The subject of Maria Calandra's drawings is the artwork and studios of her contemporaries. Through a combination of formal technique and social media, she takes a conceptual and traditional look at drawing as a medium. Calandra visits artists in their studios for a full day, draws their spaces, and talks with them about their practice and life as a working artist. She then presents the experiences on an art blog, Pencil in the Studio, which incorporates writing, photographs, and original drawings. She has completed 44 visits so far.
"My time at Cornell helped develop the skills I needed to begin these conversations with my peers both in the art world and beyond," says Calandra. "While working on my thesis project, I needed to reach out to professors outside of my program to places including robotics, poetry, and choreography." Calandra also connected strongly with Assistant Professor Carl Ostendarp and Visiting Assistant Professor Diana Cooper, both of whom continue to influence her work today.
Calandra's work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, New York Sun, and Huffington Post. She hopes to someday turn the project into a book that not only showcases the drawings and writings, but also acts as an anthropological record of current day artists in both New York City and beyond.