By Jonathan Perreira, Staff Writer
One of the best parts about attending UMass Dartmouth is the dozens of student organizations that offer endlessly different experiences. So, if you’re feeling particularly artsy, the Figure Drawing Club may peak your interest.
The club is run by co-presidents Michael Helou and Melissa Hacunda, both of whom have been members of the club as early as their freshman years. Michael is a junior illustration major and Melissa is a junior graphic design and textile design major.
They run the Figure Drawing Club alongside Kailey Barrows and their advisor Suzy Schireson.
The club meets every Wednesday from 6-8 p.m. in the Center of Visual and Performing Arts room 355. Although the club runs for two hours, attendees are welcome to come and go as they please.
When I asked Michael who can attend Figure Drawing Club, he informed me that it was a community event.
He said, “The club is not limited to art students. Whether you are a UMass Dartmouth student, an alumni, or someone who belongs to the community, you can and definitely should attend our sessions.”
Recently, an influx of Dartmouth locals have been attending the sessions, which has excited the e-board. The club always features a nude model, and students of all media are invited to practice their skills.
Some use pencils, paint, some draw digitally, and some even sculpt! The drawing materials aren’t provided, but easels, boards, and stools are.
Michael described the meetings as very relaxing. He told me, “There is no sense of competition and we are all here to grow our own skills. A certain level of skill is not required, and all pieces at the end of the sessions are admired for their strengths and posted onto our Facebook group. We offer good company, fun conversation, interesting subjects to draw, good music, and sometimes food.”
The club sometimes host artist talks and even visits to museums!
The first meeting I ever attended was in 2016, and all I had was a regular mechanical pencil and a sketchbook. Although I was intimidated by some of the stronger artists in the room, they offered me essentials tips to me and the other amateurs.
The friendly faces of the club generate a warm, unforgettable energy that truly puts your mind and focus inside something artistic.
If you’re an art student or artist, the club will help you practice your observational drawing skills. It’s a unique and free opportunity to practice life drawing the human body and form.
With a professor’s permission, the club can function as make-up classes for life drawing courses!
Or, if you’re interested in beginning art, the environment welcomes you the best way a club can. If you’re free Wednesday nights, don’t forget this exquisite option.