Monday, May 4, 2015

Independent Study leads to Online Literary Magazine

Fledgling Literary Magazine is the brainchild of senior Bloomsburg University English major Sean Williams, who created the magazine as part of a Spring 2015 independent study under the direction of poet and creative writing professor Jerry Wemple.

According to Williams, the goal of the project is "to create an online workshopping experience for young/ aspiring writers, to provide a safe, no-cost, no-judgment outlet for them to publish their creative writing, and to give visitors of the site resources with which to improve their writing."

Williams, who studies English and creative writing with minors in professional writing and French, describes the process that led to Fledgling Literary Magazine as follows:

"To complete this independent study, I basically divided the project into two halves this semester. I devoted the first half of the semester to website creation--creating the elements, organizing, writing the content for pages, etc. The second half was devoted to publishing content and spreading visibility. That meant advertising on social media, spreading the word to different audiences, and actually having content up for people to see."

While he encourages participants to permit online publication of their work, Williams says, "I also welcome the opportunity to just read the pieces writers send me so that I can give feedback to them to the best of my ability. Sometimes the best thing a writer can do is ask someone to look at the piece with fresh eyes. I do that for no charge."

Visitors to the site can read published pieces and offer constructive criticism via moderated comments. Williams also offers writing tips, prompts, and links to external resources.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Storytelling – A student art exhibit blending together art and psychology

Senior Nicole Updegrove is currently showcasing work on the second floor of Centennial Hall from her Independent Study—Storytelling.  The project she did with guidance from Art professor Vera Viditz-Ward is a mix of her two loves, Art and Psychology.

Updegrove, a double major in both fields, visited Balanced Care Bloomsburg every Friday during the Spring 2015 semester and worked with speech therapist Carrie Vitko.  She had Updegrove bring in original narrative portraitures, simple images of people that could create a story.  The photographs were then shown to the elderly onset dementia patients at the assisted living center, where Vito would elicit the residents to talk.

Updegrove said the project helped the residents express themselves.

“The idea is to create a free flowing environment, instead of pulling out memories which can be painful,” she said.  “It also gets them out and makes them feel like they are contributing to something.”

She said when she arrived at the beginning of a session the residents would be quiet and uncomfortable, but after the hour-long class they would feel more confident around others and feel open to express themselves.

In the art exhibit, you will see the original photograph, a poem or story that was created directly from the residents’ reactions, and then a second photograph to represent what was seen by the storytellers.  The second photograph is a negative sandwich, a mixture of two different images, a medium Updegrove has enjoyed working with throughout her undergraduate career.  The photos are laid together, then the exposure of light blends them together when they are put to paper with the darkroom chemicals.  It’s not until the image is finalized that she would know what parts of an image would be visible in the finished photographic image.

Updegrove, a native of Carson City, Nevada, will be pursuing a Master’s Degree in Art Therapy at Drexel University in the fall.  Storytelling will be on display until Friday, May 8.

--Jackie Sadock, College of Liberal Arts