Fusion Art 2014 book released during poetry event

Thursday, February 13, 2014


For Corban poets and artists, the most anticipated book of 2014 was the one they personally created.

On Feb. 12, student poets, painters and photographers met in the Psalm Performing Arts Center at Corban’s Salem campus for the culmination of Fusion Art 2014, a mixture of poetry, photography and paintings submitted by students for a book and Psalm Visual Arts Gallery show. Following an evening of poetry reading and reflections by the artists, the newly published book, “Fusion Art 2014: With the Stars So Close,” was presented to them.

The Fusion Art show was started four years ago by Colette Tennant, Ph.D., a professor of English at Corban. She envisioned student poets opening their work to painters and photographers for interpretation and combining these elements for an art gallery show.

“The result is this wonderful mixture of poetry, painting and photography,” she said. “It is fascinating how art can beget art. I think college students have a hunger to express themselves and the Fusion Art Show provides this outlet to many.”

The first book, “Fusion Art 2013: The Pretty Wild,” was released last February and was a catalyst for many students who would not have otherwise considered themselves writers or artists. The book was well received with nearly 500 copies being printed and sold.

The title of the 2014 book, “With the Stars so Close,” was selected “because it captures the eclectic, unpredictable, yet beautiful mixture of art that happens when these three genres are combined. It also hints at the gravitational pull of these three genres as they influence each other.”

It features poems such as “My Grand Design” by J.P. Partridge, which brings the reader into the innocence of a little boy who imagines being able to move the stars, as well as “Barabbas at Disneyland,” which invites reads to imagine what the New Testament villain may have experienced at Disneyland, “the happiest place on Earth.”

A photograph by Austen Wilks peers through the monkey bars at a playground with a pocket watch at the end as her interpretation of “Chronic Distraction” by Haley Wangberg while Ellie Bartlow’s painted interpretation of “Give Thanks” by Emily Abbey features faceless family members with their thoughts written on them.

“Fusion Art 2014: With the Stars So Close” is now available for $15. To buy a copy, email Tennant at ctennant@corban.edu or call her at 503-589-8103.

The Fusion Art 2014 gallery show will be held in the Psalm Visual Arts Gallery through March. The gallery is located at 5000 Deer Park Dr. Se in Salem. It is free and open weekdays 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

  • This photograph by Cassandra Forster was an interpretation of "Walk the Freedom Trail" by Kate Murray.

  • Though there was no raven in Esther Verbruggen's poem "Poe in Portland," Sarah Jack wanted to include the iconic bird in tribute to the poem's namesake Edgar allen Poe.

  • Haley Wangberg's poem "Chronic Distraction" led Austen Wilks to photograph a pocketwatch as seen through a loop of monekybars.

  • Ellie Bartlow tackled complex family relationships as she painted her interpretation of "Give Thanks" by Emily Abbey.

  • Jesse Belleque, right, discusses his painted interpretation of "To Sing to You," written by his wife, Hannah Belleque, left. Olivia Heisey, middle, also talked about her interpretive photograph during the Fusion Art 2014 event. Photo courtesy of J.P. Partridge/Hilltop News Photographer

  • Professor of English Colette Tennant, Ph.D., cheers on the poets, painters and photographers who contributed to the book "Fusion Art 2014: With the Stars So Close." Photo courtesy of J.P. Partridge/Hilltop News Photographer

  • Sophomore Nathan Messmer talks about his poem, "Match," during the Fusion Art 2014 poetry event on Feb. 12, 2014. Photo courtesy of J.P. Partridge/Hilltop News Photographer

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