PCAL project offers many creative opportunities

Laurel Deppen

“Create It Forward,” sponsored by the Potter College of Arts and Letters, is what coordinator Shura Pollatsek defines as, “a game of telephone, but with art.”

It began this September when Pollatsek selected a quote to which artists are to respond. Though the quote will remain a secret until the exhibit is opened in April, Pollatsek explained she selected a quote from a Bosnian author to coordinate with the International Year of Bosnia at WKU.

September participants responded to this quote in different ways.

Musical theatre major Shyama Iyer participated in the first round of “Create It Forward.” She responded to the original quotation by producing a solo show in her Contemporary Performance Studies class. Iyer, who is very active in both the theatre and dance departments, also responded to other artists’ work later on in the chain.

Iyer commented on the value of what she was doing as a part of the “Create It Forward” process.

“This project is so cool because it really encompasses the power of creativity,” Iyer said. “Normally when artists make something, they want it to make statements or express something, this process takes that idea to the next level, because not only does each creation make a statement and express individual artists, but it actually inspires something tangible to come after it.”

Artists in the month of October then responded to the September artists’ work, but they did not see the original quote. This process will continue with each group of artists each month until March.

Pollatsek explained “Create It Forward” participants include students and faculty members. The artists featured are not only painters or performers, but also people involved in creative writing and advertising.

Meghen McKinley teaches a dance improvisation course at WKU. Her students responded to an art image from a previous group.

“They used movement exploration to examine the image both individually and as a community of dancers,” McKinley said.

McKinley commented on how she saw the project as beneficial to her students.

“It was heart-warming to see the excitement on the dancers’ faces when they saw the art work,” McKinley said. “As a group of creative individuals, the dancers were so impressed and inspired by the work that was created in a different medium. They were immediately invested into the process and challenge of bringing life to the picture through movement and felt a responsibility and ownership as their work was being passed along.”

McKinley then went on to describe how she views the merit of a project like “Create It Forward.”

“The process of being a part of a larger community is something extremely important in the arts, as well as in being a sympathetic and collaborative part of society,” McKinley said. “A deeper level of appreciation of perspective, talent, and innovation was brought to the forefront. These skills are elements that all students at WKU should experience and are capable of. Art forms allow us to speak the same language and unite even-though we may be from very different walks of life.”

The “Create It Forward” process is still underway, and Pollatsek said there is still time for more participants to join. Participants are welcomed to sign up for a slot in December and January or February and March by emailing Pollatsek at [email protected].

All of the work that has been submitted as a part of the “Create It Forward” process will be showcased in the Kentucky Museum at the end of April.

Reporter Laurel Deppen can be reached at (270)745-2655 and [email protected].