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Many stu­dents take Asso­ciate Pro­fessor or Art Anthony Fru­dakis’ sculpting and drawing classes,  yet many people forget the unsung heroes of the art department –– the student models.

Fru­dakis said that people don’t realize how dif­ficult it is to model and the stamina and high pain threshold it requires.

“Models rarely receive the appre­ci­ation that they deserve,” Fru­dakis added.

Fru­dakis looks for a couple of things when he chooses models. Subtle fea­tures and sym­metry of the face and pro­portion are two physical attributes he seeks out, but he doesn’t just look at the surface — he also judges whether or not  a person has a col­lab­o­rative and coop­er­ative nature. He said fidgety models and com­pulsive talkers need not apply.

As a young child Fru­dakis modeled for his parents, who were both artists.

“I hated it,” he said. “I also modeled for a por­trait my father made of me in college.”

One model Fru­dakis chose is sophomore John Taylor, who is posing for a sculpture of the archangel Michael beheading a demon with a sword. He has to stand on his toes, body curved around in an attack position.

Taylor said his friends, senior Elena Sal­vators and Katya Cav­alaro, asked him to be their model for their sculpture of St. Michael.

“Probably because of my body,” Taylor said, “Many people tell me I have the body of a Greek god.”

Even posing shirtless in boxers, Taylor said he feels no awk­wardness.

“I’m really used to lounging around in my boxers,” Taylor said, “I don’t care if it is for pay or leisure.”

The position of sculpture model pays $8 an hour, and Taylor said it is a good way to make money. During his time on the platform, Taylor enjoys lis­tening to Fru­dakis’ “fan­tastic” music, con­versing with his friends, and watching the unveiling of his form.

Taylor joked that his only concern is that the sculpture does him and St. Michael justice, and that it is enshrined somehow in living memory.

“Legend,” Taylor said, clar­i­fying his vision.

“If you are looking into a career in mod­eling, the job is full, because I’m there best there is.”

Taylor isn’t the only model in the art department, however. Freshman Mary Catherine Meyer, like Taylor, is a first-time model. Unlike Taylor, she is a head model, posing in a natural position with no facial expression as the sculptors sculpt her face.

“I sit in a chair on a platform,” Meyer said. “I wear clothes — I’m not sure if I’d be com­fortable oth­erwise.”

Meyer said it was awkward at first, but she no longer feels put on the spot because of how con­sid­erate Fru­dakis is toward her.

Meyer said she hasn’t seen any­thing com­pleted because the class has been working on the sculpture of her head all semester, and still have a ways to go.

“It is inter­esting to see my face broken down,” Mary said. “And to hear them talk about the dimen­sions of my face.”

During the two-and-a-half-hour ses­sions, Mary said it can be dif­ficult to stay alert, but she enjoys spending time in prayer and reflection as she is sculpted.

Olivia McAlexander, is a figure model like Taylor, but for Fru­dakis’ drawing class. At first, she was hes­itant to have people drawing her body –– she showed up the first day in leg­gings, not real­izing proper attire was a bikini.

“I thought, ‘How many people do I want staring and drawing me accu­rately,’” McAlexander said. “But it really wasn’t bad.”

McAlexander said she enjoys watching the progress of the drawings –– from sketch to shading.

“It really does look like me,” McAlexander said. “It is accurate and every­thing.”

At the end of the day, these models rec­ognize the service they do for the cause of art. Taylor men­tioned the true purpose behind his labor.

“I think Aris­totelian about it,” Taylor said, “I am the formal cause for that piece of art because the sculpture embodies my form.”

 

                                ndemacedo@hillsdale.edu