RSVP- An Encouragement to Student Creativity

Photo By: Grace Rhoads

Student work will be displayed only twice in a gallery on Malone University’s campus in the 2019 spring semester. Once will be the senior exhibit and the other will be the RSVP exhibit. The RSVP project is a unique exchange program between student artists and writers that encourages a creative response between the two differ-ent art forms. The project began in the fall semester of 2018 when students submitted their writing or art pieces to be reviewed by a selection committee. From there, the committee chose five artists and five writers to participate in the exchange. During finals week of December 2018, the participants anonymously received a piece of art or writ-ing from the opposite discipline to begin the process of producing their creative response using the method of art or writing they originally submitted. They then had six weeks to create their next piece. Cherie Parsons, a professor at Malone, is one of the co-advisors for this project.“It’s really cool to see the chain reaction that this project creates,” said Parsons. “It allows loose interpretation between the various pieces and provides an interconnectedness in terms of the inspiration process.” Parsons explained that the concept of the exchange project was one taken from other art galleries but has been a project done by Malone students for the past nine years. She inherited the project from professors who have retired. She also explained that students are able to use in-class feedback to produce their work, but that the biggest motivation for students is the “honor and opportunity that having their work displayed brings and seeing the response that other students have to their piece.” Participants had nothing but good things to say about the process of RSVP. Kaela Geither, a junior integrated language arts major, submitted a poem for this year’s exhibit. “The project was overwhelming at first, but once I put my mind to things, the creativity started to flow and I was able to become more in tune with my creative side,” said Geither. “It has been a great experience.”Hannah Gears, a senior creative writing major who participated in the project last school year, echoed Kaela’s thoughts when looking back on the project. “It was a super great experience because I allowed myself to be influenced by the art without any pressure,” said Gears. She also provided some advice to future participants. “Don’t be weirded out to just try. Grow and be available.”Gears and Geither were both in agreement about how fulfilling the project is.“It was super fun to have my writing dis-played in the gallery and it was cool to be recognized by the poem I submitted because people saw the exhibit,” said Gears. “[I] was glad the project helped me to har-vest my creative side,” said Geither. The resulting twenty pieces of the RSVP program and the outcome of the students’ hard work will be displayed in the McFadden Gallery beginning on Feb. 25 with a reception and short reading to open. The exhibit can be viewed through April 5 and is open to the public.

LXIV Issue No. 12

Monday, February 11, 2018

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