Art Scholarship Challenges Student in New Media

As the recipient of The Courtney Donald Art Scholarship, Caroline Boardman ’22 spent three weeks (virtually) in an intensive workshop at the Art Institute of Chicago this past June and July. Selecting a drawing and painting course, Boardman produced ten works using a variety of media.

In the course of the class, the instructor exposed the students to a wide range of contemporary artists and discussed different styles of art, composition, light, and shadow. The students then applied their learning to the canvas. One inventive project had the students deconstructing frames. In Boardman’s case, she decorated the frame and situated it in front of various household items or placed the items spilling out from the frame, raising the prosaic to the level of a fine objet d’art.

Favoring paint and colored pencils, one of the challenges that Boardman confronted was working in a new medium: pastels. “I’m accustomed to paint which is easier to work with since it’s smooth and even. Chalk doesn’t do that. It hangs out in certain areas and more difficult to spreads out,” she said. Another area of growth for Boardman was color matching and she shared that she learned a lot about layering and building out color.

After the students worked on their art, they presented it to their peers who offered their feedback. “It’s an intense atmosphere where you’re sitting there with everyone else’s art,” Boardman said. “It’s shocking at first, but once the second week rolled around you grew used to it.  Everyone says something positive but then they would say ‘Maybe keep working on this’ or ‘Try doing this’ or  “I found that this works best.’ You’re always harder on yourself.”

Although Boardman has painted since her younger days, she picked up painting in earnest during the pandemic as a means to cope with the uncertainty and stress of the time. “Art classes and art I need to have for myself. I enjoy making these pieces because I can put my imagination on paper, and I can get it out into the world,” she said. “It’s something that is almost meditative for me. I can just sit down and focus on something and zone out and find something that I am proud of, and I don’t stop until I’m proud of it. It’s very rewarding.”
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