Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
Many college students, even the not-so-artistically-inclined, have adorned their notebook pages with doodles at one time or another. In recognition of this oft-ignored pasttime, the board of the Kitao Gallery invited Swarthmore students to showcase their doodle masterpieces in a special exhibition.
The diversity of the submissions called attention to the many forms that doodling can take.
Nick Forrest ’08 contributed a wall’s worth of detailed pencil sketches depicting intricately patterned landscapes and furniture, including a lively drawing of a striped armchair.
Brendan Work ’10 displayed rectangular fragments of notebook paper on which he had created elegant abstract designs.
Meredith Leich ’08 contributed two complete notebooks, one from a music class and the other from an art history course. Each book is a work of art in itself; on almost every page, sketches of people’s faces emerge from the text of Leich’s notes. In her art history notebook, she also included drawings of Chinese pottery and other images that pertained to the class.
Steve Dean ’11 took the concept of doodling to a whole new level with illustrated responses to the essay questions on the 2007 AP Biology exam; his answer to a prompt about genetically modified organisms included a sketch of Godzilla.
Overall, this seemingly modest show had a serene atmosphere; the intimate size of the gallery was perfectly suited to the small scale of the doodles.