Graduation Date

12-2019

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Emphasis

Emphasis in Creative Writing or Applied Music

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Program Name

Humanities

Program Director

Judy Halebsky, PhD

First Reader

Thomas Burke, MFA

Second Reader

Robert Bradford, MA

Abstract

This creative Master’s Thesis is a collaborative effort between my writings and various visual artistic responses. I submitted my writings to volunteers who agreed to send me a visual or illustrative response to what they read. There were no rules or formatting requirements. The response could be any kind of visual artwork, from a painting, line drawing, or even a photograph. Posting the call for volunteers on Facebook and using simple digital platforms for sharing writing and artwork proved instrumental in enabling this project to reach a global audience.

While this experiment had no expectations or intention at the outset, the effect on both myself and the volunteers had a surprising and positive impact. Participants rediscovered the healing potential of the creative process. Bypassing self-imposed standards and silencing the self-critic opened the door to people finding out that what they have to offer on paper is as important and valuable as a fine work of art. Likewise, every time I received a submission I experienced an overwhelming sense of gratitude and surprise.

As the word ekphrasis represents a literary response to art, there seems not to be a word, or phrase, assigned to the art of creating a visual response to a piece of writing other than illustration, or “ekphrasis in reverse.” The end result is a conversation between writing and art, loaded with trust, emotion, smiles, and some tears. It has been fun, challenging, and a sort of healing experience for all involved.

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