Graphite drawings by Ann Bourque on display at Catawba

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 21, 2016

A series of richly detailed graphite drawings by Catawba student artist Ann Bourque will be on display in the College’s Corriher-Linn-Black Library through Feb. 26 during the library’s regular operating hours. A reception for the artist is planned between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 24, in the library and is free and open to the public.

Bourque, a native of Indianapolis, Indiana, has lived in Salisbury with her husband, Catawba’s men’s lacrosse Coach Peter Bourque, and their three children for 20 years. She teaches visual art at North Hills Christian School.

A self-taught artist with a degree in journalism, Bourque has been pursuing post-graduate courses in art to enhance her talent as well as her desire to embrace different media. In this series of oversized animal drawings entitled “Endangered,” Bourque brings to life the power and vulnerability of some of nature’s most magnificent creatures. Through the unusual pairing of both charcoal and graphite, she manages to capture the essence of each animal by choosing to represent them on such a large scale.

Although she has titled this series “Endangered,” Bourque states that the name and the subjects of this body of work represent much more to her than just the obvious. She states that each drawing seemed to “create itself” based on certain emotions that she felt as she worked on each piece. Not knowing what would come next, Bourque let her emotions guide her through each pencil stroke; both bold and deliberate, as well as soft and refined.

While guided by the expertise of Catawba professors David Pulliam and Ashley Pierce, Bourque has been pushed to stretch her artistic ability through this series, breaking out of her comfort zone and into an unfamiliar, yet exciting realm. Her unusual experimentation of combining both graphite and charcoal prove that artistic “rules” can be broken, while still resulting in a pleasing and successful composition.

“The scale of the series is especially noteworthy as draftsmen who work in graphite often tend to keep the work quite small. This larger scale coupled with a necessarily achromatic color scheme confronts the viewer all the more with the carefully applied elements of line, texture and form,” Pierce said of Bourque’s graphite drawings.