Taylor’s artistic and literary collaboration

While writing and art use different media for expression, the intersection of these ways of creation has the potential to collaborate as a means of exploring truth and deepening audience interaction with the fictional world. Taylor students in the English and Arts Department spend part of their semester exploring this intersection.

This spring semester, Taylor University’s two-dimensional design class collaborated with an introduction to a creative writing class as a practice for future professional projects.

Art students were introduced to the project by Laura Stevenson (’09), assistant professor of art and co-chair of the Department of Art, Film and Media. The other group involved, the writing class, was led by English professor Aaron Housholder. This follows several years of collaboration between the two and English professor Daniel Bowman; Stevenson approached Bowman in 2017 after returning to Taylor University to teach.

This spring, Housholder’s writing students worked through their semester creating blueprints for each genre of creative writing. As they approached the fiction writing unit, each person composed short stories. These parts would be processed and revised and later used for this cooperation project.

Of all the works created, several were then selected for illustration and later presented in a fake gallery alongside their visual counterparts.

Those in 2-D were more aware of their future partnership, although the stories were assigned randomly. In addition, the authors were not told the names of the authors, maintaining anonymity for the learning experience.

“Dr. Housholder and Professor Bowman have always supported working together among our classes, ”Stevenson said.

Although this was initially only a practice for those teaching art culture, the projects increased in size and collaboration between the two groups.

“It’s fantastic to see how sometimes doing a collaborative activity like this encourages students to work creatively with new images and ideas that they don’t usually explore on their own,” Stevenson said. “It’s also exciting to see Taylor students creating responses to the work and ideas of other Taylor students. Art that is both visual and written can improve each other! ”

Many artists spent hours at the Metcalf printing house rehearsing and preparing their final graphics.

Some artists, including freshman Sophia Ku, have collaborated with writers before, but never on this scale.

“One of the inclinations that (God) has given me is to do my best in everything I do,” Ku said. “I feel that it also appears in my art. I want to do my best. ”

Even before the actual printing, there were weeks of work that required thumbnails, sketches, and finally carving before any ink was pressed. Each exhibited painting is made by hand, the result of long lessons and previous assignments.

“Being able to revive that project was very fulfilling, very encouraging,” Ku said.

Although he was unaware at the time, Ku visualized the work of freshman Lydia Channel.

“I didn’t know anyone was going to make my story for their press,” Channel said. “I found out that two female students got my story, and both prints were really great. I love them.”

Attendees had the opportunity to choose a favorite product, presented as a competition to encourage those with the greatest support from their peers.

One of those two productions, awarded first place, was Channel and Ku’s.

“I saw Sophia’s imprint as I passed by and it was absolutely beautiful,” Channel said. “It looked very similar to what I had in mind. It was a great imprint and I was very excited when I found out he won. ”


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