West Campus Showcase — May 2014

“Bread”— Poem

nick-bekas-groveBy Nicholas “Nick” Bekas, Campus Dean of Academic Affairs, West Campus

As the dean of academic affairs on the West Campus, I also teach Composition I classes. While I have been writing for years, this piece is the first time I’ve shared my work in a public forum — in fact, the first time I’ve shared with anyone other than my wife and daughters, who wish I would write something more interesting.

Most of my ideas come from memories of a particular event, and starting from there, I let these images develop in their own way, editing and rewriting until I have something with a shape.

Although I am not writing autobiography, there are often autobiographical threads woven throughout my works. I have no goal in terms of writing other that it being a diversion from the everyday, a means to no end, a simple respite from the ordinary.


Still in our church clothes admonished not to tear them,
we slip through autumn-thinned bushes playing tag

between bites of warm peppery Portuguese bread

and quick gulps of orange Faygo still cool from the icebox.

Parents and grandparents sit in seasoned Adirondack chairs talking
about adult things, sipping strong coffee, and eating bread.

“You’re it!” echoes across the street over a concrete wall
where prisoners play ball in a yard surrounded by concertina wire

thinking of what it means to be free.

“Time Out” and “Repurpose”

rose-casterline-collage-groveBy Rose Thome Casterline, Adjunct Professor of Humanities

Rose Thome Casterline, adjunct professor of humanities, balances teaching, drawing and painting at the West Campus with art making. Her creative process includes observation, engaging in conversations and reflecting upon these experiences. Merging every day, mundane experiences with a daily drawing practice, Rose discovers humorous narratives that tap into popular culture trends. The new work, titled “Time Out” and “Repurpose,” explores large-scale installation and looks at storytelling and its relationship to the position and placement of imagery.

“My work explores the concepts of duality, conformity and play. Recently I’ve discovered the “fun” in the art making, embracing random playfulness with my studio process, engaging chance and intuition with gestural, mark-making, while still responding to the initial gesture of the human form. Bringing this experimental attitude and process to the public domain expands the narrative potential of the work.”

During the installation at Cornell Fine Art Museum of these modular works, the position and placement are manipulated and reviewed from a variety of compositional arrangements. Through this process, alternative meanings and narratives emerge. This strategic approach to painting offers an implicit, rather than an explicit, literal meaning to the imagery. In figuration, the relationship of the elements: gesture, body language, gaze, garb and layout can radically change the narrative. Conceptually, the aesthetic involvement of a third party, the viewer, resolves this narrative experiment.

Rose’s installation, “Time Out,” is on display at the Cornell Fine Art Museum through Sunday, August 31, 2014.

Click here to see more of Rose’s work.


  • Diane Orsini said:

    Rose! The work is beautiful! I am so glad you allowed us a glimpse!

    PMMon, 05 May 2014 17:45:26 +0000Mon, 05 May 2014 17:45:26 +0000pm14,5:45 pm

  • Karen Cowden said:

    I am thrilled that art work is starting to appear, more, on our west campus walls. Thank you, Rose, for the leadership and student showcasing.

    AMTue, 06 May 2014 04:02:08 +0000Tue, 06 May 2014 04:02:08 +0000am14,4:02 am

  • Aaron said:

    And a very nice poem, Mr. Bekas!

    PMMon, 19 May 2014 16:11:37 +0000Mon, 19 May 2014 16:11:37 +0000pm14,4:11 pm

  • Bob Gessner said:

    Nick, I am not usually into poetry, but I actually enjoyed reading your poem and all my senses were working as I read through this very nice work.

    PMMon, 19 May 2014 17:21:26 +0000Mon, 19 May 2014 17:21:26 +0000pm14,5:21 pm

  • Karen said:


    PMMon, 19 May 2014 17:25:58 +0000Mon, 19 May 2014 17:25:58 +0000pm14,5:25 pm

  • Donna Deitrick said:

    Nick! You are amazing and who knew so talented!!!

    AMTue, 20 May 2014 08:51:24 +0000Tue, 20 May 2014 08:51:24 +0000am14,8:51 am

  • Diane Orsini said:

    Well done, Dr. Bekas! the poem is beautiful!

    AMTue, 20 May 2014 10:20:56 +0000Tue, 20 May 2014 10:20:56 +0000am14,10:20 am

  • Robin L. Simmons said:

    Both of you have art here that transports the reader/viewer to magical places. Share more!

    AMWed, 21 May 2014 07:38:24 +0000Wed, 21 May 2014 07:38:24 +0000am14,7:38 am

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Posts

    Faculty Highlight: Rose Casterline Draws Students to Success

    Wednesday, November 17, 2021  By Jennifer Keefe Quick … Take out a piece of paper and a pencil. Now, draw a vase, a table, a window and a chair. Oh, and you only have about five minutes to complete them all. This hands-on, metacognitive experience is how students in Professor of Art Rose Casterline’s introductory visual art […]

    Exploring Work and Play, Rose Casterline’s Work...

    Thursday, December 10, 2020 A Message from Terri Graham, Interim President, West and Downtown Campuses Rose Casterline, professor, art, recently exhibited her work at Tallahassee Community College (TCC). “These 34 paintings together in one space document an eight-year evolution of my art and a preoccupation with the concept of work and play,” said Rose. “This was a good […]