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History of the Art Workshops

"The Homewood Art Workshops have helped students to see things differently since 1974..."

Gertrude Stein asked the French artist Henri Matisse whether, when eating a tomato, he looked at it the way an artist would. Matisse replied: "No, when I eat a tomato I look at it the way anyone else would. But when I paint a tomato, then I see it differently." (from Picasso, 1939)

The Homewood Art Workshops have helped students to see things differently since 1974, the year Eugene Leake became Hopkins' first Artist-in-Residence. Leake, a noted landscape painter and president emeritus of the Maryland Institute, College of Art, founded the program as an informal opportunity for Hopkins students, regardless of experience, to learn the fundamentals of drawing and painting -- to learn to see.
As the Workshops' popularity steadily increased enrollment, painter Craig Hankin was hired in 1980 to share the teaching duties. Homewood's first studio art course for academic credit was presented the following year and today all Workshops classes are accredited. Following Leake's retirement in 1986, Hankin became the Art Workshops Director, bringing in visiting artists such as John Hull (now Fine Arts Department Chair at University of Colorado, Denver) and Kimberley Parr to enrich the program.

Courses in Cartooning and Principles of Two-Dimensional Design were added to the curriculum in 1990-91. In 1996, we offered an introduction to sculpture, Principles of Three-Dimensional Design. In Fall '98, we added Mixed Media/Composition; in Spring '99, we introduced Drawing: The Portrait; and in Fall '99, we premiered Introductory Photography.

Upon moving into our new home in Mattin Center in January '01, we presented for the first time, Basic Black and White Photography. Another popular new course, The Art of Architecture, debuted in Fall '01 and, since spring '02, students who have completed our two foundation-level photo courses are eligible to take Intermediate Black and White Photography.

In Fall '02, we offered VisualReality/alt.sim, our first course in dream imagery and surrealism. And in Spring '03, students who had mastered basic drawing skills signed up for Still Life/Interior/Landscape.

Photography Coordinator Phyllis Berger responded to the demand for additional photo courses by collaborating with Dr. Stuart Leslie of the Department of History of Science and Technology on The Documentary Tradition in Fall '03. She introduced our first 300-level course, Black and White Photography Seminar, in Spring '05 and our first all-digital course, Photoshop and the Digital Darkroom, in Fall '05.
Drawing and painting courses develop observational skills and techniques in the foundation-level student. Cartooning and Three-Dimensional Design, co-sponsored by the Humanities Center, balance studio work with research and critical analysis. Students rated Art Workshops classes highly over a 10-year period in the Hopkins Course Guide and Curriculum:


Course Semesters Rated Average Rating
Studio Drawing I 14 3.78
Studio Drawing II 5 3.94
Painting Workshop I 13 3.84
Painting Workshop II 4 3.63
Cartooning 3 3.23


Students wishing to take more advanced fine arts courses are encouraged to take advantage of Hopkins' cooperative programs with the following colleges in the Baltimore area: Goucher College, Loyola College, Morgan State University, College of Notre Dame, Towson University, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Similar arrangements are in effect with our neighbor a mile and a half to the south, the Maryland Institute, College of Art.
Each spring, the Homewood Art Workshops invites the entire University community to see the fruit of its labors at its annual exhibition of student artwork during the Mattin pARTy. To see a sample of student work from recent years, visit our Student Gallery.