Drawing by Xavier Donnelly

Drawing by Xavier Donnelly

Cities—from ancient Athens to Oz to Dubai—capture the imaginations of artists through the ages because of their complexity and creative use of color, form, space, and scale. We asked Xavier Donnelly, 2010 Portfolio Gold Medalist and this summer’s art intern at the Alliance, to elaborate on what draws him to architecture and the urban environment.

Habitats for Humanity: Ever since I can remember I have been fascinated by cities and the environments that humanity has designed for itself. All of my artwork – whether it is drawing, sculpture, or other mediums – is highly influenced by architecture and the spaces I observe around me. One of my favorite aspects of architecture is that humans have constructed their own landscape and it is one that is constantly evolving. I love to watch the evolution of architecture as designers create fantastic and unorthodox forms and spaces for us to inhabit. Read More

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, created in 1935

Guest post by Katie Babick, Senior Editor of Scholastic Art Magazine

Although I am not an architect, I love to look at the buildings around me – and living in New York City, there are plenty to look at! Architecture is as much about the time and place it was built as the people who use it every day. Architecture can be about order like the classical buildings of Rome, about utility like the cold, sleek buildings of the Bauhaus, about fitting carefully into the landscape like Frank Lloyd Wright’s organic Fallingwater, or countless other styles.

How to Begin
Unlike drawing or painting, architecture can be a daunting medium. It seems like you need a lot more than a pencil or paintbrush to create a building that is interesting to look at and structurally sound. Luckily, you can begin to learn about architecture just by looking around you. The best way to develop your own style as an architect is to look at the buildings you see around you, then build on what you like (pun intended!). Read More