UMF undergrad students, who were in residence at Monson Arts for 3 ½ weeks, presented their individual project’s summation to their peers, teachers, Monson Arts staff, and online parents/friends/advisors on August 23rd in the Monson Arts Tenney House building.
Shown projects reflected the eclectic blend of creativity exhibited by the student group. Focuses encompassed music composers/performers who included compositional playbacks; poetry readings with newly minted accompanying chapbooks; a modern analyze of greek mythology stories; a poet/writer using multimedia sculpture to express poetic language and ideas three-dimensionally; an 8,000 word essay exploring the hidden spaces of lost and layered architecture among other musings; and a comic book artist and writer creating characters, story, and story board from scratch.
Monson Arts Senior Advisor and former poet laureate of Maine, Stuart Kestenbaum, asked students what transformations they experienced while in Monson and responses included:
- “It was nice to continually work and just have the space to “make” without interruption”;
- “I didn’t think of myself as a writer but having the space to go “all in” with dedicated time and, especially, with a deadline, helped produce the work. It changed how I approach my work and changed how I think about myself”;
- “It was great to have a specific focus that I needed to center on, it feels like the first time I can be proud of and call the entire project my own”;
- “I love that it became a community of creatives, surrounded by people who also NEVER had this experience before which bound us together, conversations helped spark creative individual processes”
We can say that the UMF Students were amazing to have in Monson. Their absolute positive energy along with their collaborative and supportive atmosphere enlivened us, spreading to everyone any of the students interacted with; it was heartening to see them among their peers speaking and gesturing out their thoughts or alone in contemplating their projects as they leaned into this creative opportunity. With the help of UMF faculty, Kristen, Aaron, and Noelle, we believe this student group found tremendous success on the Monson Arts campus. We very much look forward to hosting this collaborative partnership next year.