Drawing Into Space: UNC Charlotte Students Going Beyond 2D

By Hollis Hammonds, 2016 UNC Charlotte Artist-in-Residence

In January, at the start of my residency here at McColl Center, I began working with Susan Brenner, an Associate Professor of Painting in the Department of Art & Art History at UNC Charlotte, and 16 students on an exploration of “drawing and its relationship to 3-dimensional space.” Our project, Drawing Into Space, asks the students to consider how drawing, a traditionally two-dimensional art form, can be expanded into three dimensions. Our end goal is to present new collaborative works in an exhibition at the Rowe Galleries at UNC Charlotte from March 17-30, 2016. 

My own creative practice, which is primarily based on drawing as a way of thinking about art making and space-making, was the inspiration for our course and project. Over the years, my drawings have gradually become more and more 3-dimensional in their installation. I’ve been working in multiples for many years, using drawing as a form of documentation, collecting and memorializing important events, tragedies, and personal narratives. I’ve also been exploring other materials, using wood veneer strips for example to create 3-dimensional drawings of storm and wave patterns. 


Hollis Hammonds, Storm Patterns, 2012, wood veneer drawing, size variable (Photo: McColl Center for Art + Innovation)

I knew that I wanted to work with experimental drawing practices for my collaboration with UNC Charlotte, but it was Susan who suggested focusing on drawing moving into 3-dimensional space for our class, and I eagerly accepted.

It’s already February and halfway through our project, which has consisted of multiple drawing assignments—some traditional and some more experimental. We began the semester with representational drawings emphasizing the illusion of space. Next, each student was asked to create 20 drawings of a single object; then, working in groups, the students created collage-like wall installations. 


Students working on the 20 drawings project (Photo: Hollis Hammonds)

Our third project focused on layering images, moving from representation toward abstraction using translucent drafting film, lithography crayons, and ink. This led us to a cut paper and collage project where students explored not only juxtaposing images to create the illusion of space, but also cut and sculpted paper forms that reached out of the 2-dimensional picture plane. Our final experiments included tape and string drawings, and drawings on sculptural cardboard forms. In addition to these hands on drawing assignments, each student has been doing artist research and posting it to our group blog

In a few weeks, the students will present their proposals for collaborative drawing installations for our upcoming exhibition. The class will choose the best proposals, and then we will work on executing their concepts. I’m excited about the potential results. 

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Drawing Into Space: Works by McColl Center and UNC Charlotte Artist-in-Residence Hollis Hammonds and Students of the Department of Art & Art History is on view from March 17-30, 2016 at UNC Charlotte College of Art + Architecture’s Rowe Galleries. An Artist Lecture will take place on March 17 at 4:00 PM, followed by an Opening Reception from 5:00-7:00 PM.

Hollis Hammonds is a 2016 UNC Charlotte Artist-in-Residence here at McColl Center.