Geneseo’s student-run literary magazine, MiNT, has recently widened their output and begun a year-long ekphrasis exchange project. One of the first of MiNT’s larger efforts, the ekphrasis project pairs visual artists and writers and allows them to inspire one another.
Ekphrasis is essentially “art inspired by other pieces of art and writing,” according to co-assistant editor, junior Rachel Britton.
“It can extend to all different kinds of mediums,” Britton said.
Many well-known poets such as Ann Carson and Kevin Young use ekphrasis in their works, and Britton herself is a fan of using visual arts as an inspiration for her own writing.
The project was inspired by Britton’s discovery of a digital literary journal, combined with her passion for keeping the arts and creativity alive on campus.
“It’s a response to the Campus Canvas project,” she said. “I really think that the arts are something that needs to continue on the campus. I like seeing everyone inspire each other.”
In fact, she has found great inspiration from other creative efforts at Geneseo, including a recent study abroad trip to Iceland in which students wrote pieces based on geologic data. Next fall, Britton will be a teaching assistant for assistant professor of English Lytton Smith’s visual art writing class—another source of inspiration for the mastermind behind the ekphrasis project.
“Seeing that was the trigger. I thought, ‘I need to do this now,’” Britton said.
Submissions for the project are already underway. Once Britton receives submissions and samples from those interested in participating —writers and visual artists alike—they will be paired together, one artist and one writer.
The process will begin this summer, as the student artist makes the first move by creating any piece they wish without any guidelines or restrictions from MiNT. Britton will then send their work to their paired writer, who will create their own piece in response. In the third and final round, Britton will take the creative writing pieces and send them back to their artists, who will again create work inspired by what they receive from their writer.
In the 2018 spring semester, MiNT will publish a special edition of the magazine dedicated to the project and the pieces produced by it.
“I’m interested in seeing any and everything,” Britton said. “I really want open doors.”
Everyone from incoming freshman to alumni are welcome to join the project, according to Britton. Submissions are currently open until May 9.