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MENTOR'S DRAWINGS

ROUGHS

A ONE MINUTE ART CLASS DEMONSTRATION DRAWING
* CHOUINARD ART INSTITUTE *

Mentor Huebner
Art Instructor
(c) 1948
Charcoal on Composition Paper 16" x 20"

Mentor Huebner taught a jammed packed drawing class at the Chouinard Art Institute, three nights a week. Many of the enrolled students in his class required credits toward college degrees. After they had all completed registration Mentor informed them of his policy. "Everyone gets an "A" in this class. "A" for art. No one fails!" Then he added, "I'm not teaching Calculus."

After WW II most of Mentor's students were returning GIs getting an 'easy' education. Though he taught mixed classes and the students ages ranged between 17 and 70 the bulk were the GIs.

Between the Roll Call, passing out supplies to the constantly unprepared, giving a half hour lecture, giving the individual student a personal demonstration of their own work, demonstration drawings had to be reduced to approximately one minute each. As became an ongoing custom every place Mentor worked the Drawings he discarded in the trash were always retrieved. Obviously many were treasured.

This one too, had been 'saved'.

Mentor's, 'found' movie production drawings, are frequently discovered at prominent auction houses, like Christie's or Butterfields. Mentor's drawings, for important films like Blade Runner, North by Northwest and other classics can always be expected to pull in a high bid ~ trashed or not. However, this demonstration drawing, though of sentimental value...is only a 'doodle.' It represents one of 60 to 90 such doodles, he did three nights a week for years. As with all the others, this drawing too was accomplished at optimum speed. It has a patched corner tear. This tear is the result of the incredible pressure Mentor experienced, as he attempted to instruct, each of his 90 students ~ during the three hour drawing session allotted.

He was always in a great hurry and so I can imagine that on that particular night, over a half Century ago, he must have ripped the drawing from the drawing pad, and after he finished demonstrating, with his usual casual nonchalance, he threw it into the trash bin. It had no meaning for him.

Mentor never could be bothered to roll the unwanted drawings into a crumpled ball. So now, even though 'trashed' ~ this drawing and others like it, surface and find their way into our lives. Though not what Mentor would consider 'real art' ~ the drawing does offer an interesting and unique bit of art history.

(The drawing was salvaged by an art lover from a trash bin during a Chouinard Drawing Class over 50 years ago. )

 

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Louise Huebner. (c) 2003

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