What about our writers?

Arguably one of the most exciting parts of being a studio art major at Colby is the prospect of eventually showing one’s work in the annual Senior Art Exhibition, which—for those who aren’t familiar—hangs in the museum at the end of every school year. It is a show that celebrates the countless hours of work every studio art major has put into learning their chosen medium. It also provides the greater Colby community with the opportunity to experience the collective efforts of the students whose work otherwise goes largely unseen by those outside the art department.

As a senior studio art major concentrating in painting, I am presently embarking on a body of work that I will hopefully be presenting in the museum in just seven months. The prospect is both nerve-wracking and exciting because besides my very close friends, few people on campus have seen the paintings I spend my time creating. Likewise, it often isn’t until the show that I will get to see the work of my peers who concentrate in photography, sculpture, or printmaking. Thus, the show acts as a way to foster an investigation amongst students into the visual artwork of their peers and it is a platform for which I am extremely grateful.

That being said, as I’ve been thinking about the show and my own work, I’ve also been thinking about the artists whose work isn’t strictly visual. There are countless opportunities throughout the year to go to concerts to hear the music of my fellow students in the music department. There are a number of productions and recitals to experience the work of theater and dance students. These are great opportunities, which, like the Senior Art Exhibition, give the community a way of experiencing the artwork that comes out of the departments we are less familiar with.

With all these opportunities it seems strange that creative writing students don’t get an opportunity to present their final collection of work in the same way. I knew a number of past seniors that spent their year preparing T.V. scripts, poetry anthologies, screenplays, short stories, and plays. Yet, after all that hard work, there was no formal way for those students to share their writing with the rest of us.

I understand that a book of poetry, for example, is more difficult to consume than say a painting or a sculpture. It isn’t something you can hang on a white wall and let people view at their leisure. That said, I know I cannot be the only one who wishes that there were easier access to the creative writing of my peers. A reading at the end of the year, for example, that allowed for such an exchange, could only benefit our community. It would be a way for students to experience the creative work of our peers in the same way that they are able to experience my own. I can’t force my friends to share their work with me, but perhaps the English department would be able to.

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