Babson Magazine

Winter 2018

When Art Inspires

Photo: Xueying Duanmu ’18

Photo: Xueying Duanmu ’18

Painting pictures with a spray can is tricky, discovered students who attended an unconventional art workshop last semester.

The workshop focused on street art, essentially works of art, often with a message, created in public spaces. Students showing up to the studio in Trim room 215 were handed a canvas and spray cans to fill it with life and color. “I did think that it was a little unusual,” says Oussama Ouadani ’20, one of the 16 or so students who participated. “But I have grown accustomed to the cool but at times atypical events that Babson hosts.”

For sure, “cool and atypical” describes exactly the type of art events that Danielle Krcmar aims to offer to students. In recent years, the associate director of the visual arts has organized a wide mix of workshops, including explorations of mosaics, planters, drip painting, figure drawing, printmaking, and wire sculptures. Students need a creative outlet, she says, especially one that offers a tactile experience in this digital age. “I do think they crave the opportunity to make something with their hands,” Krcmar says. “It’s valuable and grounding.”

Taking time for art also can encourage a fresh perspective. “It relaxes you and opens your mind,” Krcmar says. “Sometimes when you’re focused on creative problem-solving in one area, it can trigger an answer for something else.”

Krcmar organizes about four workshops a year, and all supplies are provided, so students only need to bring their enthusiasm. In the street art workshop, artist Percy Fortini-Wright gave participants a tutorial on using spray paint—how the angle of the can, its distance from the canvas, and the pressure applied to the nozzle all produce different effects. Excited students posted images on Snapchat of their paintings in progress. Joel Mampilly ’18 was so inspired that he and some friends decided to set up their own art nights. “We bring spray paints, acrylics, watercolors, and paper and have a blast,” he says.—John Crawford