Back to Blog September 1, 2021

Always Drawing, Always Painting Student Exhibition on View at Tyler

Author: Carin Whitney

Tyler School of Art and Architecture is proud to present Always Drawing, Always Painting, a survey of more than 40 new paintings and works on paper by 15 current and recently graduated painting students, some with majors in art education and entepeneurial studies.

Curated by Tyler painting faculty members Dona Nelson, Mark Shetabi and Ricardo Zapata, the show offers a shot of creative energy at the start of the semester—and following a year-plus of remote instruction, it is an exceptionally welcome sight. 

Masquerade Party, Oil on Canvas, Kyra Stetler (BFA '21) 

The works range in size from intimate to expansive, and their subjects run the gamut from figure and landscape studies to lyrical narratives and collages. 

For Shetabi, an associate professor, and his co-curators Nelson and Zapata, Always Drawing, Always Painting reflects the reality that in any year—not only in a pandemic year—everyone has personal, political, or social issues to contend with. Artists grapple by always drawing and painting. This year, he said, the students’ work was particularly urgent. 

Untitled, Ink on Paper, Meghan Ealanora Isaacs (BFA '21) 

“I'm always impressed with the level of seriousness and honesty that Tyler students bring to their work. But this year, we've all been dealing with stress in many ways, and it was inspiring to see how the students worked through it despite the difficulties.” Shetabi says. 

“One minute students are uncertain and coasting and dabbling, and then all of a sudden — POW! — you see something happen in the work. It might have to do with a particular material or approach that seems to rhyme with the thought flow. This year, there seemed to be something very urgent driving that discovery.” 

Untitled, Acrylic on Canvas, Sarah Rowley (BFA '21) 

Always Drawing, Always Painting presents those discoveries. While the painting program normally shows work by more students, the curators were limited to what students could provide. That meant more pieces by fewer artists—but presented the opportunity to show an artist’s thought process more in-depth.  

“One student made a series of about 10 exquisite watercolors, and it is great to be able to share that whole body of work. Another student made a series of six or seven heroic images of women, and it's really interesting to see them as a collection.” 

Indeed, virtual life has been challenging for everyone. But the great thing about painting and drawing, Shetabi says, “is that you can do it from just about anywhere—painters have always worked in small, cramped, badly lit spaces.” 

Always Drawing, Always Painting is on view in the first floor atrium and hallways at Tyler School of Art and Architecture through September 2021.  

Featured Artists

Allison Alfieri
Judy Estevez 
Helen Felice 
Voa Giuong 
Bryan Henninger 
Meghan Ealanora Isaacs
Henry Morales
Rebekah Myers 
Peter Naktin
Zach Olynik 
Oliver Papadopoulos 
Sarah Rowley 
Lily Sayben 
Sophie Stasio 
Kyra Stetler 
Rachael Vince