Here at Read.Write.Repeat we are passionate about books, art, and all manner of artists, so when the graduating cohort of OSU-Cascades’ Master of Fine Art program asked us to host their capstone project, we jumped at the opportunity. We also jumped because I am one of the cohort members and I loved the idea of turning my homework into a podcast episode. I never could resist killing two birds with one stone…get it? Stone? Because my last name is…I’m sorry, that was bad. I’d promise never to attempt a pun again, but we all know how much Dylan loves them.
Back on the topic of artists and passion, Kaisha, Dylan, and I have often talked about how important creativity is for everyone, not just the chosen few we call artists. When I joined the cohort, I was surprised by how each member was there to explore writing, not because they thought it might make them rich and famous (though with the talent in this crew, I’m sure that isn’t far off) or because they wanted to make a name for themselves in some artistic movement, but because they valued creativity in their lives. They were getting a master’s degree because they were passionate about their writing, regardless of what came of it. For example, Hannah is a phenomenal photographer who was looking for different ways to explore and expand on her photography. She pairs her photos with beautiful poems or lyrical prose. These girls write because they are passionate about reading. They write because it makes them feel good. They write because they must. When we were faced with creating a capstone project around our art, we knew that regardless of the form it took, it needed to reflect those values.
Each cohort at OSUC creates a capstone project as part of their graduation requirement. The project is meant to involve the community in a meaningful way that demonstrates “creativity, vision, risk, collaboration, and place-based art-making.” It is meant to help us learn to get out of our isolated writer holes and engage with each other. More importantly, it is meant to push us beyond the typical author readings that are so prevalent. If we truly believe that art is good for the soul and creativity as necessary as exercising to a healthy existence, then as artists, we are obligated to bring an interactive experience to our audience and to engage them in the creative process.
We decided to create two episodes for the podcast that explore the passion, value, and nature of creative writing and engage you in the process. One thing that is readily apparent is that we are a vastly varied group, not only in personality but also in what we write and our approaches to writing. Our first episode, which airs May 13th at noon, Pacific, honors and celebrates those differences. We each have designed a short segment that highlights our work, our creative process, or some part of our writing life. It is the perfect opportunity to geek out, get inspired, and join in. Between that episode and our follow-up episode June 17th, we plan to engage you on social media. We want to learn about the role writing and art take in your own life, your processes, and what inspires you. We also hope you will ask us questions about our art, our process, our lives, or any other curiosities that arise while you listen to our segments. In June we are recording with a live, local audience during our residency at Caldera. In that episode, we will answer your questions and share some of what you have shared with us. We can’t wait to hear what you all have to say!