Andrea Kantrowitz Wants Us to Draw for Ourselves

Today FF2 is proud to spotlight artist and educator Andrea Kantrowitz. On the one year anniversary of her exhibition Unbound: Drawings from the book, Drawing Thought, Andrea’s work continues to help its viewers not only to understand Andrea, but themselves. The purpose of Andrea’s art is to take the audience step-by-step through the artistic process. In this way, Andrea delves deep into the psyche of the artist within us all.

Andrea has always known she would be an artist, and she even specialized within her field at an early age. She received her BA in Art and Cognition from Harvard University—two two subjects that together would go on to define her career. After obtaining her MFA in Painting from Yale, Andrea worked as a teaching artist in public schools across New York City. During this time, she also co-developed a curriculum for an Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination project, which sought to demonstrate the impact and necessity of an arts education on impoverished students.

While pursuing her doctoral studies at Columbia University’s Teachers College, Andrea founded the Thinking through Drawing Project. The ten-year project saw Andrea organizing drawing and cognition based workshops around the world.

Both Andrea’s drawings and paintings are breathtaking. Her 2015 exhibit Daughters of Leuccipus presents viewers with close-up perspectives of torn fruit. To Andrea, the flesh of the fruit resembles the flesh of the women in the famous 1618 Rubens painting The Rape of the Daughters of Leupiccus. The fruit is alive and tender under the audience’s eye as it lays intimately burst open. Andrea paints it beautifully in a tender yet not delicate light.

Click on image to enlarge

Andrea has also taught art courses at Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute along with the College of New Rochelle. Outside of the USA, Andrea has worked at the Singapore Teachers’ Academy of the Arts (where she was honored as the Outstanding Educator in Residence). Since 2016, Andrea has served as the Director of Art Education at the State University of New York at New Paltz. She is a member of The Painting Center (a gallery in Manhattan that is managed by artists). The Painting Center is also where she unveiled her newest exhibition last year, Unbound: Drawings from the book, Drawing Thought.

This exhibition brought together original drawings from Andrea’s book, Drawing Thought. Though the book was not set to be published by MIT until a month later, New Yorkers were allowed a peek into the book’s contents through the exhibit. The ink and graphite of Andrea’s drawings starkly contrasted against the white walls of The Painting Center. The works are diverse in size and subject; portraying everything from masked faces in a crowd to a writhing octopus. Yet the pieces come together to form a flickering glimpse into Andrea’s mind, and what goes through it as she draws. 

After visiting the exhibit last year, FF2 contributor Katusha Jin praised Andrea’s message. Katusha writes, “It brings her audience’s attention to details in the way we think, and to the little things that often go unnoticed. The exhibition is as much about the creative process and what it can lead us to, as it is about the ideas, thoughts and experiences we lose out on by inhibiting ourselves from drawing out our thoughts.”

Andrea’s work in both art and education exhibit her dedication to human life. She sees art as a means of human enrichment; both to artists and those that consider themselves non-artists. The message of her exhibition and book are clear: do not only look at my work, but draw for yourself.

© Reese Alexander (9/6/23) Special for FF2 Media


Read Katusha Jin’s article on Andrea’s Unbound exhibition here.

Visit Andrea’s website here.

Order Drawing Thought here.

Learn more about Peter Paul Ruebens’ painting The Rape of the Daughters of Leuccipus. (Note that, according to Wikipedia, this work is now in the Public Domain.)


Photo Credits: All photos by Katusha Jin for FF2 Media. Approved for legitimate by others use as long as link to this page is provided in user’s credits.

Tags: Andrea Kantrowitz, Daughters of Leuccipus, Drawing Thought, katusha jin, Reese Alexander, The Painting Center, The Rape of the Daughters of Leupiccus, Thinking through Drawing Project, Unbound: Drawings from the Book

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Reese Alexander is currently a student at Barnard College, where she studies English literature, creative writing, and French. Reese enjoys writing both fiction and nonfiction, and her work has been published in multiple campus publications, including Quarto, Echoes, The Barnard Bulletin, and The Columbia Federalist. Reese is most passionate about medieval literature, as she believes it illustrates the contributions of women artists throughout the centuries.
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