Terry Martin, who teaches creative writing, thought the Spurgeon Art Gallery might be a compelling environment for ekphrasic writing. (Ekphrasis = responding to a work of art for purposes of using the artist’s creativity as a springboard for your own.)
Here’s an excerpt from a letter, describing the experience of her students:
I wish you could have been there, Gerri. It was really something—their wide-eyed wonder and delight, and reverent oohs and ahhs when we first walked into the space and saw your installation. The magic of 25 of us at a time, sprawled around that room, quietly writing together for two class periods (you could hear a pin drop). And their attentiveness in listening to each other read the creative work they’d done in response to yours.
They drafted poems, short stories, one-act plays, creative non-fiction and graphic comics. One student composed a song, which she sang to the class as her husband played guitar accompaniment. I was gobsmacked, moved to tears, by the emotion, creativity and beauty revealed in the work.
I didn’t know Terry before, but I feel like I have a new friend. I’m hoping we’ll have coffee the next time I make a stop in Ellensburg. We’ve exchanged a few emails, and she’s promised to send me the final projects at the end of the semester.
Stay tuned …