Coogs recognized in art competition
In conjunction with Dionysia 2012, the third annual Ekphrastic Art Competition and Agora Festival at the Honor’s College inside the M.D. Anderson Memorial Library was held on Wednesday.
Held by UH’s Honor’s College Center for Creative Work, the Ekphrastic Art Competition and Agora Festival showcased artwork, dance, music and poetry.
The lounge-like venue started in 2010 and has garnered more competing students each year.
However, these students were not just performing and showcasing their talents for the spirit of competition. They were asked to compose works that coincide with great pieces of literature.
“Ekphrastic means art that responds to art and, in this case, we wanted to honor the Human Situation Great Books course that we teach here at UH,” human situation professor and co-host Gabriella Maya said.
“We’ve asked students to interpret, respond to or against certain pieces of literature or an aspect of that literature.”
The competition was divided into three different categories based on what students brought to the table: dance performances, poetry readings and musical performances.
Each competitor also had to keep in mind the “Travels to the Underworld” theme that tied into the festival.
This theme consisted of images taken from epics such as “The Odyssey” and Dante’s “Inferno” and compounded with deep, vividly gothic scenery that creates successfully executed pieces of ekphrastic work.
Each competitor kept true to the theme.
Senior Tijana Zdravic whose poem, “Hades Visit,” told a story of how her encounter with Hades from the underworld would be like the dance and violin number from freshmen Thu-Mai Nguyen and Lydia Velasquez portrayed the character of Odysseus’ wife Penelope.
The venue itself, while small in attendance and somewhat limited in space, plays well to the laid back at-home vibe.
Spectators at the event had the choice to sit on the floor, chairs or even on comfortable couches that conveniently had art placed around them.
However, the ambient and tranquil feel that kept for a good hour seemed to turn into a room that is used for meetings and the feeling was lost in the midst of this.
Despite that, the audience was well receptive to what was displayed.
In the end, junior Chad Maydwell took first place for his artwork, “Sirens”.
Seniors Archie Parks and Emilie Catlett took first place for the musical number “Love Knell” and finally Nguyen and Velasquez took home first place for “Penelope’s Lament”.
While each winner may have walked away with $50, co-host Kimberly Meyer noted that the real winners were the old Great Books that were brought back to life to connect with today’s generation.