ArtsNovember 8, 2012 at 5:01 am

Mixing Media

Symbiosis is what you get when writers and artists combine their creative skills.

A brand–new project run through the Kelly Writers House, Symbiosis brings together artists and writers to collaborate creatively. Gina DeCagna, the freshman behind the project (and a Street contributor), has always been interested in the combination of art and writing, and in her first few months at Penn, she’s turning that passion into something bigger.

For the non–scientifically minded, “symbiosis” is a biological phenomenon that refers to a mutually beneficial relationship between two living things. Despite the left–brain connotations, the name defines the new group well. The quickly–growing Symbiosis community is gathering visual artists and writers of all kinds and encouraging them to create artist–writer pairs. The teams will engage in an ongoing discussion and creative process together, interweaving the two components directly to produce a joint project. Not only will the pairs create unique works, but Symbiosis also hopes to promote an exploration of collaboration and creative processes.

And it’s not just about making art — it’s also about meeting new people. Undergrads, grads and students from surrounding Philly schools are all welcome to join in. In a musical–chairs–like arrangement, Symbiosis will randomly pair the artists to test out collaborative partners for smaller works before deciding on the final pairings. By the end of the semester, a Symbiosis magazine will be published, showcasing the final works of literary and visual art. “The possibilities are endless,” DeCagna says. “In the end, both the artist and writer walk away with an innovative project that challenged them to think creatively in an atypical way.”

Meets every Thursday
7:30 p.m.
Kelly Writers House, Room 209

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