Arts groups complete collaborative Living Graphic Novel residency
Cover from the Living Graphic Novel 'The Mysterious Murky Water and the Poacher Problem."
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Representatives from three local arts groups recently visited Tipton, Ind., in search of imagination and creativity in the minds of third-graders.
Through a grant from the Tippecanoe Arts Federation Artist in Residence program, funded by JP Morgan Chase, a collaborative Living Graphic Novel workshop was presented by Steven Koehler of Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette, Craig Martin of Purdue University Galleries and Morgan Reitmeyer of Words on the Go.
Living Graphic Novel offers the opportunity for students to develop and illustrate short stories through the creation of live "scenes" using actors, painted sets and framing devices, in the style of graphic novels or comic books. As representatives of local theater, visual arts and writing arts organizations, each of the collaborators offered a special set of skills to assist the young people. The project emphasizes literacy, writing skills, creativity and artistic design.
A page from the Living Graphic Novel "The Mysterious Murky Water and the Poacher Problem."
In the span of five classroom visits in May that totaled seven and a half hours, students in Shari Cottingham's third-grade class at Tipton Community School imagined a story involving 19 endangered animals entitled "The Mysterious Murky Water and the Poacher Problem." Cottingham's students have each studied a species of endangered animal throughout the 2009-2010 school year, which provided the impetus for this project.
With the assistance of the Living Graphic Novel team, students wrote and storyboarded the narrative; painted set backdrops; and costumed, staged and photographed "frames" from their story. Reitmeyer later developed these images into a graphic novel style presentation, complete with narrative boxes and text balloons.
"Even now, the idea of making a full graphic novel about 19 endangered animals in the span of a week sounds daunting," Martin said. "But these kids were inspired, very imaginative and focused."
The resulting graphic novel was presented at a Specialty Fair on May 19 highlighting the students' endangered animal projects. The full story is viewable at the Living Graphic Novel page on Facebook, the Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette Facebook page and the Purdue University Galleries Facebook page and website.
This summer, the Living Graphic Novel team will present an evening workshop at Morton Community Center in West Lafayette. The workshop will run from 7-9 pm on Wednesday evenings from July 7 through Aug. 11. The workshop is intended for those 16 and older, but younger participants are welcome with parental consent due to some mature subject matter.
In the workshop, participants will write and develop a short story and bring it to life through scenes made with actors, painted sets and framing devices. The workshop will result in an exciting (and perhaps interactive) live presentation of the story at the Mosey Down Main Street event on Saturday, Aug. 14, in downtown Lafayette.
Registrations for the workshop are being taken at Morton Community Center (765-775-5120 or http://www.parks.westlafayette.in.gov).
Contact: Craig Martin, 765-494-3061, email@example.com