May 062014

For the second year, faculty writers on the LA campus are exhibiting their work in a unique venue — an art gallery. Notes II opened April 30 in the Gray Building’s Williams Gallery, a show that highlights writings — both prose and poetry, fiction and nonfiction — by several members of the faculty and community.

This year’s exhibitors include Kate Engstrom, Mark Haman, Colin Igoe, Erin Lawler, Laura Moore, Betsy Smith, David Smith, Meghan Smith, and Scott Smith.

“We hope that students will read at least some of what we’ve posted and see us not simply as teachers sounding off dryly about the principles of good writing, but also as humans with passions and desires and pain who use writing to come to grips with what is most important in our lives,” Dr. Haman, one of the organizers of the exhibit, said. “We also hope that students will notice the wide range of forms and subjects with which we work and recognize how numerous are the avenues they can explore in using words to make sense of their own lives.”

As they work to express themselves privately; in the classroom; in LA’s student newspaper, Spectrum; and in the school’s literary publication, Consortium; most people find some common ground as they read Notes II. However, even beyond providing an excellent example for their students, Lawrence Academy’s faculty writers were thrilled to come together in a collaborative environment.

“Perhaps the biggest reward of the exhibit and particularly the reading is the feeling that we are supporting each other in the struggle to keep writing,” Haman said. “While our differences as writers and individuals come out clearly when we read our works in sequence, we are all grateful to see others engaged in the same struggles — to find the time to write and to say well what we need to say. “Many of us find ourselves using the exhibit to finish the drafts we’ve started and to discover the new topics we’ve sensed lurking and waiting for us to invite them out. We all seem committed to keeping the event going in coming years,” he said.

That’s good news for everyone on campus, but most especially to Head of School Dan Scheibe.

“Teaching and learning is at its best when it is authentic,” Scheibe said. “How fortunate we are to have authentic voices among our faculty. And how lucky we are to have faculty who aren’t afraid to use those voices to share their lives, their ideas, their passions with those around them.”

The gallery is open to the public during regular school hours.