Fairfield University's Bellarmine Museum of Art launches new summer exhibition June 15

ekphrasis provides a wonderful opportunity to collaborate across the curriculum

Image: Kress artFairfield University's Bellarmine Museum of Art will launch an exciting new summer exhibition, ekphrasis, on June 15, 2011. Taking as its premise the ancient technique of responding to visual works of art through the written word ("ekphrasis"), this show provides a unique platform for graduate students in Fairfield University's MFA in Creative Writing program to showcase newly created "ekphrastic" works of poetry and prose.

Envisioned by museum director, Jill Deupi, J.D., Ph.D., as an annual event, ekphrasis i highlights the work of poet and author Jeanne Delarm-Neri (MFA '12), who has created six new poems that respond directly to works in the Bellarmine Museum's collections. From a delicate 14th-century French ivory diptych (on loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Department of Medieval Art and the Cloisters) to plaster casts after masterworks from the Parthenon frieze, DeLarm-Neri engages with a broad cross-section of objects in the museum. Deupi said: "Such writings give voice to a very personal aesthetic experience, which in turn provides our visitors with new points of departure for their own interpretations and musings. For example, Ms. Delarm-Neri writes of an 18th-century work, by the Neapolitan master Paolo de'Matteis, Andromeda and Perseus: 'They fly to the twisted city./They deposit the heads of monsters.' Such evocative language encourages us to focus on details in the painting we might otherwise overlook, and to think anew about the myths, legends and episodes from history with which we may already be familiar. These poems similarly remind us of the close ties that have bound the literary and the visual arts throughout history; above all, during antiquity. Perhaps most importantly ekphrasis provides the Bellarmine Museum with a wonderful opportunity to collaborate across the curriculum, a key component of Fairfield University's Strategic Plan."  

Professor Michael White, program director of the MFA in Creative Writing and distinguished author of six novels, including "Beautiful Assassin" and "Soul Catcher," concurs, noting: "The museum is an untapped resource permitting our students not only the pleasure of viewing, but the inspirational vehicle to enter into the creative act themselves."

DeLarm-Neri's poems will be displayed throughout the museum's galleries next to the objects they address. They will also be posted on the BMA's website together with images of the relevant works. ekphrasis i: jeanne delarm-neri (MFA '12) continues through September 15, 2011. For further information, please see www.fairfield.edu/museum.


The Bellarmine Museum's Summer Hours are as follows:
June, Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., no appointment necessary.July and August, Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., prior appointment necessary.
Phone: (203) 254-4046 or e-mail: museum@fairfield.edu.

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Media Contact: Martha Milcarek, Asst. Vice President for Public Relations, (203) 254-4190

Posted on May 12, 2011

Vol. 43, No. 302

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