Figure Drawing Club Spotlight

By Andrew Tyrrell, Managing Editor

After the departure of former president Elizabeth Santoro, sophomores Melissa Hacunda and Michael Helou have taken over UMass Dartmouth’s Figure Drawing Club, where they look to maintain the stability that has been established.

Figure drawing is the art of drawing the nude human figure using different media and from varying angles. Some of the most famous artists in history have engaged in figure drawing, such as da Vinci, Michelangelo, Albrecht Durer, and Rembrandt.

Many artists are encouraged to study figure drawing to improve their skill sets and their ability to draw from real life.

The Figure Drawing Club at UMass Dartmouth is an extracurricular outlet for students to gather and practice making artwork together.

Outside of the confines of a traditional classroom setting, the Figure Drawing Club also encourages artists to experiment beyond the more traditional media used to put a picture on paper or canvas.

“Some of our club members draw digitally and some bring their paints and really go crazy with it! I have even seen some sculpture students bring clay,” says Michael Helou, a sophomore illustration and digital media double major, who currently serves as the Vice President of the club.

While some may be turned off by the idea of practicing art that requires sitting and looking at a nude stranger, current President Melissa Hacunda, a sophomore graphic design and textile design major, told The Torch that before taking her current position she “enjoyed going to the club right after my classes on Wednesdays. Drawing in this type of environment is relaxing for me after a long day and I looked forward to Wednesday nights every week.”

Not only does the club look to help artists hone their skills, but it can also help art students who may have missed a class make up the work they’ve missed, or those who are looking for extra credit in life drawing classes, so long as their professor’s approve.

“But what if I’m not an art major?” you may ask yourself. Not to worry.

“The Figure Drawing Club functions as a resource for students of all majors who want to draw the nude figure in their spare time,” Hacunda says. “The Club invites anyone from any major to draw. We are not specifically organized for art students, or even current UMass Students.”

Both Hacunda and Helou have expressed to The Torch their happiness at the expansion of the club beyond the immediate student body of UMass Dartmouth. “Lately we’ve had a few locals attend the sessions as well, which is awesome,” Hacunda says.

Although the club’s primary function is to provide an arena for people to improve their artistic abilities and to show an artistic appreciation for the nude figure, the club also takes regular field trips to New York City to a museum.

While there will be no significant changes to the club after Santoro’s departure, Helou has said that the club looks to increase its fundraising so that more members can attend these field trips.

The Figure Drawing Club meets every Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in CVPA 355, unless the university is on break or has a holiday. All are welcome.

“I encourage those who love the aesthetic beauty of the human body to join our sessions. We offer good company, always fun and sometimes enlightening conversation, interesting subjects to draw, good music, and sometimes food,” says Hacunda.

For more information on the club and getting involved, please contact or

Photo Courtesy: Figure Drawing Club

Leave a Reply