UMA Student Art on display in Augusta

Collaborative English and Art class adapts excerpt of mid-century author Louise Dickinson Rich’s memoir through graphic storytelling

208 Water Street, Augusta

December 13, 2021 – January 2, 2022

Graphic Image of “I Like Skunks” created by UMA Students
Graphic Image of “I Like Skunks” created by UMA Students

In culmination of their fall semester course, twelve UMA students have created a large-scale collaborative comic in an adaptation of a Louise Dickinson Rich’s story as part of an integrated English and Art course, Wham! Bang! Pow! Graphic Storytelling in Form and Practice.  The art exhibition will be on display in the storefront windows at 208 Water Street, Augusta, through the generosity of building owner Tyler Hall from December 13, 2021, through January 2, 2022.

The Wham! Bang! Pow! class adapted a section of Rich’s bestselling 1942 memoir We Took to the Woods that was excerpted in the Atlantic Monthly in 1942 called “I Like Skunks.” In this piece, Rich explains how she and her family came to adopt a skunk kit and raise it among a litter of sled dog puppies.

This upper-level course taught by Lisa Botshon, UMA Professor of English, and Peter Precourt, UMA Professor of Art, encourages communication and collaboration through graphic storytelling.

Louise Dickinson Rich typewriting at her home near Rangeley
Louise Dickinson Rich typewriting at her home near Rangeley

“Most of the students in this class are not Art majors,” stated Professor Precourt. “This is an interdisciplinary course that allows and encourages students across academic disciplines to find their creative voice through the use of the graphic art technique. A wonderful positive energy has developed as the students organized their work and focused on the creative process.”

“Graphic storytelling is an excellent medium for communication, collaboration and creativity,” added Professor Botshon. “In addition to bringing together art and the written word, students must work together as they create their visual representation of Rich’s work.”

About Louise Dickinson Rich

Prolific author Louise Dickinson Rich (1903-1991) is best known for her memoir We Took to the Woods (1942), about living off the grid in the Rangeley Lake area. Her place at Middle Dam, also known as Forest Lodge, was the year-round home of her family from 1933 through 1944, and her summer residence until 1955. It was while she lived at Forest Lodge that Rich developed her literary skills and published her first stories and books.