NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Jun 10, 2014) - A group of a dozen students living together for four weeks in a large industrial style loft on the Brooklyn waterfront, adjacent to the Manhattan Bridge with views of lower Manhattan. They visit museums, attend gallery openings, attend several art fairs equipped with VIP passes, look at designer showrooms, indulge in ethnic foods and enjoy the nightlife of the city that never sleeps. What sounds like a great vacation is an unique off-campus course named Project DUMBO, which is offered to art students attending Elmira College and is headed by Marc Dennis, a famous New York-based artist and tenured Professor of Art at Elmira College, a small liberal arts college located in the southern tier of upstate New York. "It's an off-campus course, where students live together in an art community," Dennis explains. "It's designed for students to experience life and challenges as a young maturing student-artist in New York City."
The name of the course comes from the acronym: D.U.M.B.O. which stands for: Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, a vibrant and artistic neighborhood in Brooklyn nestled between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, and is offered only through the Professor Dennis of the Art Department at Elmira College. The selected students leave the upstate campus and move to Brooklyn for one month to learn about art and life in the big city. As Marc Dennis points out, DUMBO is the perfect place to experience the art world. "It offers students a platform to study art and to establish connections with other artists and art-related professionals, which is critical to what they're learning." As part of the program they are required to make art, fill sketchbooks daily, keep an online journal and meet as many potentially influential people and remain inspired.
The course objective is to enable students of intermediate to advanced skill levels to experience an all-encompassing art course, equipping them with the necessary artistic, conceptual and communicative skills in preparation for a career in the arts. The experience as a whole encourages students to foster a deeper commitment towards their passion enabling them to be more productive, creative and critically thinking citizens while offering them many opportunities to make career connections. Christina Nurczynski, one of the 2014 Project Dumbo students, pointed out how vital Marc Dennis' engagement is to the success of the course: "I don't know of any other college professor who allows students such an opportunity. Marc invites us to meet his friends and the people he works with, to visit their studios, to talk about life and our experiences. This whole trip is centered around his connections and knowledge. It wouldn't be anything without him. He's helped motivate me to improve each day."
Outside of his teaching position at Elmira College, Marc Dennis is known for his hyper-realistic and strikingly detailed paintings of subtly staged and slightly voyeuristic images of contemporary American culture. In his works he follows his great passion for exploring the charged subjects of beauty, pleasure, and power. Dennis received his B.F.A. from Tyler School of Art of Temple University in Philadelphia, PA and his M.F.A. from The University of Texas in Austin, TX. He is currently represented by Hasted Kraeutler Gallery in New York City. His works have been included in numerous group and solo exhibitions in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Houston and Seattle as well as in in numerous private and public collections.
Marc Dennis website: http://www.marcdennis.com