New Arts Exhibit Celebrates Spirit of Creativity

by Janelle Hill | Sep 08, 2017

Arts/Graft 2017

How much inspiration can a single poem create? Dr. Steve Myers, professor of English, put that question to the test with a new collaborative arts exhibit. 

Myers is the brains behind “Arts/graft: American Community in the Understory.” The exhibit, which brings together artists from across campus and the country, opened in the DeSales University Center on August 28 and culminated in a performance night of music, stories, and readings.

Myers describes the project as a variety show of sorts designed to capture and preserve the spirit of creativity. He sent artists between five to 10 poems that he had written and asked what, if anything, those pieces triggered. 

“This is the really wonderful thing about the project,” Myers says. “I sent these poems out; I didn’t know what would come back.

"When I saw the art, it really took my breath away. I’d see it and I’d just shake my head in amazement.” 

While the exhibit features everything from paintings and needlepoint to woodworking and woven glass, during the performance night collaborators brought Myers’ poems to life through song, dance, and short films. 

Dr. Francis Mayville, associate professor of chemistry, beat an African drum while Myers read a poem inspired by Africa. Juilene Osborne-McKnight, associate professor of English, told an old Celtic legend about children who were turned into swans. Kristin Alexander, a former faculty member, choreographed and performed an interpretive dance inspired by Myers’ poem Bernice.

If you missed the exhibit, don’t worry. It will remain on display through the fall semester in Trexler Library. 

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