self as monster portraits on plywood

Self as monster

Students in SUNY Corning Community College’s Drawing II class recently completed bigger than life outdoor art projects that recently welcomed people to campus in the traffic circle.

Now adorning the trails of Spencer Crest Nature and Research Center, the “Self as Monster” projects were a brainstorm of two faculty members: Professor David Higgins and Associate Professor Ryan Hersha. The assignment supports the College’s One Book, One College project, “Frankenstein,” by Mary Shelley, and asked students to take self-portraits, manipulate them in Photoshop, and transfer them to thin, 4’ by 8’ sheets of plywood using a grid system.

“Originally, they were to be scattered around the perimeter road of campus, but I liked them so much I moved them to the traffic circle area at the entrance so more people would see them,” said Higgins. “They looked HUGE when we were working on them in the studio, but they look small in the great outdoors.”

After editing the photos online, the students used acrylic paint to bring the caricatures to life.

“Our whole bodies were engaged,” Alexis Weaver, a student from Watkins Glen who hopes to be a tattoo artist, said. “This was the first time we did something large-scale.”

“Seeing them is a bit of comic relief,” said Marie Gobea, a student from Elmira who aspires to be an art teacher. “It was a great opportunity to be more creative, and they were definitely an exercise in patience – waiting for them to dry.”

People completing the project were Alexis Weaver, Lauryn Martin, Maria Gobea, Sam Rosenzweig, and Elena Ouchinnikova.