Writing class reviews Cockerline Collection

By Katherine Clayton Reporter

An Advanced Creative Writing: Nonfiction class will be studying creative-nonfiction original works based off of the Cockerline Collection, a variety of different works ranging in subject matters of politics, social controversy and other abstracts. 

Taught by Dr. Christine Stewart, the readings will begin on Thursday, Dec. 12, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the South Dakota Art Museum where the collection is displayed. 

“We’ve been working on creative nonfiction the whole semester,” Stewart said.

The class of 12 students meets on Wednesdays, and their focus is on writing creative nonfiction. The reading of the original works, based on the Cockerline Collection, makes up the final exam for the class.

Each of the students writes their own composition on a painting of their choosing in the Cockerline Collection. The students also write their reaction to the piece or a memory they remember because of the Cockerline Collection.  

“I think it’s probably one of the favorite things I’ve ever done,” said senior English major Bobby Benedict.

The students were able to view the Cockerline Collection and then they wrote a composition about their reaction to one of the paintings in the collection. 

“A lot of what we are doing is open to our own interpretations,” Benedict said.

After writing their work of creative nonfiction, the students have to present part of their composition to an audience, combing the final with writing as well as public speaking. The students are then able to interact with the community and its’ members by presenting their finished product.

“It’s interesting that they see this art and they connected it to their personal experience,” Stewart said. “It’s a great opportunity to see a collaboration between art and literature.”

The event is open to the public and it is free to attend.