Johns Hopkins Gazette: May 13, 1996

On The Arts:
Yes, There Really
Are Art Students
at Johns Hopkins

Students study art at Hopkins? Johns Hopkins, with an "s"?

Absolutely. This semester several dozen enrolled in the Homewood Art Workshops. And last week, 42 of them exhibited their work at the 15th annual studio show in the Eugene Leake Studio in Merryman Hall.

Taking art at Hopkins is not new. Leake established the workshops in 1974, after retiring as president of the Maryland Institute of Art.

"Back then, we were in a space about the size of a closet in Merryman," Leake said at the exhibit. "But at least it had windows," added Craig Hankin, a 1976 Hopkins graduate who succeeded Leake in 1986 and has taught art at Hopkins since 1980.

A former instructor at the Maryland Institute, Hankin now teaches three classes each semester in drawing and painting.

OK, so why does a Hopkins student take art?

Hankin sees the for-credit workshops as providing an outlet for students' creative energies.

Some students, says Hankin, took art classes in high school and need to get their hands dirty drawing and painting. This semester, students enrolled in classes in drawing, painting and, for the first time, Principles of 3-Dimensional Design.

Others, he says, come for more practical reasons.

"The biggest percentage of our students are biology and biomedical majors, but they come from the Writing Seminars, Political Science, Mathematics. Many of them, I think, take classes to relieve the pressure they get from their academic subjects."

Over the years, some workshop students have turned from their academic major to pursue a career in the arts, Hankin says. Some have gone on to architecture school, others are in New York working in computer graphics.

More than 1,000 students have enrolled in the art workshops since 1974, taking classes in the 1,100-square-foot Merryman Hall studio, the site of the exhibits.

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