A Culture in the Pursuit of Quality
Led by Jason Franz, Manifest’s Founding Executive Director
"Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives, the cumulative experience of many masters of craftsmanship. Quality also marks the search for an ideal after necessity has been satisfied and mere usefulness achieved.”
— John Ruskin
[ COURSE REGISTRATION CLOSED – Course proceeds through summer 2020 for continuing students only. Enrollment opens again in September 2020.]
LYCEUM will meet weekly for 10 weeks throughout fall of 2019. The purpose of the class is to provide a coaching and feedback environment whereby Jason’s considerable experience both as teacher at the college level for nearly two decades and as Manifest’s founder and chief curator for the same number of years can come to bear on the growth and development efforts of serious learners at any level in the visual arts.
The instructor’s comments on this class:
This is an experiment. While Manifest was born from engagement with students in my own college classroom studio, and from bringing creative learners together from various schools, I personally have never led an instructed class at Manifest. Rather, I have always felt it my job to create an environment—to ‘curate’ it—that itself teaches or causes the beneficial effects of shared learning in all who enter it.
Now that Manifest has passed its fifteenth year and as we transition into its new and slightly clouded future, I would like to see what I have to offer at the ground level in this wonderful studio program. Asked often if I would teach a class, yet always too occupied with running the organization, I’ve usually said ‘not yet’. No more.
I do not envision this to be a class on any particular subject, media, or technique. Although my general expectation is that we will always start with drawing. Rather it will be a quest for quality. Students should only register to participate who are committed to rigor, asking themselves hard questions (and having them asked of them), accepting challenges and the instructor’s feedback, pushing boundaries, and believing in themselves. My plan will not be to have routine lectures, handouts, or a ‘course plan’ for the ten weeks. Instead I will diagnose each student’s status as a drawer (or maker) via exercises which will help us discuss and determine areas to focus on for the coming weeks. Weekly reviews of work made in-studio and out of studio will refine our direction over the ten weeks.
My goal will be that each student will come away from the class having identified challenges, worked on exercises to improve, and accomplished advancement that can be considered a significant step up in quality—an expanded toolbox of critical self-awareness and spectrum of skill.
Participants will be expected to make a lot of work. You will be expected to maintain a portfolio suitable for the size and nature of the work you make, including sketches, exercises, potential finished works, notes, etc., all in chronological order.
It will be assumed that most people who would register for this course will be wanting to improve observational drawing (or painting) skills. However, exercises may not always be aligned to the assumed standard practices. Feedback and creative epiphanies may lead to non-observational work. Within the confines of a strictly led (rule-based) class, there will be no limits to what may be recommended.
By enrolling in this class participants agree, for the duration of their work in and for class, to trust the perspective, advice, and input of the teacher. After the class is complete, it can all be discarded. During the class, we have a contract.
Conversations may be continued by email. Suggestions for upcoming classes may be communicated by email.
Level of Study
This class is suggested for individuals with observational drawing experience at the very least. Basic knowledge of drawing materials and techniques is expected. The class is ideal for those prepared to take on independent and directed advanced study.
$400 (covers 10 consecutive weeks*, 3hrs per week)
Tuition includes FREE access to all Wednesday Open Figure sessions during the duration of the course.
- Sketchbook for routine exercises and drawings: suggested 14 x 17 spiral bound with perforations. open to larger sizes. General quality.
- Small notebook for taking notes (could also use the larger sketchbook above).
- Graphite pencils: an even range from 4h to 4b. Other hardnesses welcome in addition.
- Black ultra-fine sharpie
- Black fine sharpie
- Kneaded eraser
- White Mars or Pink Pearl eraser
- Pencil sharpener
- Itoya (or similar) black cover with clear sleeves to fit your standard working sketchbook. If you plan to work on larger paper, get a larger portfolio.
Various materials may be recommended on a per-person basis from time to time.
Other suggested or optional:
- Light, middle, and dark value grayscale markers
- India ink and sumi brush
- Watercolor pad of paper
- Ball point pens (blue, black, and/or red) (not gel pens - actual BALL point pens).
- Charcoal in various hardnesses including vine
- Adjustable viewfinder (purchased or made)