“Calling student artists and student writers,” a flyer handed out in various English and art classes said. The flyer invited students to attend a meeting for those interested in collaborating with others, the first of which took place on Wednesday, Oct. 29. The group, which has been meeting every Wednesday since, is led by Nan Ma, English department professor who hopes to teach a creative writing class as well next quarter. She said, “When I first approached Ross Brown, the chair of the Art department, about creating more collaboration opportunities for student writers and student artists, I had hoped that students will find inspiration for their own creative work through collaborating with peers who work in different artistic genres and forms.”
Ma shared, “In the two short weeks that we have meetings, the diversity and energy of the group have far exceeded my expectations. I’m utterly impressed and delighted by how motivated and enthusiastic the group members are and how supportive they have been to one another. We have an amazingly talented and energetic group and hope more people will join us in the weeks to come.” Currently, the group is mainly composed of student writers: poets, nonfiction writers and fiction writers, and is seeking interested artists who specialize in any medium.
Ross Brown is planning on recruiting students in the art department, and the art and language collaborative group may visit an upcoming art club meeting to personally invite artists to join the group.
One of the group members, who has attended the first two meetings, said, “What sparked my interest in the group, as a math and physics student, was to have an outlet for literature and things I wouldn’t otherwise have an outlet for. I can work with other writers and artists and really focus on ideas, and pursue those using different mediums.”
The group riffs off themes, messages, tones and images curated amongst themselves. The strive to fuel their own creativity by reflecting upon the works of others, while inspiring each other and giving feedback on works shared.
Sedlacek added that he writes poetry, and looks forward to collaborating with others who bring their own specializations. “Working with them, there’s going to be a bunch of different mediums that are going to be used,” he said. “[We’ll be able to] pursue the thoughts and ideas that we have using the talents of others in collaboration. It’ll be fun.”
Mohammed Shushari, who attended the second meeting on Nov. 5 said, “I already have a degree, I’m a pharmacist. I was supposed to apply for the Ph.D program, then I found out [while spending time] here in the college … that I enjoyed reading.” He continued, “It’s like a place to go and have some fun. My idea, I already found it here; when you write something, you find an artist who can draw that.”
Anyone interested in working with the Art and Language Collaborative is welcome to. The third meeting of the group will happen on Wednesday, Nov. 12 starting at 4:30 p.m. in room C154, and students can check out the “Art & Language Collaboration – Bellevue College” Facebook group.