UNC senior Robert Williams, a passionate walker and biker, never considered walking a mode of artistic expression before signing up for the Maymester course “Arts 290: The Walking Seminar.”
Maymester is an experiential summer school mini-term where students can earn three credit hours in three weeks.
Associate Professor of Art Mario Marzan designed the class to reflect contemporary artists who are inspired by walking as an art form. He wanted to get students out of the classroom to experience a “territorial investigation of the North Carolina landscape” and to incorporate the University’s academic theme, “Water in our World.”
Over 13 days, students completed assignments such as contour mapping, flora illustrations, psychological landscape drawings and a large-scale group installation. They used watercolors, graphite pencils, camera phones and more as artistic tools. They read works about walking and art by writers including Henry David Thoreau and Charles Baudelaire.
They camped and hiked together in the pouring rain, explored Jordan Lake, the Eno River and Raven Rock State Park, blogged about their experiences and forged an almost instant bond for critical discussion.
June 10, 2014.