Discover how visual art can inspire creative writing and how writing can offer a powerful way to experience art. Join Mary Hall Surface, the founding instructor of the National Gallery of Art’s popular Writing Salon, for a series of five online workshops that explore essential elements of writing and styles through close looking, word-sketching, and imaginative response to prompts.
The sessions spotlight a diverse range of visual art chosen to inspire writers of all experience levels to deepen their process and practice. Each workshop has a limited enrollment to maximize interaction among the instructor and students.
Please Note: Individual sessions are available for purchase.
September 27 Imagine Story
Create characters and narratives inspired by the evocative room and objects in early 20th-century Welsh artist Glen John’s A Corner of the Artist’s Room in Paris.
October 4 Step Inside
Explore the multiple stories and rich symbolism inside The Dancing Couple, a festive painting by 17th-century Dutch artist January Steen.
October 11 Shift Your Lens
Discover the potential of writing from numerous perspectives and points of view inspired by 20th-century American artist Paul Cadmus’s satirical Bar Italia.
October 18 Dream Worlds
Journey into the images and juxtapositions in the prints of Dominican artist Scherezade García, including Day Dreaming/Soñando despierta, to explore place and time.
October 25 Weave Tales
Consider how seemingly different reflections and memories can weave together in writing, inspired by the mixed-media work, Winning, by 20th-century African American artist Emma Amos.
Surface is a teaching artist, playwright, theatre director and museum educator. She presents workshops nationwide in creative writing and drama as a Kennedy Center teaching artist and was a faculty member at Harvard’s Project Zero Classroom.
Photo caption (upper right): Mary Hall Surface
- If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.
- Once registered, patrons should receive an automatic email confirmation from CustomerService@SmithsonianAssociates.org.
- Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of each session. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of each session, please email Customer Service for assistance.
- View Common FAQs about our online programs presented on Zoom.