By 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”
By 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.