by Jennifer Holley
One of the pleasures of being a teacher is seeing the often surprisingly varied, original work that students produce—particularly on projects that may seem challenging to us (“Will they grasp the assignment’s complexities? Is this too much to ask of freshmen?”), and to them (“How will I get this done?!”). Often in LCC courses, we ask our students to “Think Big,” and encourage them to do so with assignments that are creative, challenging, and broadly conceived (that is, we don’t spoon-feed them a specific essay topic or conventional, straightforward assignment outline).
Such assignments may require more work for us as professors, and for the students as well, but the results are often worth it. In our classes, we have had the pleasure of viewing brilliantly designed posters, hearing “This I Believe” essays that move us to tears, watching hilarious nonverbal performance works, and maybe even seeing a zombie movie or two. In the best student works, message and media come together in rich and provocative ways—with the end results seeming anything but “the fulfillment of a course assignment.” The best assignments not only inspire our students, but also have end results that inspire us in return.
Wouldn’t it be gratifying to show off your students’ achievements to a larger audience? Now you can! The upcoming exhibition, Student View, will display and celebrate student artifacts produced in English 1101 and 1102 classes, as well as in other LCC undergraduate classes that encourage multimodality. The exhibit is part of the Writing and Communication Program’s new initiative with the Ferst Center for the Arts to promote the excellent work done by Georgia Tech students and to promote the arts on campus and to the larger Georgia Tech community.
The Ferst Center Gallery Committee is looking for nominations of “traditional” visual artifacts that could be displayed on the walls and pedestals in the galleries (e.g., posters and sculptures); however, we also want works in a variety of other media. We will have projectors and laptops available to accommodate your projects. If you can dream it, we can (most likely!) find a way to exhibit it! Selected artifacts in all modes and media will be displayed in the Ferst Center galleries from December 2011 through January 2012.
The nomination form is available at: bit.ly/ferstcenter. You are welcome to nominate works from your spring, summer, and fall 2011 courses. The deadline for nominations (up to three artifacts) is October 31, 2011. Among other things, the submission form asks for a short (100-150 word) artist statement written by the student(s) that reflects on the artifact’s purpose, process, and audience. It should also include a brief bio (name, year at Georgia Tech, major). These artist statements will accompany the selected pieces in the exhibition. You will also be asked to provide an electronic link to the artifact.
Don’t hesitate to contact any of the Ferst Center Gallery Committee members with any questions and/or suggestions! This exhibition provides a unique opportunity for undergraduates to share their artifacts with their families, the Georgia Tech community, and Ferst Center visitors. This exhibition also highlights your innovative teaching that makes such exciting student work possible.
Doris Bremm, Chair