By Colter Hettich, Student Reporter
Students from the Department of Art and Design have assembled a petition for a nude figure drawing class.
In the proposal the class is optional. A faculty member would be present at each meeting, and he or she would supervise at all times. The proposal is still being edited and refined by the students leading the effort; no faculty members have involved themselves so far, and none were available for comment.
Matt Young, senior two-dimensional studio art major from Abilene, has already taken Figure Drawing I and II and says he believes having a live, nude figure is a necessary part of the
learning process. Young is leading the initiative and has more than 100 signatures on his petition alone. He estimates the other five petition holders collectively have at least 200 more.
Current ACU models must cover the crotch and buttocks, and female models must cover the breasts. But for many artists, any clothing is too much.
Young said certain articles of clothing, such as boxer shorts, briefs and athletic shorts, cover key joints and distort the artist’s perception of the body.
“It’s really no different than saying a doctor needs to study nude cadavers,” he said. “I want to learn to draw the human figure with clothes. I mean we’re all clothed most of the time, but the nude figure comes first.”
Recently a local television station filmed a segment on the figure drawing class. Dr. Jack Maxwell, chair of the Department of Art and Design, confirmed that the university received at least one letter from viewers of the broadcast. The letter expressed concerns with a lack of modesty.
Young said that a Christian perspective should allow for even more reasons to study the nude figure.
“From a Christian perspective we were made in God’s image, and we are supposed to be a beautiful creation,” Young said. “The nude figure should not be taboo. By requiring models to cover parts of their body, we are censoring God’s masterpiece.”
The timelessness of the nude figure and its prevalence in religious works only support his cause, Young said.
“The same people that oppose having a nude figure would walk into Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel and say,’ God is in this,'” he said. “And it’s full of nudes.”
After refining the proposal, Young plans to take it and the petition to the administration.
-AU NATURALE NOTION-
Gordon College, a small private Christian college in Boston, Mass., offers the option of taking a nude figure drawing class or opting out if the student thinks the class is a “violation of conscience.”
On the college’s Web site, the policy states, “We have chosen in the Art Department at Gordon College to work respectfully with the human figure attempting to bring honor and glory to God in the process. We base this, in a Christian context, on a time-honored professional practice, holding the belief that the human form is the crowning achievement of God in Creation … The context of the encounter determines the meaning of the unclothed form. An operating theater in a hospital has a drastically different meaning from that of a strip joint. An art studio with students or artists surrounding a model is akin to the operating theater. Knowledge is being gained, and a professional activity is being practiced… Christians ought to reclaim cultural territory surrendered to their secular counterparts and redeem this territory for
All information courtesy of http://www.gordon.edu/