October 1st, 2011, Samek Art Gallery, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
A creative, collaborative installment performed by students in Bucknell’s first Extreme Creativity class. Just another artistic event, right? Not even close. This installation is the culmination of weeks of intense focus and commitment from students, faculty, and staff members, and embodies unbelievable amounts of collaboration from both University and external resources.
The idea for the course was inspired by Princeton University’s “Princeton Atelier” program. The team creating Extreme Creativity desired to bring such a dynamic, interdisciplinary arts collaborative course to Bucknell. And so the Extreme Creativity capstone course was born – a sponsored partnership between the Samek Gallery and the Griot Institute for Africana Studies that brings renowned artists and scholars to the Bucknell campus and into the educational endeavors of Bucknell students, creating a unique opportunity for students to experience multi- and interdisciplinary perspectives through the creative processes of writing, film, photography, drama and dance. The structure of the course is also quite innovative – instead of a regular semester progression, the course is condensed into a six week period that consists of three 3-hour meetings per week. This timeframe facilitates student engagement with experts whose schedules would not allow a semester commitment, and, of course, requires a commendable amount of student dedication.
Photographers Timothy Greenfield-Sanders and Myra Greene have, in the Samek Gallery, staged a joint exhibition of their photographs that concern questions of race and representation. Students have immersed themselves into the backgrounds and contexts of these works, and guest Bucknell faculty members have been teaching understandings of the photographs through their own specific disciplinary lenses that reflect their field’s particular methodologies and theoretical perspectives. Guest Bucknell faculty include Tulu Bayar (Art and Art History), Barry Long (Music), Dustyn Martinchic (Theatre and Dance), Joe Meiser (Art and Art History), Shara McCallum (English), Alex Riley (Sociology and Anthropology), Harriet Rosenberg (Penn State), and Elaine Williams (Theatre and Dance) and the course is conducted by Carmen Gillespie (English, University Arts Coordinator). Also working with the project are Cindy Peltier (Samek Gallery), Rick Rinehart (Samek Gallery), Erin Murphy (LIT), and Robert Gainer (Theatre and Dance, emeritus.) Students respond to these various viewpoints through an array of creative projects, and ultimately culminate their class experiences into a final installation that unifies their many creations and performances into a cohesive response to both the photographs and the complex ideas the photographs express. The artists who are featured in the exhibition, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders and Myra Greene presented lectures in conjunction with the exhibition and spent time with the students in the class. Greene’s lecture is scheduled for September 30, at 5 pm in the ELC forum. Additionally, 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. Professor Kuppers will be in residence at Bucknell from September 20 – until October 2 and will present a noon workshop for faculty on interdisciplinary pedagogy on September 27 in the Samek Gallery, which is co-sponsored by the Center for Teaching and Learning and Women and Gender Studies.
The performative installation of Extreme Creativity is free and open to the public and is scheduled for Saturday, October 1, from 11 am – 1 pm in the Samek Gallery and will include a luncheon reception.