The methods used to teach in the Art & Design disciplines, recognizing the great amount of diversity among students, should always focus on highlighting the value of individuality in the creative process.
This was the central lesson of a workshop delivered by Linda Swanson, the recognized visual artist and American scholar, to first-year students in the Design and Visual Arts programs at Universidad Viña del Mar (UVM).
The Chair of the Art Department at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design in the United States spent a week in Chile, where she participated in a series of activities with UVM professors and students.
At UVM's downtown campus, she showed drawings to the workshop students that she created. These drawings reflect every day, but unique, situations and events, like the momentary silhouette a person leaves behind after lying on a bed. All of the drawings were small in size, but are brought together to constitute a larger work.
"Later, Professor Swanson gathered the students in a circle and asked them to breathe and then to draw circles according to the rhythm of their breathing. Although students were all doing the same thing and initially moved in similar patterns, the eventual result was a series of very different circles, which brought together, formed a collective work. This exercise highlighted the importance and uniqueness of the individual in the creative process. We can all start from the same point with the same objectives and even use the same methods, but end up building something unique and different." said Allan Garviso, academic leader of UVM's Design program.
In the U.S., Linda Swanson's work has focused on training visual artists. In addition to her work at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, her work has been featured in exhibitions in New York and other leading art centers around the world.