By Jordan Beach
Several academic buildings encircle Lake Mullenix on Reinhardt’s campus, a representation of the many connections between disciplines that create Reinhardt’s holistic education, including a recent collaboration between the art and theatre departments.
Associate art professor Jym Davis was showing David Nisbet, theatre program coordinator, a project his students were working on when the idea for the collaboration first sparked. Art students created collages of famous playwrights in Davis’ Introduction to Art course in Spring 2019 that would eventually begin the “Hall of Playwrights” at Reinhardt University Theater.
“When I saw them, I was blown away and asked him if we could display them in the theater building,” said Nisbet.
After the first few were created and displayed, Nisbet asked for more students to continue expanding the display, to which the next commission was given to the Fall 2020 Oil and Acrylics class. Davis hopes to create at least nine in total and is open to having his students create more and possibly decorate other spots on campus.
“What better way for two programs to collaborate as visual artists using playwrights as the focus of their work,” Nisbet said. “I have asked him to continue this as we have a lot of wall space to show off the prowess of our art majors and for our patrons to get to know these famous playwrights.”
The original three canvases portray William Shakespeare, Samuel Beckett and Arthur Miller, and the newest ones portray Oscar Wilde, Lorraine Hansberry and August Wilson.
“It is a unique process where we collage the background of the canvas with paper and then work a stencil on top of the collage,” said Davis. “The class researches various images of the playwrights while designing our stencils.”
Digital design major Sarah Crawford ’20 enjoyed contributing to a project that will leave a legacy to those who participated.
“Working on these projects was such a cool experience, knowing that a class project will be a part of the ‘forever collection’ that the school will show off,” said Crawford. “I know it makes the new Black Box a more friendly space and I am honored to be selected to make that environment livelier. It is something that I enjoyed doing.”