Art: A Team Sport

Creating art can be a collaborative effort, according to visiting artist Nancy Taplin

Nancy Taplin worked with students in the visual arts classes last week, showing them how art truly can be a team sport.

Holly St. Cyr ’13 and Coral Sabino ’13 were part of an art class where Taplin told them to work on a large-scale project as a group — not on their own individual pieces.

“I find I’m really intrigued by the process; we had to have a lot more dialogue,” said Coral. “We had to make a lot of requests of each other: ‘Oh, I like that, can you do more of that over here’ type stuff.”

Holly agreed.

“It was interesting because we all had to think about it together — we were all creating movement but keeping it balanced at the same time,” she said.

Taplin had students working on large-scale canvases and using large brushes, about 4 inches across to complete their artwork.

At the exhibit opening last Tuesday night, Holly said it was one of her favorite shows that she’s seen at the Lehman gallery. “I love all the movement and feeling you can get from each piece” she said of Taplin’s work, which will be on display in the Lehman gallery until May 3.


Taplin was on hand to answer questions and talk about her work.

Toys Koomplee ’13 asked Taplin how she chose the names of the pieces, and she admitted that if she had her choice she wouldn’t name any of them. She said she usually finds inspiration by picking up the New York Times and finding words she likes.

“When I start, it’s just the painting and then you see what happens. And then eventually something happens and you have to pay attention to that,” she said of her process.

Visual Arts teacher Lynn McLoughlin said what she enjoys the most is that “you can still see the process” in Taplin’s work. “It feels like she’s just stopped working.”

Taplin noted that “The strange thing about being a painter is that you do the work and then you hang it, and then suddenly it’s not yours. You’re on to something else.”

To learn more about Taplin, click here. To read about the Lehman Art Center, click here.

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