Based on the exhibitions featured at the museum during the 2015-2016 academic year and works from the permanent collection, students submitted written work responding to individual pieces of art experienced first-hand at JCSM. Entry was open to graduate and undergraduate students. Prizes of $500 were awarded for two academic essays and two creative submissions. For information on  the writing competition for the 2016-2017 academic year, contact Scott Bishop at 334-844-7014.

“On Applebee’s ‘Untitled (Landscape)'” a poem by Emma Hyche

“Frank W. Applebee enjoyed a career as an artist that spanned much of the twentieth century, producing work that ranged from American Scene imagery during the years of the Great Depression, through lyrical forms of representation and experiments with abstraction…”

If I enter that rectangle on the wall
I hear the sound of breathing.

If I am there in the disarray
the smell of soap is everywhere.
Squat black pot, bent black woman,
and everything else a parallelogram.

Panels of walls and shards of floor
slide crosswise in pink and green–

A house, or the concept of houses,
exploded. In the background, the woman

sweating and washing, strips of cloth
dripping with damp. Though I am not

there in disarray I feel water on my skin,
I see the man with the brushes.

The woman’s labor crystallized in paint by a man
whose hands never bled from lye.

Her work, or the concept of working,
holding the oil in place.

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