work pulled from her sketchbook is admirable for its at once spontaneous and obsessive line work.  The seemingly dashed off girl in profile is brilliant, I love the resistance to isolate and make precious. And the inky angst figures in comic exaggeration steer clear of Goth clichés.  F. Mosqueda is a multi- media artist, she's already enjoyed recognition as an artist with two drawings and a digital animation in the 2022 Juried Student Exhibition.   The portraits are precise and accurately rendered, as well, successful in the decided attention to composition, "design" is overt; deliberate choice of mark and line, the space is intentionally filled, acknowledging the edges of her frame.  Her "pillow" floats engagingly, a weighty tonal burst in a pristine white space.

Gallery X is a student gallery, a space one expects will highlight and honour those young artists demonstrating extraordinary creative technique and vision. Drawing Room, presents, goes a little under and a little behind the expected finished works.  As an inaugural exhibition it's fitting; drawing is fundamental, let's encourage the beginning artist who maybe only copies now, acknowledge solid choices, praise good habits and validate the semi-private, kinda personal, maybe a little different, wonky, funky, hip explorations of young artists.  Fly your flags folks.

Drawing Room: Anthony Blackman, Michelle Huh, Kevin Khowong

Fabianna F. Mosqueda and Sigrid Stode

A. Coffey

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