Campus & Community

At Carpenter Center, an explosion of creativity

4 min read

Where art reinforces life, and life art

As he runs his framed orange and yellow silkscreen painting under a bath, Chris Chow ’20 relishes his time in Annette Lemieux’s “Silkscreen” class. Behind him, Zoe Oz ’17 and James Jacoby ’19 create a kind of figure study of their own as they huddle to share the sink. The building’s renowned architect, Le Corbusier, intended that a flurry of creative activity would happen in these spaces, and he designed the 1963 building to reflect the geometrical proportions of the human body itself. Within theses spaces, art imitates life just as much as the life imitates art.

Outside, under a canopy of autumnal color, Katarina Burin teaches “Drawing Room: Space as Framework,” in which students work in black charcoal, etching the outline of the Carpenter Center. “I often have the students in my classes draw this building. It is full of moments that frame our view and allow you to look through deep open spaces where inside and outside continuously merge and disorient our experience in the most exciting ways,” said Burin. “The angles are stunning, and the light casts beautiful shadows on the concrete. It is an active space that begs for our unceasing creativity.”

Zoe Oz ’17 creates primary color monotypes using boxes and mixed-media during Silkscreen, taught by Annette Lemieux, in the Carpenter Center.
In Silkscreen, Chris Chow ’20 sponges away pastel paint from silhouetted images of chairs. “In my classes I attempt to create a supportive experimental environment that supports my student’s individual interest—content, ways of working, modes of representation,” said Lemieux.
James Jacoby ’19 (right) carries a drawing on acetate into the darkroom to create a new silkscreen frame, while Chris Chow ’20, (left) and Zoe Oz ’17 share sink space together.
Justin Jiang, GSD student, applies generous amounts of black acrylic paint to his abstract painting during Lemieux’s class.
Alexa Oord ’17 carries a plaster head for a project that incorporates the manipulation of found and original imagery in the fourth floor studios.
Michael Rothberg ’17 paints during Stephen Prina’s Lay of the Land class where students work independently in the studio space in the fifth floor studios.
Hope Green ’20 (left) sketches a crescent form with pencil as Ryan Lucero, teaching assistant, looks on during Lay of the Land. Prina explains the creative cosmos inside and outside the studio, “The space depicted is merely a formal limitation, because the world is our studio.”
Anna Hopper, Ph.D. candidate, paints on acetate and paper during Stephen Prina’s Lay of the Land class. “Every studio is filled with its own personality and provocations. They also provide solid working spaces; open expanses; and airy and light-filled rooms,” said Matt Saunders, assistant professor of visual and environmental studies.
GSD student Jane Zhang studies a wall used for brainstorming visual sequences during Stephen Prina’s Lay of the Land class.
Laura Chapman ’20 clips out hand drawn flowers and castles for a diorama during Lay of the Land. Inspired by a freshman seminar about folklore, Chapman is inspired by stories that are “separate yet existing in the same realm. I love being around an incredibly diverse group of people engaging in very different projects who inspire each other to experiment in new ways and to expand our understanding of what art is.”
During Drawing Room: Space as Framework, Katarina Burin, (center) lecturer on visual and environmental studies teaches Branson Doyle Laszlo ’18 and Hope Green ’20 (left) on the lawn of the Carpenter Center.
Katarina Burin (center) and Harry Choi ’16, teaching assistant (upper left) support students as they create charcoal drawings of the Carpenter Center. “Teaching here is a very special experience, the building is one of the most beautiful and unique buildings in the world— I love that it is still being used for its original purpose” said Burin.