Exhibition: Transformations of Text: Artworks by Susan Ruth Cohen, through Friday, 3/27

Susan Ruth Cohen-Small is a visual artist, art educator, and current student in the TC Art and Art Education Ed.M. (expected 2015) program. She holds an M.F.A and permanent New York State teacher certification in Art, and is a Teaching Artist and museum Educator for the Queens Museum. She also works as a Field Supervisor of student teachers for the TC Art & Art Education department. Susan originally created Colorsong in 2010 and then created a re-interpretation of the text and the Transformations of Text series for her independent study project at Teachers College in the fall of 2014.

"Transformations of Text is my visual expressions of words, sounds and urban places. I began with the Colorsong poem and accompanying artworks, which was presented in book format and completed in 2010 for my exhibition at the Long Island Children’s Museum. As a Teaching Artist, I then brought Colorsong into the classroom and developed lessons that use the Colorsong artwork and words as an educational tool to spark creative writing, drawing and dance movement. In 2014, I collaborated with a choreographer and a composer to turn Colorsong into a multi-media dance performance with original music, a paper sculpture and an animated projection of my Colorsong artwork. My work on the performance inspired me to go back and expand upon the themes of visualizing music and the Colorsong poem. In the Visualizing Music series I explored how to draw musical instruments through sense of touch, sight and sound. By overlaying my sense drawings, I arrived at my final works, which express the feeling, the sight and the sound of instruments playing music. I next created a re-interpretation of the Colorsong poem and performance, which is the series of works shown here in the powerpoint projection. In the third series, entitled Text of the City, I drew upon my collaborative work with TC Senior Librarian Jennifer Govan and Humboldt-University student-researcher Martin Kroetz in the Cities and Diversity research lab, in which we explored the many ways that the city can be read as a text. My three series of works come together in the Transformations of Text exhibition, which is an expression of the words, music and dance of Colorsong, re-interpreted and transformed back into visual imagery that finds its way into the fabric of urban settings."
--Susan Ruth Cohen

Transformations of Text is in three sections: Words to Images: Colorsong, poem and artworks by Susan Ruth Cohen; Visualizing Music with mixed media drawings of the oboe, violin, piano, and guitar; and Text of the City, depicting urban symbols, settings, and networks with collage and mixed media.

During the period of the exhibition, we will conduct two educational workshops to explore the classroom applications of Transformations of Text. The workshops will engage pre-service teachers, educators and students in various ways to transform text: from words into visual images, music and/or dance movement, and using visual images to ignite creative writing.

The concept for the Transformations of Text exhibit is the collaborative brainchild of Jennifer, Martin and Susan of the TC and Humboldt-University Cities and Diversity research lab. The exhibit is curated by Gonzalo Obelleiro, graphic designer, Innovation Fellow, and recent doctoral graduate of the program of Philosophy and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Where: Offit Gallery, through Friday, 3/27
Closing Reception: Wednesday, 3/25, 3-5pm, 306 Russell (rsvp)
Workshops: Finding the Song, Friday, 3/6, 9-11am, Offit Gallery

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