Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Camosun’s Art-Poem-Art Experiment shows off student work

February 17, 2016 by Jayden Grieve, contributing writer

During February and March, Camosun College Visual Arts instructor Nancy Yakimoski and visual arts student Aileen Penner are facilitating a special art project for students at the college. It’s called the Art-Poem-Art Experiment, and it will show off the talents of Camosun students in a unique way.

“We’re both poets involved in the writing community, and we wanted to find a way to bring art and poetry together,” says Penner.

The duo was inspired to start developing the project for the college after they attended a special event held by Victoria poet Yvonne Bloomer.

“She did a workshop where she invited poets to respond to a piece of work in the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, and then she did a reading in front of the painting,” says Penner. “Nancy and I were both there, and we thought it would be a great idea to do something like that for students at Camosun.”

Camosun visual arts student Aileen Penner (left) and instructor Nancy Yakimoski are facilitating the college’s Art-Poem-Art Experiment (photo by Jill Westby/Nexus).

Camosun visual arts student Aileen Penner (left) and instructor Nancy Yakimoski are facilitating the college’s Art-Poem-Art Experiment (photo by Jill Westby/Nexus).

The project will highlight Camosun’s art collection. College students who write poetry will choose a piece of art and write a poem about it. That poem will then be taken by a student artist, who will create a new piece of art inspired by that poem.

“We’ve picked 25 pieces of art in three buildings on Lansdowne, and Nancy’s been taking writers and poets and anyone who is interested around the collection,” says Penner.

After the poems are submitted, an English teacher will mentor two students, who will do the blind jurying and editing of the selected poems into a poetry chapbook. A similar situation will be happening on the art department end of the project, leading up to a gala event in the library.

“A student will work with an instructor to curate the pieces for the event and install those pieces in the library alongside the poems,” says Penner. “I just have the feeling that the event is going to be a night full of exciting conversation.”

Penner also hopes that the event will bring a renewed interest to the art collection at Camosun, which she says is a beautiful and varied set that needs some love.

“There are some pretty famous artists,” says Penner, “and there’s everything from sculpture to native carvings to painting to collage and printmaking, so there’s really quite a range in the collection, and it would be good to see it displayed in a way that people are responding to it.”

Penner says that she hopes the event might become an annual occurrence, possibly even expanding outward to other Camosun faculties.

“The time for thinking in silos is over, and it is important to collaborate and think laterally across disciplines,” says Penner. “It would be wonderful to think a project like this could expand to biology or chemistry.”

See art-poem-experiment.com for more information.

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