Gordon in the News: last updated 01/04/2010

Drawn Together: New Exhibit Celebrates Faculty Collaborations

October 29, 2009

Jo Kadlecek
Office of College Communication

WENHAM, MA—It’s not your typical research project. But when painters, musicians, linguists, sculptors, poets and philosophers recently came together, they wondered what would happen if their specific art and academic traditions collided.

The result is the latest installment in Barrington Center for the Arts' 10-year anniversary celebration. Entitled Drawing As Encounter and opening with a reception Saturday, November 7 from 4–6 p.m. in the Gallery (Exit 17 from Highway 12), the collaborative exhibition showcases an unusual but creative blend of Gordon College faculty work. The interactive exhibit—which took almost 17 months to create—includes, for instance, a translation of poetry from Italian to English with accompanying paintings, musical watercolors, costume designs with audio recordings, and digital devices that transfer gray tones and color into sound.

“So many artists work in solitude, in sort of a silent collaboration with those who’ve influenced us,” said Jim Zingarelli, professor and chair of the art department. “We’re often compartmentalized in our fields but we wanted to find a way to explore common ground, to make art together that fosters creative interactions.”

Zingarelli teamed up with Michael Monroe, associate professor of music, to merge their respective arts, drawing and piano. Monroe would play a composition of Couperin (a contemporary of Bach) while Zingarelli drew. The notes became ornaments of the score and eventually watercolors that Monroe said gave the music a different sound. The two created a short video showing the drawing and colors emerging while the piano plays.

“We use a similar language of line, value, and movement,” Zingarelli said. “So this approach has allowed new ways to play, almost spontaneously, sort of a creative improvisation of a classical piece.”

Bruce Herman, the Lothlorien Distinguished Chair of Fine Arts, first gathered the artists a year and a half ago to discuss the idea of shared inspiration and community building. Over a dozen faculty members will exhibit their collaborative work, including Tanja Butler, professor of art, who teamed up with Damon DiMauro, professor of French, to merge her drawings with his poetry translations; Jeffrey Miller, professor of theatre, who joined Jean Sbaara Jones, adjunct professor of painting, to explore painting with theatrical direction; and Brian Glenney, assistant professor of philosophy, who worked with Truitt Seitz, adjunct professor of art, to create a digital device that could help translate shapes and colors into sounds so that the blind might be able to understand the phenomenon of visual perception.

Drawing As Encounter runs from November 7 to January 29, Monday–Saturday from 9 a.m.–7 p.m. The free show in the Barrington Centre of the Arts (exit 17 from Highway 128) is open to the public.

For more information, contact Amber Primm, Gallery Assistant, 978.927.2300 x4751.

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Gordon College is a Christian college of the liberal arts and sciences on
Boston's North Shore. The College offers majors in 37 fields and has
graduate programs in education and music education. Leading the way in
Christian college merit, Gordon is nationally ranked for its excellence in
academics and its role in character building. These achievements recognize
Gordon as one of the nation's top Christian colleges.