Chromography: Writing in Color – at the RUAG

Smithson

CHROMOGRAPHY: WRITING IN COLOR
Translating communication symbols & systems into color, sound and objects

Rowan University Art Gallery presents Chromography: Writing in Color, a two-person exhibition examining concepts of translation and symbol-based communication, from March 23 – May 9. A reception on Thursday, April 9 from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. features an artist’s talk beginning at 6:00 p.m. to include a performance of excerpts from musical translations represented in the exhibit.

Artists Melinda Steffy and Gerard Brown explore concepts of translation and symbol-based communication in their work. Starting with different sets of symbols—Steffy with music and Brown with writing—both artists have developed systems for translating distinct methods of communication into visual artworks. Written texts, then, rely on color and pattern to be understood. Music, usually experienced as linear and time-based, can be seen all at once, in immediate spatial configurations.

Gerard Brown explores the intersection of seeing and reading, often by employing codes that do not—at first glance—resemble writing. Brown employs a script of nautical signal flags arranged according to traditional “tumbling block” pattern similar to quilting patterns. The tumbling block pattern is a powerful optical illusion that creates the feeling of three-dimensional space on a flat plane. This illusion offers an analog to the ways writing can be confused with speech. Unlike most other forms of writing, signal flags rely on color to communicate their message and are easily confused with one another if color is absent. Converting the common alphabet into a patterned array of color reveals idiosyncratic instances in language, as letterforms repeat and combine into new shapes and arrangements.

Steffy explores congruent patterns by translating compositions by J.S. Bach and Béla Bartók into watercolor paintings on paper. In her translations, each of the notes of the chromatic scale corresponds with a hue on the color wheel; as the music progresses through the key signatures, the paintings’ color schemes shift. Notes and rhythms are plotted on a grid to show intrinsic tonal and rhythmic structures. The subtle irregularity of the hand-painted squares and watercolor pigments captures a sense of tone variation similar to a live performance.

A central element of this exhibition is “The Hours,” an elaborate experiment in translation that moves messages from writing to music to image. Working with Solresol, a language created from the seven notes of the musical scale, Brown translated short literary descriptions of times of day into brief melodies that chime at the hours they describe. For example, a passage about the end of the day from Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” becomes a lonely, meandering melody for brass ensemble. Each tune was then re-scored by Steffy, using the system she invented to represent Bach compositions. Several of these visualizations are installed on the gallery windows as decals, and each of them sounds at its designated time in the public space outside the gallery.

RTF Students Learn Screenwriting from Jonathan Estrin

FullSizeRender-3Keith Brand

On March 6-7, RTF students participated in a workshop led by Jonathan Estrin.  Mr. Estrin is a noted screenwriter and producer in Hollywood.  In addition to serving as Executive Producer on a number of notable television series in the 1980’s and 1990’s, his writing credits include Jasper Texas, a 2003 Showtime film about the true story of a black man chained to the back of a pickup truck and dragged ​to his death.

The workshop, titled “From Facts to Feature” focused on the process of bringing true stories to the screen.  Beginning with a screening of Jasper Texas, Mr. Estrin led students through the process of acquiring the rights to a true story and writing the screenplay.  Each student then pitched an idea for a screenplay based on a true story to Mr. Estrin, who discussed in depth with each student the viability of their ideas.

WGLS-FM Online Dating Documentary Wins Gracie Award

flash-phby Derek Jones

Rowan Radio documentary “Online Dating: There’s an App for That?” will be honored by the Alliance For Women In Media Foundation with a Gracie Award on Monday, June 22 in New York City.

The program, which centered on the rise of online dating’s popularity, received the nod in the Student Outstanding Special or Variety radio category.

Produced by Ellen Hardy and Alyssa Sansone, “Online Dating” has won seven awards in a series of regional and national competitions including a first place win for Best Documentary at the College Broadcasters Incorporated’s National Student Production Media Awards contest last fall in Seattle.

Hardy (a Glassboro, New Jersey native) and Sansone (hailing from Villas, New Jersey), join Rowan Radio alums Rachael Burgess, Julia Giacoboni, Kelly King, and Allie Volpe as previous station members to win a Gracie Award.

This win marks the first time in WGLS-FM history that the station received a prestigious Gracie Award in consecutive years.

The Gracie Awards – named after entertainer and comedienne Gracie Allen – celebrate outstanding programming produced by women in media and entertainment.

Local, digital, public, and student winners will be saluted at the 40th Annual Gracie Awards Luncheon on Monday, June 22 at the New York Hilton.

The event benefits the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation, a charitable, non-profit organization.

Rowan Radio 89.7 WGLS-FM has won 249 regional and national awards since 1993.