Sketchbooks and Illustrated Journals of Constance Pierce
An exhibit in the Day Missions Reading Room, Yale Divinity School Library - April 20-29, 2009








The Yale Divinity Library is pleased to host a display of sketchbooks and illustrated journals by former YDS Research Fellow Constance Pierce. Pierce is now associate professor of painting and drawing at St. Bonaventure University (NY). In 2007 Pierce 's sketchbooks were featured, for a second time, in an exhibition at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC. Her work is included in that museum's permanent collection, and also the Georgetown University Special Collections (DC), the Smithsonian Institution's Archives of American Art (DC), the National Gallery of Art Rare Book Library (DC), and the Yale Center for British Art, Prints and Drawings sketchbook archives among others. Constance has exhibited regionally and nationally. Her work has been featured in articles and reviews in the Washington Post, Chicago's New Art Examiner, New York Times, New Haven Register, Yale Bulletin, and Image: Journal of Art and Religion. Constance has also designed many "hands-on" seminars and workshops for institutions and private groups on her original and special expertise entitled "Imaging Journal: Creative Renewal and the Inward Journey

Statement by the artist:

Through the intimacy and informality of my sketchbooks, I am able to record what it is like to be human at a particular moment, in a specific place, in all the confluence of time. I often experience the practice of creating sketchbooks as a spiritual discipline. My sketchbooks remind me of the great particularity of life. They are my constant companions providing me with solace, and presenting me with challenge. Across my pages I am able to capture the fleeting and preserving it; and through the very process of sketching itself, I am able to offer surrendered attention - an intense awareness - to the given moment.

Sketchbooks are generally unplanned, synchronistic and replete with the spontaneous and awkward vestiges of trial and error. The touch of the texture of the page or the way the paper responds to watercolor and pen line impacts the choice of subjects. I routinely engage my sketchbook pages to work through archetypal concepts for larger paintings, or to record illusive flashes of vision and dream, or to simply document the moment as it is observed and lived. Sketchbook keeping may foster a compassionate awareness, because the practice teaches attention to the soul of the world, as well as reveals the interior life.

Some of the sketchbooks in this display were kept during the years I was a research fellow at Yale Divinity School. I studied collections of sketchbooks at the Yale Center for British Art, the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, and the Yale Art of the Book Collection in Sterling Library. I often sketched masterworks in the Yale galleries, productions at the Yale Rep, lunchtime concerts and the ebb and flow of the local populace at Starbucks or Atticus Bookstore and Café. I filled several sketcbooks while listening to lectures on Dante by Dr. Peter Hawkins. A selection of these sketchbooks was exhibited in May of 2007 at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.




© 2009 Yale University Library
Last modified: 6 April 2009
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