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.

Baby Boomer Beacon: Rowan Radio Turns 50

Rowan Today News

For five full decades, Rowan Radio 89.7 WGLS-FM has prided itself on playing the music that matters.

But, music isn’t all that matters.

The station has been a career springboard for generations of Glassboro State College and Rowan University students, a 24-hour training ground for deejays, journalists and producers where, since 1964, they’ve done radio live, no net, no do-overs.

Rowan Radio, which will be celebrated with a 50-year anniversary party in the Eynon Ballroom October 25, has become the place many students gravitate to on Rowan’s main campus, the same as others are drawn to the football field, the Tohill stage, the labs and libraries.

“Over the years we’ve had great successes – awards won, careers launched,” said Station Manager Derek Jones. “The station is one more place where students have the opportunity to find out who they are. If they come in and find they love it, it gives them the chance to build a portfolio with which they can launch a career.”

Indeed, lots of careers were launched via the music, sports, news and community service programming the station has become known for. Broadcasting all over southern New Jersey, parts of Pennsylvania and Delaware, the station has a potential to reach 1.3 million listeners and is the official broadcaster of the Wilmington Blue Rocks baseball team.

Jones said the station, which has stayed true to its mission of over-the-air, college radio since its founding, helped boost the careers of well-known radio personalities like Angela “Ang” Mason of 98.1 WOGL-FM in Philadelphia, Victor Sosa of 106.7 Lite FM in New York, and John Sadak, a sports broadcaster with Westwood One Radio, ESPN, and for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, the New York Yankees AAA affiliate.

“It takes a lot of consistency on behalf of students, alumni, and the administration to keep something like this going for 50 years,” said Jones, who took to the WGLS airwaves as a student in 1998. “We may be the oldest college radio station in the region and at a time when many campus stations are being sold off or broadcasting online only, that’s a very proud distinction.”

A highlight of the golden anniversary party on the 25th will be the induction of five new members to the WGLS-FM Hall of Fame. To be honored are the late Glassboro State College President Dr. Mark Chamberlain, who was an early and strong supporter; Larry DiBona ’77, a student station manager; Alisa (Jankowitz) Hogan ’80, ’00, a former news director and award-winning producer; Karen Maser ‘79, the first female student station manager who is now a TV writer and producer; and Dr. Gregory Potter Sr. who rebuilt the station’s main studio in Bole Administration Building during the summer of 1969.

Rowan Radio 89.7 WGLS-FM has won 244 regional and national awards since 1993.

Tickets to the 50th Anniversary Celebration are $50 and include station tours, a social hour, dinner and dancing. For information, please contact the Rowan University office of Alumni Engagement, 40 N. Academy St., Glassboro, New Jersey 08028. (856) 256-5400. alumni@rowan.edu.

– See more at: http://today.rowan.edu/home/news/2014/10/14/baby-boomer-beacon-rowan-radio-turns-50#sthash.tkqbFFtw.dpuf