R.S.V.P. - a powerful project from two disciplines that combined a visual experience and the written word.
It worked like this.
Creative writing students composed written works.
VIsual Art students created pieces of artwork.
Then, they traded.
Art students responded with new art inspired by the writing. Writing students responded with new writing inspired by the art.
The final project was displayed in the Johnson Center Fountain Gallery as R.S.V.P.
The project was the brainchild of Diane Chambers, Ph.D., professor of English and director of The Honors Program, and Clare Murray-Adams, M.F.A., professor of art, which itself was inspired by an art show at Anderson Creative in downtown Canton dubbed Blind Date.
"We thought it was a good way to interact with other departments...kind of a cross-discipline collaboration," says Murray-Adams.
"We all discovered how difficult it is to think through and respond creatively to someone else's work," says Chambers. "We also hope that writers and artists stretch and grow in their craft as they move outside themselves into the work of another. We were so excited about the results of the project the first year, that we've done it again several times with new groups of students."
Emily Mills '13, an art major, says that she needed to analyze the piece of poetry she was given until she could understand it.
"Certain phrases or images that personally spoke to me latched onto my brain," she says. "There is a part at the end, after describing how alone and estranged this person feels, when God speaks to him. It was a really powerful emotion that was described, of God's protection and providence when this person was so alone, lost, and not able to move forward. God was there to carry him through that time. This was something that I emotionally related to and triggered my response."
Holly Nunn '12, an English and Philosophy major, offers her approach.
"Once I had an idea as to where my piece would go, I went through several drafts until I was content with the final product," she says. "In order to write, I have to be feeling something. While I wasn't particularly attached to the artwork itself, I was attached to the conversation between our different mediums of art. In reality, we as writers and artists do not live in the bubble of our medium alone; the act of creating is a response to the world around us, which includes other types of art."