Art and Design Department Holds "Draped” Exhibition
The JCU Art and Design Department held an exhibition called “Draped” from November 17 to 19, 2022. The exhibition was organized by painting professors Michele Tocca, Catherine Biocca, and department chair James Gardner. The department offers courses in a range of disciplines, including drawing, graphic design, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, textiles, and video art.
Held in the 17th-century church of Santa Maria del Suffragio in Via Giulia in the center of Rome, the exhibition featured over 50 paintings, creating an immersive space. The show was hosted in the church’s sacristy and annex, which served as a gallery and charity shop. The space mirrored a labyrinth that embodied the nuances of the themes present.
Drapery refers to the depiction in drawing, painting, and sculpture of the folds of clothing. Techniques of rendering drapery distinguish the work of individual artists as well as artistic periods and styles.
“Both students and professors from different classes had the opportunity to exchange thoughts and see each other’s work. It was a learning experience that was a first for many. Visitors’ reactions were extremely positive,” said Professor Tocca. Traditionally, painting students find investigating the formal and metaphoric possibilities of drapery to be academically challenging. Professor Tocca said this difficulty inspired the department’s idea to focus on a subject that radically highlights issues of perception, translation, and abstraction.
Professor Tocca advised students to embrace risk-taking as part of the creative process. He also encouraged students to visit museums and view other artists’ work as inspiration. “Treasure every word said in class and work independently to fully benefit from JCU as an artist,” said Tocca.
Professor Michele Tocca joined JCU’s Department of Art and Design in Fall 2022. He studied in Italy, Belgium, and the U.K., where he earned an M.A. in Painting from the Royal College of Art, in London. He is currently teaching Painting, and Rome Sketchbook.