When he was a child, Evan Kenagy ’16 (Ridgefield, Conn.) would sit on the porch with his great aunt at her home in North Carolina and watch the birds that visited her bird feeder.
In a recent letter to her, he included a small drawing of a chickadee. The drawing brought some joy to the elderly woman who had been facing hard times. Kenagy was reminded again of the power of art and it inspired him to expand on his drawings of native birds for his Creative and Performing Arts (CaPA) Fellowship.
This year, there are 28 CaPA students from diverse academic backgrounds pursuing projects that range from writing to studio art to theater to music. Created through the generosity of Bruce ’65 and Jackie Maggin P ’02, the program provides up to $7,500 over four years to students with a record of achievement in creative and performing arts.
CaPA fellows meet regularly as a group and individually with Jim Toia, coordinator of the CaPA fellows and director of the art department’s Community-Based Teaching Program, to discuss their work and art in general. They help organize arts-based events and activities on campus, such as the annual CaPA Cabaret, which will be held Friday, Nov. 14, in Marquis Hall, and also travel to New York City to see performances and visit galleries and museums.
Kenagy will illustrate Easton’s Karl Stirner Arts Trail with drawings of birds that can be seen along it. He has been sketching the birds over the last year and is working on how to transfer the images to the trail.
Photographer Elizabeth Lucy ’15 (New Hope, Pa.) is creating portraits of Easton residents. She will distribute disposable cameras to her subjects so they can take photos of their communities that will be displayed with her portraits.
“I picture a grand opening in a space where people from all four areas of Easton…converge and see the beauty of all their differences and how their differences are significant to the richness of Easton,” explains Lucy, an international affairs major.
Willem Ytsma ’16 (Bethlehem, Pa.), a double major in mechanical engineering and art, will incorporate his drawings, paintings, and photographs into his final CaPA show.
“It’s extremely helpful to have a large group of talented peers that I can work with and talk to,” he says. “CaPA makes me feel supported.”
Lucy says the community of artists has shown her that photography can be part of her career, not just a hobby.
“My fellow CaPAs have different perspectives that elevate my art,” she adds. “The writers will challenge me on the narrative of a series of photographs. Those who draw will critique my composition and lighting. Thespians will analyze the gestures of my subjects. They keep my momentum up,” she says.