Stephen F. Austin State University

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SFA art and poetry included in 'Pen and Pigment'

April 7, 2009 - Sylvia Bierschenk
Lynn Allgood, SFA art student enrolled in Chad Erpelding's advanced painting class, works on a piece that is included in the exhibition, "Pen & Pigment," a collaborative project between SFA painting and poetry students that will be shown in Griffith Gallery April 14 through 17.

NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS - Stephen F. Austin State University students enrolled in advanced painting and intermediate poetry classes will exhibit the results of a collaborative project, "Pen & Pigment," Tuesday, April 14, through Friday, April 17, in Griffith Gallery on the SFA campus.

For the project, the art students each created a painting that was inspired by a partner-student's poem, and the poets each wrote a poem that was inspired by a partner-students' painting. The written and visual creations will be hung side-by-side for the exhibition.

All of the students will be present for a 6 to 8 p.m. reception on Wednesday, April 15, in the gallery. At 6:30 p.m., the poetry students will read the poems included in the exhibition.

SFA faculty members Chad Erpelding, assistant professor of art, and Christine McDermott, assistant professor of English, said the project helped their students to turn outward for inspiration.

"In both art and poetry, it is easy for students to become so internalized or self-obsessed that they lose sight of their relationship to the broader world," said Erpelding. "This project encourages our students to look outside of themselves for their starting point while finding a connection that personalizes their pieces."

McDermott said she and her students are pleased with the results. "The poems they've written are very well crafted, and the project has brought a high level of enthusiasm to the class."

Erpelding experienced the same results with his painting students. "They have really stepped up to the challenge of the assignment and pushed themselves to reach a higher level of quality."

Both instructors commented that the public sharing of the created works is also a valuable aspect of the project.

"I am incredibly proud and pleased with the high level of talent and professionalism of our students," McDermott said. "I hope that people will come out and support them-I think they'll be amazed at the talent we have here at SFA."

Griffith Gallery is located in the Griffith Fine Arts Building, Room 208. Regular gallery hours are 12:30 to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is free.

For more information, call Erpelding at (936) 468-4248 or McDermott at (936) 468-2059.