From Nov. 10 to Dec. 4, the High Library represents the exhibition of the First Folio!: The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare. Courtesy of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., the exhibition honors the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death.
The contents of the exhibit will include an original copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio, published in 1623. The Folio is a collection of 36 plays by Shakespeare, 18 of which had never been printed before.
In addition to the First Folio! Exhibit, the library will host Will’s Words: A Shakespeare Art & Design Exhibit from Nov. 4 to Dec. 22, featuring the works of Etown students.
Joshua Cohen, instruction and outreach librarian for the High Library, explained the inspiration behind the exhibit and the multitude of student involvement in the Art and Design Exhibit.
“The First Folio is a national tour that is meant to educate and to celebrate the book that brought us the works of Shakespeare,” Cohen said.
Many students on campus got involved in the Shakespeare Art & Design Exhibit and in the First Folio exhibit. Some students greeted people and took them on a tour of the preview.
The exhibit will have student performers that will act out scenes from the works of the First Folio.
Cohen collaborated with Dr. Katherine Hughes, assistant professor in the communications department, and Dr. Kristi Arnold, assistant professor of art in the department of fine and performing arts. They discussed how students from their design and art classes could contribute to the exhibit.
Hughes included students from some of her classes, such as COM 130: Visual Communications and COM 235: Multimedia Production, in the exhibit.
“My goal was to have my students’ work be visual, which is to take what they learn in class and have them display it for a campus-wide audience,” Hughes said.
Hughes had her visual communications students create collages that captured the essence of Shakespeare and words from his plays. Their work is now framed and on display in the reference section of the High Library.
In her multimedia production class, the students made videos about how Shakespeare has influenced them. This gave them the opportunity to practice their video skills and to have a larger audience view their work.
Sophomore Kenyon Tarquinio, a student in Hughes’s visual communications class, commented on what it meant to be a part of the Art & Design Exhibit.
For her collage, Tarquinio wanted to truly represent Shakespeare by including a diverse group of people reading Shakespeare’s work.
“Even though I did not get all the pictures I wanted to, I think the pictures I took did the exhibit justice,” Tarquinio said.
“I am very proud of our school to have the music, theater, art and communications departments all come together to represent this artifact,” Hughes commented on the students’ work in the exhibit.
“Being a Shakespeare fan myself, I think that the paper artwork and the paintings in the High Library’s front windows are amazing. I am very proud of my classes and the work they did,” Hughes said.
Arnold included students from her ART 204: Fundamentals of Color and Design and ART 205: Painting I classes.
The elements of the exhibit that are from her classes consist of doing artwork in the High Library’s windows and paintings done to represent some of Shakespeare’s plays.
Using Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” as inspiration, the students of Art 204 worked in groups of two to four students.
They came up with the design for the window art and then hand-cut pieces of paper to create a cut-paper design for the windows in the High Library.
“Inspiration for the concept of the project stems from the ornamental patterns carved from stone in windows and doors in India,” Arnold said. “I hope to continue the project each fall with the design students.”
Arnold’s students also had a painting project. They each chose one line from Hamlet’s famous “To be or not to be” soliloquy and then researched different types of fonts and sizes.
From this, they traced and overlapped the text onto paper.
Next, they deleted and combined letters to form abstract shapes. These designs were then transferred onto a canvas for them to paint.
“Hosting the First Folio! event is a really great opportunity for the college,” Arnold said.
“By involving students in the event, the library created an opportunity for the college community to also become involved.”