Marc Dennis, Associate Professor of Art


Marc Dennis in studioAt Elmira College I teach all levels of painting, drawing and digital imaging. In all my classes I provide steady technical, perceptual and conceptual instruction and guidance regardless of a student’s artistic experience, background or major.

In addition I make every attempt to expand their intellectual curiosity, deepen their intentions and heighten their interest in art in general. My classes are energized and challenging, and admittedly a lot of work but always enjoyable and motivating. Find out a bit more about my methods of teaching.

I'd like to say a bit about our department as a whole. Elmira College's Art Program is a small and energized department, where every student has enough room to work and gets enough attention to keep them motivated and very busy. Also - and this is a pretty big deal, art majors ranging from freshman to seniors are provided with private studio spaces on the top floor of an adjacent building known as Gillett Hall.

Phathead Project
Student working in painting studio on "Phat Head" project

The drawing and painting studios, where I teach, are located on the second floor of the art building, known as Fassett Commons, situated on the periphery of campus where lots of light comes into the spaces. Both studios are dynamic working environments with plenty of room and northern and western exposures. The spaces are awesome, the floors are all hardwood and the walls are massive providing lots of room to create and one of the best things about the building is that it's the only classroom/studio building on campus available to students 24/7 because the front door is a punch code lock, enabling our art majors to work around the clock on their projects.

A question I get from a lot of students is; "Where will I buy supplies in Elmira?" Being from Brooklyn NYC I realized it wasn't easy for students upstate to get their hands on art supplies so I figured out a way to provide all my students enrolled in drawing and painting classes with all the necessary supplies and materials, including oil paints, brushes, charcoal, graphite, paper, canvases, solvents, etc by having them shipped to us from the city. Each student pays a minimal fee as part of registering for my classes and for the entire term they're set! I've never had a student run out of supplies yet!

One of my favorite things about teaching at Elmira College is being able to offer students an opportunity to live and work in New York City as part of my Term III course called "Project DUMBO," an all encompassing intermediate to advanced off-campus experience examining the general to specific challenges of the life of a young artist in NYC.

Daydream painting by Marc Cennis
Examples of one of my paintings: “Daydream,” 2010, oil on canvas, 18 x 18 inches

I've got to say something about living and working in the upstate region....As a New Yorker I've come to discover by virtue of my job as professor at Elmira College that I'm definitely part city rat, part country rat. It has been a blessing in disguise to be surrounded by all the beauty and wonders of the upstate region and to enable it to affect my own art.