This is an exercise based off my Writing About Art workshops, offered through the Arts Center of Saint Peter (March 18 / April 15). The 410 Project is a community art space located at 523 South Front Street in Mankato, Minnesota. Grab your notebook and get there before the exhibit comes down on March 4th!
- Find the artwork referenced, currently on display as part of the 410 Project Juried Exhibition. I'm purposely only showing a little snippet of it, along with the artist info, so you have to visit the gallery! Being physically present alongside the work of art is one of the generative constraints that makes this exercise fruitful.
- Stand in front of it and look it for at least 1 minute (average viewing time for most artwork is about 15-25 seconds!).
- Set the alarm on your phone for 7 minutes.
- Read the associated prompt out loud or write it at the top of your notebook page.
- Write, write, write. Try not to stop writing for the whole 7 minutes, even if you're just writing nonsense. Stand with a clipboard, sit down on the gallery floor, or ask for a chair from the volunteer in the back.
This is a generative exercise! You might walk away with a poem, a memory that surfaced, or a kernel of an idea for a story. At the very least, you see some cool art. Learn more about Writing About Art by downloading my free, printable zine.
If you opened your mouth wide enough, what could we see?
What do you bow down to?
What is at the center?
Write about what is disappearing with each passing day.
Write about the foods you are not allowed to eat.
Starting from your feet and moving upwards, describe your body. When you get to your waist, you must switch to describing something that is not human.
The 410 Project 2018 Juried Exhibition holds over 100 different pieces of artwork created by artists living throughout southern Minnesota. Many thanks to 2018 juror J. Wren Supak.