Student artists enjoy learning, creating together via R.S.V.P.

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R.S.V.P. Caylie Mindling created this watercolor, Camelopardalis Aquinas - and Marissa Bennett wrote this poem in response"

Never, Never

In the Rust Belt of our youth 
We beg to become exotic, 
To trade our skin for a reconfigured pattern,  
To decompose ourselves into a base desire:  
Feet off the ground and soaring 
With other Lost Boys 
Children forever but happy 
Among the constellation islands, 
The frothy stratus clouds 
That pool around our ankles 
And smooth our cheeks 
Into an iridescent softness.    

But we are reality bound.  
The heavens are the thing farthest from us  
Ornate and juxtaposed 
By iron skeletons 
Jutting up imposingly against a stillwater  
Sky gone smoky with exhaust.  
Between the clouds we can catch a glimpse  
Of the sapphire promise, 
A galaxy lying in wait 
For those of us  
Not afraid to fly. 

Malone Visual Arts and English departments brought together students in both fields for the sixth R.S.V.P. collaborative gallery. Participants’ contributions ranged from realistic oil paintings to surreal photographs, short stories to poems.

Art students responded with new art inspired by the writing. Writing students responded with new writing inspired by the art. 

“I thought this image represented the feeling of the poem,” said Meghan Green ‘16, psychology major.

The process is preparation for the future careers of art and graphic design majors.

“It’s good practice to interpret what a client wants and likes,” Alicia Green ’16, art major, said. “It’s difficult to interpret the written works and come up with a response.”

Interpreting artwork, especially art that has no apparent concrete story-line, was most challenging for the students.

“I chose not to focus on a story, but the feelings of the painting,” said Creative Writing major Caylie Mindling ‘16.

“The main struggle was how to convey the raw emotion without using words,” added Green.

The writers expressed similar sentiments.

Denise Huthmacher ’16 wrote a poem in response as well as submitting original work for artistic transformation. Interpreting someone else’s artwork was difficult for Huthmacher, but also her favorite part because it challenged in a unique way.

“I wanted to do justice to the art while making a poem I could call my own,” Huthmacher said.

See the work firsthand in the Fountain Gallery of the Johnson Center through March 11. 

Cobalt 

by Denise Huthmacher  

A rotten tangerine splats his juice in my face 
In spite of it, I lay with him that evening inside the museum. 
In an igloo I fell asleep to the sounds 
Of his ukulele and Italian songs. 

We swam in the 
Lake as the cerulean man carried 
A fishing pole and a 5gallon bucket. 
I have tried to reign supreme, but have fallen short. 

On my bookshelf thumbing through Faulkner and Gogal 
I told him I loved him. 
His lapis blue eyes crumbling between the pages 
He is what I make him to be.

Corresponding artwork created in response, Cobalt, by Alicia Green