In March of 2000, the ISU Department of Art & Art History invited Cuban artist Paul Sierra to campus as a part of the department’s Visiting Artists program that ran in the 1990s and early 2000s. Sierra gave demonstrations on his large-scale figurative drawing style to ISU students. Nude models lay on sheets of paper spread out on the floor. Sierra drew their outline in compressed charcoal sticks. The models moved off the paper and posed elsewhere while Sierra finished the drawings using charcoal attached to the end of long sticks and with long sweeping hand marks across the emerging figures.
Sierra also drew portraits of many of the people present at the demonstration. This portrait of ISU Graduate Student Mike Williamson, contains the same active mark making found in his nude figure studies.