September 26, 2011

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LEWISBURG, Pa. — The Samek Art Gallery, The Griot Institute and the Presidential Arts Initiative at Bucknell University will host the performative installation, "Extreme Creativity: An Experiential, Experimental Endeavor," on Saturday, Oct. 1, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The event, which is free and open to the public, showcases a performative response that combines art, dance, drama, film, photography and writing from students in the Bucknell English course Extreme Creativity. 

Students have been asked to think about the myriad questions the exhibition raises about the relationships between self and other; representation; race, class and gender; artistic creation; and the creative process and they will explore those questions through original presentations that emerge from the course. There will be mini-performances, photography, videos, and more that will be presented to the audience in an interactive format.

Photographs a starting point
Coordinated by interdisciplinary artist Petra Kuppers, the interactive event is a creative engagement with the photographs in the Samek Art Gallery exhibitions "The Black List Project" and "Self Portraits."

Students used photographs by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders and Myra Greene as a starting point to explore questions of race and representation, and worked with guest Bucknell faculty members who discussed the photographs through their own specific disciplinary lenses.

The students have had an opportunity to interact directly with these artists through their campus visits. Timothy Greenfield-Sanders presented a gallery talk and spoke with the students during a visit in August. Myra Greene will present a gallery talk and speak with students this Friday, Sept. 30, in the forum of the Elaine Langone Center at 5 pm.

"The students have responded to these various viewpoints through an array of creative projects, culminating their class experiences into a final installation. The installation unifies their many creations and performances into a cohesive response to both the photographs and the complex ideas the photographs express," said Carmen Gillespie, professor of English and University Arts Coordinator at Bucknell.

Extreme Creativity course
A first for Bucknell, the course is a sponsored partnership between the Samek Art Gallery, the Griot Institute for Africana Studies, and the Presidential Arts Initiative that brings renowned artists and scholars to the Bucknell campus and into the educational endeavors of Bucknell students.

"This has been a unique opportunity for students to experience multi- and interdisciplinary perspectives through the creative processes of writing, film, photography, drama and dance," said Gillespie.

"This installation is the culmination of weeks of intense focus and commitment from students, faculty and staff members, and embodies collaborative efforts from both University and external resources.

"Inspired by the 'Princeton Atelier' program, the structure of the course is also quite innovative. The course has been condensed into a six-week period, which facilitates student engagement with experts whose schedules would not allow a semester commitment, and, of course, requires a commendable amount of student dedication," she said.

Bucknell faculty collaborators
Gillespie conducted the course with Bucknell faculty Tulu Bayar (art and art history), Barry Long (music), Dustyn Martincich (theatre and dance), Joe Meiser (art and art history), Shara McCallum (English), Alex Riley (sociology and anthropology), and Elaine Williams (theatre and dance), as well as Penn State professor Harriet Rosenberg.

Also working with the project are Cindy Peltier and Richard Rinehart of the Samek Art Gallery, Erin Murphy with Library and Information Technology, and Robert Gainer, professor emeritus of theatre and dance.

Guest artists
Greenfield-Sanders and Greene were invited to present lectures in conjunction with the exhibition and to spend time with the students in the class. Film students Diego Chiri, Annike Myers and Jose Valdivia are producing a documentary of the class project.

The installation is being coordinated by interdisciplinary artist and University of Michigan professor Petra Kuppers, whose broad exposure to various cultures, ideologies, communities, countries, languages, and to the realm of disability presents students with a powerful and insightful perspective into the workings of the world.

In residence at Bucknell until Oct. 2, Kuppers will present a noon workshop for faculty on interdisciplinary pedagogy on Sept. 27 in the Samek Gallery. The workshop is co-sponsored by the Samek Gallery, the Griot Institute for Africana Studies, the Presidential Arts Initiative, the Bucknell Arts Council, the Center for Teaching and Learning, and the department of Women's and Gender Studies.

Contact: Division of Communications