Student Art and Poetry, Spring 2013

Lamson Library and Learning Commons presents Student Art & Poetry, the 6th annual exhibit featuring the creative and collaborative efforts of PSU’s Student Exhibition Committee and PSU’s student organization, Poets and Writers.

Student artists and poets join together to present their artwork and art-inspired poetry or short story. Student Art and Poetry will be on display from April 6th through May 6, 2012. Please join us in Lamson Library for an opening reception on Thursday, April 11th from 6:30 to 7:30, where you will have the opportunity to view art, hear poetry, and meet the creators. Refreshments will be served.

Old Lady by Nick Landry
pen and ink
10 x 13 ½ inches

Old Lady by Cory Levesque

I am not sure if she recognizes me, or my two sisters or my parents. She
sits in her chair staring blankly. I would hardly be able to tell if she was alive
besides her eyes darting around taking turns staring at each of our faces as we
enter the room, trying to recognize, trying to free a memory. How are her eyes so
lively when her muscles and bones are so feeble? The nurse closes the door on
her way out and it is just her and us.

Gram moved into The Hickman when I was ten and I wasn’t sure if I should
be happy or sad. I didn’t know what The Hickman was except for what my
parents told me: “a place for old people like Gram to go to live more
comfortably.” My youngest sister was not yet born and the other was even
younger than me, hardly able to walk. I got a bit older and found out myself what
a nursing home is, a place for old people, like Gram, to go to die more
comfortably. I thought: “now it’s too late to celebrate her life and too soon to
mourn her death.” And I wasn’t sure if I should be happy or sad.

It’s awkward, just my two sisters, me, my parents and Gram in a mostly
white room. Dead silent. A bed, chair, TV and a few of her favorite knickknacks
and pictures we packed her when we moved her out of our house. Nobody is sure
what to say to the women who can speak. Can she speak? Can she hear?

I would ask her about memories but my worse fear is that she wouldn’t
remember. I stare into her pale face and wonder, what is going on inside? Does
she remember blowing bubbles on her front porch on Courtland Street? Does she
remember being at my graduation party? Does she remember her son and
daughter who passed away so many years ago? Does she recognize anyone?
Does she remember us? Does she remember me?

Is she blank? No. She is so full of life that her memories have coagulated
into an undecipherable pattern of swirling lines and spirals. She is full of setting
suns, recognizable parts of her lost husband, children and children’s children. Her
mind is a synaptic disarray of lines straight and swirling, micro-explosions of a
beautiful life. So many memories so tightly tangled and twisted. Her memories
have become a memory while sitting quietly in her rocking chair at The Hickman,
waiting. Individually, they are beautiful but together they are a masterwork of a
life too soon forgotten in a hospital without hope.

My dad reads her a story while Mom sends emails from her iPhone. My
sisters sit and play Rummy, which she taught them long ago, and I stare into the
full green eyes of my Gram, still darting around, still lively. Time slips by slow and
unnoticed; it is time to leave. I slowly close the door behind us and smile at
Gram, and to my surprise, she looks at me and smiles back. I am twenty now,
and still don’t know if I should be happy or sad.

Who am I? by Shannon Rodgers
9 x 13 inches

Who am I? by Kim Chandler

What makes up the soul?
Is there a molecular base like
some microcosm of our beings
hidden deep inside of us,
laying under the skin like
we rest under the weight
of stars that are far beyond
our reach? Are we that
far away from knowing who we are
that when it’s dark
we lay awake and try to
beat something out of us,
tangible like the sheets that
tangle around our limbs?
Is the soul the only whole
piece of us? The rest just
guts and nerves that lay
and wait their turn to die.
When this body of mine dies, will
whatever I really am
pull itself out of its box and
look up into the brown of my eyes
like they were twinkling stars,
and wonder how
long ago they were lost?


Small Realizations by Jaclyn Wood
encaustic and mixed media

8 x 8 inches

Small Realizations by Leah Loraditch

At times I feel I’m spread along too thin
I’m forever encased in gauzy haze
and lost beneath the layers of your skin.

I’m frozen while the world begins to spin
I’m fading underneath your heavy gaze.
At times I feel I’m spread along too thin,

and losing pieces of cheeky grin,
as this small realization fills my days:
I’m lost beneath the layers of your skin.

They tell me countless times to keep my chin
up and not let the things that you do faze
me, but I feel I’m spread along too thin

and every day I face you with chagrin.
My back is cracked beneath my need for praise,
somewhere beneath the layers of your skin.

But this time I won’t let you win.
When I start to burn, you’ll feel my blaze
each time you try to stretch me out too thin
or bury me in the layers of your skin.

Design by Hannah Marie Smith

13 x 15 inches

Meaning by Design by Haley A. Sciola

She is a boxed circumference.Her potential circumnavigates
her fists, shivering, shoulders, withdrawn,
walled-up insecurities ferociously jittering.
Swirling figurative waves are her only safe space.

All her worries can see you next Tuesday,
after Monday (please stop stalking her),
after moments savor themselves,
after behavioral patterns congeal.
And she is left in lonely rumination.

The protagonist finds a filthy darkness
about the idea of clinging to her strengths,
attacking the unwelcoming world,
paradoxically hopeful and hopeless.
Bruises heal but her wrist, watch remembers pain, impact.

She could go around and through
the balled up flashbacks of thought bubbles
but she will never transcend
what she has pinned to her paradigm:
Objectified subject in a beautiful vomitorium.

Perfection, to her, is stars and sun converging
imperfectly for once, like her own self-image.
Meaning is only microcosmic.
Meaning is sense out of irrational anxiety.
Meaning is a breath, and another moment more.

When she realizes her possibilities in life
are a collage of predetermined geometries,
she loses motivation to believe in freedom,
lacks desire to design anymore days.
She flips off her panic, continues to panic.

Epiphany is her underwire bra:
Good or bad, it pushes minute eye candies up, into confidence
but no matter what or who she draws into her own lines,
she’s still just a shape shifter
hanging onto structures—

Like the end of her rope.

Paint Your Imagination by Maggie Elizabeth Dempsey
oil paint

16 x 18 inches

Paint Your Imagination by Melissa Fintonis

The young girl dances to the beat of the waves.
Rhythmic and twirling with the ocean’s breeze,
she is the painter of her own imagination
as the strokes of her brush craft a world

all her own.

The ship in the distance beckons
and calls out her name to seize adventure.
Yet, on the shore she remains
where the sand glistens like the twinkle of diamonds

in the sun’s setting rays.

Underneath the depths of the water,
a whale sings a symphony,
drawing a school of fish towards him
and lulling them into a slumber of dreams

upon the seaweed beds.

She longs to escape into the realm of
her creations, for it is then
that her innermost fantasies
are given life to the one, true
beholder of her imagination.