A Language that Needs No Translation

by Rachel Pledger '07

The West Campus courtyards resounded October 18, during the Department of Art and the School of Music's first-ever, student-led joint exhibition, Needs No Translation. Curators John Navarro '07 and Nick Fong '08 achieved a pastiche of Jazz Era romance, carnival-like charm, and nostalgic impressionism, resurrecting a contemporary 1940s class.

The name of the show derived from the universal aspect of art and music. "Our hope was to create a dialogue between the two 'languages' of art and music that could transcend the walls blocking people - who normally would not understand or appreciate artistic dialect - and perhaps even translate the messages more directly through the two departments' interactions," said Navarro.

The APU Jazz Ensemble commenced the evening with Billies Bounce and after a brief set, Navarro welcomed audiences to the event. Each exhibit was allotted a location and time slot and throughout its duration artists created on canvas or clay while musicians played. Guests were encouraged to view each exhibit upon initiation.

The first exhibit featured Art majors Jennifer Harlow '08 and Tyler Floren '07 who painted on canvas to the steady acoustic percussion provided by three International Chapel musicians.

After a brief intermission, Amber Burdick '07, dressed in a dramatic white gown, performed Erik Satie's Gymnopedie No. 1 on harp in the center of Darling Plaza. She sat at the top of a white cloth aisle, a red flood light spreading her shadow at her feet. Roughly twenty meters ahead Daniel Miller '07 stood erect, dressed in white, and gathered the excess fabric in his mouth, its slack falling in a flowing heap to join the material he stood upon.

Guests then joined trombonist Michelle Barr '09 and Art majors Jamie Meadows '08 and Katelyn Paige '08 at the Kresge Plaza. Barr played J. B. Arban's Its Fantasie Brilliante, while Meadows and Paige put eager brush to canvas.

The final exhibit featured Art majors Joelle Sands '07 and Allison Purdy '08 sculpting to the enchanting String Trio no. 1 in B Major by Franz Schubert.

Audiences culminated in the dozens. "One of the biggest surprises was in the natural draw that the performances had to a rather unanticipated audience," said Navarro. "Thus, our less than perfect advertising was compensated for by the pure appeal that this relationship between artists and musicians had."